•It's not exactly a mass exodus, but some of the Miami-Dade herd has certainly migrated. The Astor Place's Johnny Vinczencz tells me he's doing a "new project" in Delray Beach: DeBe is sort of the new SoBe, only classier. JoVi will be revamping the Sundy House, a restaurant located within a 1907 home. Given the acre of botanical garden that the Sundy House occupies, the place has always been an attractive venue since it was restored circa 1997. But shifting owners and chefs have left the reputation of the fare in doubtful condition. Drawing on the products from a 30-acre organic farm that the current proprietors also own, JoVi will be "doing a menu that gets its inspiration from the farm ... with as many indigenous Florida products as I can." Guess this means we'll have to think of a new nickname for him, 'cause Caribbean Cowboy don't fit no more. How about Farmer Fred? Just a thought.
•Another South Beach escapee is Matt Lofgren, former manager at Tantra and opening guy for the Shore Club's Tower Bar. He's now managing at a high-end property in DeBe called Aura, which just opened last week. And Donna Wynter, erstwhile chef at the Biltmore and Donna's Bistro in the David William Hotel in Coral Gables, has debuted in Hallandale with Satine in the Diplomat resort. If moving up means moving north, I'm all for it -- that's my territory, too.
•The siren has sung: Sirena in the Shore Club seems to be devolving. I hear it's going to be replaced with a Robert De Niro-partnered property called Ago. We can also look for ashes in the air, since the management is considering installing a wood-burning pizza oven outside by the pool. Let's hope they've got a crack pool-cleaning team on staff.
•Yet another one? In a word, yup. The Miami International Wine Fair is set to run at the Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel & Convention Center May 10 to 12. Take a gander at the numbers: 300 wineries from 18 countries will present 1000 wines to trade and consumer alike. Also on tap, or more to the metaphor, on cork, will be tastings, seminars, courses, restaurants, and food stands. And here my head is still pounding from the Biltmore. For more info on how to buy tickets, check out www.miamiwinefair.com.
•This one's more than rumor: The Roadhouse Grill restaurant chain has filed for Chapter 11. Based in Pompano Beach, the Grill currently operates about 90 establishments. That's a lot of peanuts to be throwing on the floor. Part of the restructuring plan will be to introduce menu items and reconsider food costs, so perhaps those gratis roasted peanuts will become a thing of the past. Well, you know what they say: Make peanut butter while the sun shines.
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