Thursday, June 2
Talking about food is big business — just ask anyone at Food Network. Listening to superstar chefs discuss their newest dishes is a popular pastime for the world's foodies. But there's just one problem with watching food on TV: You don't get to eat any of it. The folks at Books & Books know the struggle. So when they booked Le Bernardin chef and culinary giant Eric Ripert for an intimate conversation spurred by Ripert's new memoir, 32 Yolks, they made sure nobody would leave hungry. After listening to South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder and director Lee Schrager interview Ripert about the book, attendees will be treated to a five-course dinner inspired by the chef's world-famous cuisine. And this isn't just any fancy feast — it's a dinner prepared by an all-star lineup of South Florida chefs, including Timon Balloo, Michelle Bernstein, Wolfgang Birk, Brad Kilgore, and Jose Mendin, all under the direction of chef Allen Susser. It'll all go down at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) this Thursday. The conversation between Ripert and Schrager begins at 7:30 p.m., immediately followed by dinner at the Café at Books & Books. Tickets cost $175 for the talk and dinner or $40 for only the talk. Either way, you'll get an autographed copy of 32 Yolks. Visit booksandbooks.com or arshtcenter.org.
Downtown Coral Gables is celebrating all things food and drink with Taste of the Gables, the official kickoff event for the city's ninth-annual restaurant extravaganza. The one-night-only soiree, which will take place inside the Westin Colonnade Hotel (180 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables), offers samples from 20 restaurants. Each participating eatery will then offer prix fixes for the next three weeks. Spots such as Bulla Gastrobar, Cibo Wine Bar, Swine, the Local, and Trust & Co will whip up dishes to showcase to guests the best these restaurants have to offer. Whether you're a foodie or newbie, nibble your way through your favorite eateries or bite into a few untried ones with Taste of the Gables and its month-long counterpart, Coral Gables Restaurant Week. The event takes place this Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $100 per person, which includes samples from 20 restaurants and a vote for a favorite Taste dish. Guests must be 21 or older. Visit restaurantweek.shopcoralgables.com.
Friday, June 3
You've probably heard of "yarnbombing," in which sneaky crafters stealthily cover public objects such as trees and street signs in knitted or crocheted cozies. But you've never seen anything like Laura Lima's new exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art (4040 NE Second Ave., Miami). The Brazilian artist has strung industrial nylon rope from the signature support beams of the Moore Building, tangling and braiding them from a giant web into an ever-diminishing tether attached, at the small end, to a female body. It's all in keeping with Lima's tendency to juxtapose human forms with thought-provoking objects in her work, which has been shown from Sweden to Argentina to New York City. The exhibit at the ICA, however, is Lima's debut solo museum exhibition. Think of it as yarnbombing on steroids. Laura Lima's "The Inverse" opens Friday. Admission is free. Call 305-901-5272 or visit icamiami.org.
Stage and screen aficionados might remember actress Mel Gorham from the '90s NBC sitcom Union Square or on Broadway in Hair. They might recall seeing her work alongside legends such as Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, and Sylvester Stallone. But here in Miami, Gorham is also known as a hometown woman of Catholic Cuban and Jewish American descent. She's known as a University of Miami alumna who stayed in town to earn a BFA in theater. Although Gorham left Miami for New York after graduation, she eventually returned to South Beach just a few years ago. And for the upcoming Coral Gables Gallery Night, Gorham will display some of her most recent paintings and photographs at Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). Additionally, the independent bookstore's Steve Moss will lead a conversation with the actress/artist. The free gallery opening begins at 8 p.m. Friday. Call 305-442-4408 or visit booksandbooks.com.
Saturday, June 4
Riding trains is surely the most nostalgic and romantic way to travel America. Amtrak, the somewhat government-funded rail corporation, recognizes this and caters to all of our quixotic dreams on Train Day. In conjunction with the holiday, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum will open for its regular free first-Saturday promotion. The event includes a number of additional activities for kids and adults. Food and drink stands will be set up alongside other vendors and a bounce house. Members and models from the model train group ECHOES (East Coast HO Exhibitors Society) will be on hand and on display. And, enticingly, Amtrak will hold a contest whose winner will receive two round-trip tickets anywhere on the East Coast. Train Day takes place at the Gold Coast Railway Museum (12450 SW 152nd St., Miami) Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. Call 305-253-0063 or visit gcrm.org.
