The polar vortex may be gone, but we won't forget the day we actually had to wear a sweater. All kidding aside, the rest of the country is still pretty frozen (did you see the pictures of Niagara Falls) and we're looking at a pretty lovely weather with temperatures in the low 80's.
It's a good time to enjoy some quality eating and drinking in paradise. From sampling craft beers in a nighttime garden, to brunching Key West-style, there are a bunch of events that are totally worthy of bragging about to all your friends in New York (where there are currently snow showers, by the way).
Fine Wines and Upscale Ales in the Garden
What's better than sampling some fine wines and craft beers? Enjoying them in Miami's most gorgeous setting -- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
Fairchild Palms, the garden's young professionals networking group, is hosting "Fine Wines/Upscale Ales" on Saturday, January 11, at 7:30 p.m. $85 gets you dinner with dessert and samplings of fine wines from over 10 countries, as well as craft ales and beers from around the world. Bring a group of friends and you'll get a discount (a four-pack of tickets is $300).
Live instrumental music by Litus and a DJ will have you dancing under the stars, but we suggest you sneak away for just a moment and take in the amazing sounds of crickets, frogs, and other garden creatures as they make their own music. Tickets available online at fairchildpalms.org/events.
Norman Van Aken Brunch at Tongue & Cheek
You know that Tongue & Cheek Kitchen Collab series you were meaning to go to? The ones that had South Florida's best chefs sharing kitchen duties with Jamie DeRosa? Stop kicking yourself because of missed opportunity and get to the "Cheek" this Sunday, January 12, for a special Key West brunch edition, co-hosted by legendary chef Norman Van Aken. $75 per person gets you a tropical brunch and a personally signed copy of the chef's newest cookbook, No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken. Seatings are available between noon to 2 p.m. and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at (305) 704-2900.
Dinner in Paradise
Dinner in Paradise returns and if you've never been to one of Paradise Farm's feasts you're missing out on something pretty special. The evening usually starts with a welcome cocktail and tour of the farm. Ever pick and eat edible flowers straight from the ground? You should at least once. Then, you'll be treated to a multiple course dinner by chefs Wolfgang Birk (Area 31), Nicolas Cabrera (Baires) & Dewey LoSasso (Acqualina). Tickets are $165.50 per person (plus tax and processing) and are available at paradisefarms.net/dinner-in-paradise. Welcome reception starts at 5, farm tour at 5:30 p.m. and proceeds for this dinner will benefit Learning in Paradise, an outreach program that hosts children's field trips to the farm.
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The Vine Club -- a Secret Society of Beer
OK, so maybe it's not a secret society. But it is an exclusive one. Wynwood Brewing Company has initiated a founders club for its loyal followers. Vine Club members will receive a yearly special bottle release, 15 percent discount on Wynwood Brewing Company merchandise, special growler fills on limited-release beers, additional tap room hours, and access to an annual party with food and drinks (the first one is February 1, so clear the calendar). Members also get a goodie bag filled with freebies -- including a work shirt that identifies you as a member of this exclusive club. Did we mention you'll also have your name painted on the vine wall at the tap room? Pretty cool, indeed, but you've got to act now because membership closes this Sunday, January 12. The initiatial membership is $195 for the first year, with an $85 annual renewal fee. Cheaper than that gym membership -- and this is a club you'll actually go to! Register at wynwoodbrewing.com/vineclub.