Miami is really gearing up for the upcoming season's worth of parties.
To keep up with all the festivals and events, we suggest easing into the weekend with a casual happy hour on Friday (and we just happen to have discovered two new, fabulous ones).
Then, on Saturday, partake in a little brunch and culture (with a splash of fun) in Coconut Grove before heading to the beach for LuckyRice, a feast for all senses.
On Sunday, we see meat in your future. Start out with a beefy brunch, followed by a whole lot of P.I.G. goodness.
Weekend starts now!
Gin-Centric Happy Hour at the Traymore
When you come to think of it, Miami should steal gin away from the Brits as their adopted spirit. It's light and perfect for a warm afternoon, yet so much more complex than vodka. With that in mind, maybe it's time to head out to the Traymore Restaurant and Bar at the Metropolitan by Como, for its new gin-forward happy hour. Tonight (and every night) from 5 to 7 p.m., enjoy signature cocktails for $10 each; select wines by the glass for $8 and house liquor for $8. Head bartender Jack Araque's favorite libations include a Collins Park, made with 209 gin, St. Germain, lemon, watermelon, and basil; a Traymore 1939, made with Noilet's gin, rosemary syrup, orange Curacao, grapefruit, and pomegranate; or a Miami-style Singapore Sling, made with Gordon's gin, Bendictine, Cointreau, cherry, and pineapple. Want a custom creation? There are more than 40 imported gins from around the world to choose from, along with a fully stocked bar of every other spirit under the sun.
Toscana Divino Shucks For a Buck (Bubbly Too)
Do you have champagne wishes and oyster dreams on a beer budget? Head over to Toscana Divino tonight for its Friday oyster and champagne happy hour. The Mary Brickell Village restaurant starts the weekend off right with a Friday celebration that features one-dollar oysters, shucked to order and $8 glasses of prosecco, served from 6 to 8 p.m. Boss give you a raise? Celebrate with a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne for $75 (usually $120). There's also $3 beers, $5 select wines, $6 cocktails, and bar bites starting at $6.
Lucky Rice Festival
The big deal this weekend is LuckyRice, hosted by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. On Saturday, November 15, from 7:30 to 11 p.m., celebrate Asian food and cocktail culture (with a bit of Latin spice mixed in) poolside at the Raleigh Hotel. Participating chefs/restaurants include Morimoto, Khong River House, Hakkasan, Juvia, the Bazaar by Jose Andres, the Federal, SushiSamba, Katsuya, Lure Fishbar, and Barley & Swine. In addition, eight of Miami's best mixologists will serve cocktail creations made with Bombay Sapphire East and other featured spirits. Tickets are $88 for general admission; $150 for VIP and can be purchased at luckyrice.com. And remember the dress code — wear something in firecracker or chili pepper red. You really don't have to, but why wouldn't you want an excuse to party in a pop of color?
If you want to get in the mood to party, why not start the weekend by making Lucky Rice's signature "Year of the Horse" cocktail with this recipe below?
LuckyRice Signature Year of the Horse Cocktail: The East Hibiscus Buck
- 1.5 oz Bombay Sapphire East
- 1.5 oz hibiscus tea
- 1.5 oz ginger beer
- 2 squeezes fresh lime
Build all with ice in a highball glass. Garnish with lime wedge and lemongrass stalk.
Mad Hatter Arts Festival and Nutella Pancakes
Take that hat box off the shelf and dust it off, because you're going to want to wear it to Coconut Grove this weekend for the annual Mad Hatter Arts Festival. The festival, based on Alice in Wonderland, of course, happens this Saturday and Sunday, November 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Barnacle. Your $2 admission gets you entertainment and an arts festival including a drum circle, live music, and hat contests. To fortify your day, we suggest starting off at Coconut Grove's iconic Greenstreet Cafe, located right across the street from the Barnacle for a stack of Nutella pancakes ($8) and a Greenstreet Mary ($8), their own, verdant-hued take on the classic breakfast libation.
Butcher Shop Brunch
If you like your brunch a little "beefier" than the usual frilly affair of poached eggs and fluffy waffles, try Butcher Shop's new brunch. The Wynwood meat palace starts brunch service this weekend. Served every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the menu features a butcher's take on the same old brunch items. For instance, there's a prime burger Benedict; a smoked rib, bacon, and egg platter; house-made sausage and eggs; chicken and waffle sliders; and walnut-crusted French toast.
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Join some of Miami's best chefs at Brisky Gallery as they celebrate all things P.I.G. Brad Kilgore (Alter), Conor Hanlon (The Dutch), William Crandall (Azul), Jamie de Rosa (Tongue & Cheek), Todd Erickson (Haven), Kris Wessel (Oolite), Giorgio Rapicavoli (Eating House), James Strine (Cafe Boulud Palm Beach), and host Jeremiah Bullfrog (GastroPod) get piggy with it on Sunday, November 16, at 3 p.m. when they showcase their talents and creativity with pork. Of course, there's plenty of beer (courtesy of Jonathan Wakefield), wine (courtesy of Uvaggio), and booze to wash it all down with. Purchase tickets ($50) at chefjeremiah.com .