The days of middle-aged housewives reading pulp fiction are over. Today's book clubs are smarter, hipper, and way more culturally relevant. The Wolfsonian-FIU book club, for instance, is all about bringing bibliophiles together to read fascinating tomes. This edition will cover The Havana Habit. Written by Gustavo Firmat, the book is about Cuba's influence on U.S. culture, from mambo to cigars to everyone's favorite SoBe cocktail: the mojito. The topic is in conjunction with the museum's current exhibit, "Promising Paradise: Cuban Allure, American Seduction." The island nation to the south has always had serious sex appeal among Americanos. Given that you make your home a mere 330 miles away — might as well learn a little more about that island's culture. The book club convenes at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Wolfsonian-FIU (1001 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). RSVP by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You know who Trick love? The kids. That's a fact. He told us so on his track "In da Wind." Plus, they helped him break through with 2001's "I'm a Thug," which featured Betty Wright's Children's Choir. Trick Daddy, perhaps the bestselling legit thug in the history of mainstream music, also really loves Miami. When he's done touring with Juvenile and Bun B, the Liberty City native will return home for a show at a venue that has become as much an unexpected institution as he is: Churchill's Pub. This Saturday, the Miami Dolphins' biggest fan and star of ghetto hits such as "Nann Nigga," "Shut Up," and "Take It to da House" is set to perform at one of South Florida's most beloved dive bars for a concert stacked with local talent. The main stage will host Legacy, Hood Hippies, Inky & Cassanova, Cameron Airborne, Lil Raw, Lex One, D.U.Ivan, D Greezy, King Rebel featuring Maundo Spaulding and Kid Slate, Tito Medero, Krazy-1, and Desperados. Like a more violent, drug-slinging version of 2 Live Crew, Trick Daddy is both the dark and the light side of Miami's nightlife. Get loose starting at 8 p.m. at Churchill's (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami). Tickets cost $30. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com or trickdaddymiami.eventbrite.com.
"Only in Miami." Whenever you hear those three words, it usually signals a complaint: City streets flooded up to your knees? Only in Miami. Urban roosters woke you up at 4 a.m.? Only in Miami. Stuck in traffic for three hours on Memorial Day weekend? Only in Miami. The refrain is so common it's easy to forget that our city is also home to some uniquely awesome stuff. Take Saturday's performance of Carmen at YoungArts, for example. The classic Bizet opera has been performed across the globe, but until now, it has never gotten the full Miami treatment. Directed by Jay Scheib, a renowned theatrical mastermind known for remixing and adapting both classic and contemporary plays, this version of Carmen merges the worlds of film and theater, with five interactive vignettes to be screened and performed live by program alumni in the YoungArts plaza (2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Flamenco dancers, cigar rollers, and rum punch purveyors will greet audiences at the scene. Only in Miami, right? The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free with RSVP. Visit youngarts.org/outside-the-box.
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Monday, June 6
South Florida doesn't have any neighborhoods expressly labeled "Little Italy," but it does have a healthy Italian-American population throughout the tri-county area. Italian singer/songwriter Gigi D'Alessio, a native of Naples (the original one) and now a resident of Rome, will perform in South Beach this Monday. The popular vocalist brings a deep catalogue of power ballads and passionate pop-rockers. Though all of his songs are sung in his native tongue, including his most successful record, 2006's Made in Italy, and his cover of "A Whole New World" from Disney's Aladdin, D'Alessio still holds an appeal that transcends ethnicities and language barriers. Fans of Alejandro Sanz, Carlos Vives, or Ricardo Arjona may find that although the words are a little fuzzy, the twinkling guitars, soaring strings, and dramatic, heartfelt vocals translate well. Join D'Alessio at the Fillmore Miami Beach (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets cost $38.75. Call 305-673-7300 or visit fillmoremb.com.
Tuesday, June 7
The Coral Gables Art Cinema is offering plenty of classic film screenings in June. One of the rarer options is a one-time-only screening of Víctor Erice's El Sur. This screening will be the first in South Florida since its initial release three decades ago. Considered by many to be one of the best Spanish-language films — and hailed as a masterpiece when it closed Cannes and the Miami Film Festival in the early 1980s — El Sur tells a touching tale of the relationship between a father and daughter. The story revolves around a little girl living in the north of Spain who is fascinated by the secrets of the south, as well as the qualities that her father embodies. As she grows older, she stops seeing her father as an enigma when she discovers that he once had a sweetheart and is still in love with her. The drama is one of the few Erice made in his career. Take advantage of this opportunity to check out a movie that won't be seen in theaters again anytime soon. Showtime is 7 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets cost $7 to $11.75 at the door. Visit gablescinema.com.