What’s Haute South Florida


 Dining options include a French and Pan-Latin menu from executive chef Luis Pous, whose fare earned the property a Zagat rating as the “Best Hotel Dining Room in the Southeast.”


Little Palm Island
28500 Overseas Highway
Little Torch Key

When it’s time to turn off and disconnect from the stresses of daily life, Little Palm Island Resort & Spa is the retreat of choice for America’s power players to unwind. The property features 30 thatched-roof, oceanfront suites that are only accessible by boat transfer, near Little Torch Key in the Florida Straits. With no telephones or televisions, the only distractions are romantic interludes with someone special and a love affair with the great outdoors. Typical aquatic activities fill the recreation list, including sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, and deep-sea fishing. Yachting enthusiasts can accommodate their naval needs with the 10-slip marina for vessels up to 100 feet. After a day in the sun, guests can rejuvenate their bodies and souls at the Indonesian-themed Spa Terre, which includes classic spa treatments, along with a Vichy shower, and a wetroom bungalow in the Zen Garden. Dining options include a French and Pan-Latin menu from executive chef Luis Pous, whose fare earned the property a Zagat rating as the “Best Hotel Dining Room in the Southeast.”


Maison d’Azur
956 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach

Gone are the days of conservative Sunday brunches. The rebirth of Maison d’Azur at The Hotel Astor Miami Beach means a rebirth in the way the trendy elite spend their Saturdays. Maison d’Azur is redefining what it means “to brunch” by hosting St. Tropez-style debauchery in the ultrachic back garden, complete with an overflow of champagne, truffles, Rosee wine, dancing, deejays, and fashion shows. Those not seeking South Beach revelry so early on a Saturday afternoon can dine on the delectable seafood menu for evening entrées under night blooming jasmine trees or from the comforts of a private cabana. Conjuring up faraway images of the Côte d’Azur, the ambiance of the entire space is deliberately sophisticated in a manner that is innovative and fresh. And speaking of fresh, it’s not just the atmosphere that has the town talking. The fresh seafood market case positioned in front of the open kitchen demonstrates Maison d’Azur’s commitment to providing nothing less than the finest quality ingredients in every dish. Guests can view and choose exactly which fish will end up on their artfully prepared plate. Complemented by a rare wine from the list created by an eight-year, Wine Spectator award-winner, the dinner experience has its own rewards.


1 Bleu
The Regent Bal Harbour
10295 Collins Avenue

It comes as a shock to no one that the flagship Regent Bal Harbour opened to rave reviews in 2008, but what has been making recent headlines is the appointment of award-winning executive chef, Mark Militello, as the head toque at 1 Bleu in the hotel’s oceanfront locale on the South Florida shores. Far enough away from South Beach to avoid the Spring Break tourists, but close enough to enjoy palatable dining menus that define Bal Harbour luxury, 1 Bleu’s nightly dinner entrees feature clean and contemporary flavors from the James Beard “Best Regional Chef in the Southeast.” Militello’s creations have made him a media darling, as he prepares steaks and seafood, changing his menus daily, based on fresh ingredients, long before those catch phrases became the industry buzz. He spent more than a decade at Mark’s Las Olas, and now is bringing the same attention and accolades to his Regent Bal Harbor kitchens.


Prime Italian
101 Ocean Dr.
Miami Beach

Myles Chefetz is at it again. The restaurant king who rules Miami Beach’s South of Fifth district with the hand of an iron chef has added another gastronomic hotspot to his repertoire of venues. The newest addition to the foodie’s family (which includes Prime One Twelve, Nemo, Shoji Sushi, and Big Pink) is Prime Italian, described as the sister site of Prime One Twelve, as it is conveniently located across the street. Prime Italian’s menu is an extension of its older sister’s, but with an added Italian flare. Kobe Philly cheesesteak, chicken parmesan sliders, and 500-day aged prosciutto are some of the highlights garnering attention, alongside the same melt-in-your-mouth steaks for which Father Chefetz is known. Only time and taste buds will tell if the new kid on the block can live up to the stellar reputation of other members in the Chefetz family, but with those genes, the future looks yummy.


Pacific Time
35 NE 40 St.

How many people voted “most likely to succeed” actually end up fulfilling the lofty destiny imposed on them by fellow classmates? Miami’s Design District is home to one who did! Jonathan Eismann’s peers at the Culinary Institute of America bestowed him with that superlative in 1984. And by all accounts he has certainly succeeded. Esquire magazine recently named his restaurant, Pacific Time, one of 20 “Best New Restaurants” in 2008. Long-time lovers of Lincoln Road eateries surely remember Pacific Time’s heyday from 1993 to 2007. The fame of the restaurant was as vogue as its diners, which included Madonna, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Calvin Klein, Cindy Crawford, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In those days, success for Eismann came in the form of a 1994 Mondavi Award of Culinary Excellence and a 1997 nomination for the James Beard Award, in addition to acclaim from Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Gourmet and New York magazines. High rent prices eventually forced Eismann off of Lincoln Road, but not out of Miami’s elite culinary scene. Always on the cutting edge, it makes perfect sense that Pacific Time’s knives are now slicing and dicing in one of Miami’s most avant-garde areas: the Design District. The new location and updated menu have proved as successful as its creator. Alongside Eismann, chef de cuisine Robert Pagan, and general manager Ben Kofopolous, tout the new contemporary American flavors that complement the Pan Asian cuisine of days gone by.


The Brazilian Court
301 Australian Avenue
Palm Beach

Nostalgic for the easy, breezy days of yesteryear, Palm Beach-style? With the grand reopening of The Brazilian Court, snowbirds and socialites can once again enjoy the splendors that made the historic landmark hotel famous with family names like Hearst, Kennedy, and Pulitzer. The original opening of the boutique hotel saw the height of the Roaring 20s, when Sicilian architect Rosario Candella designed the space, in 1926. But recently the inn underwent extensive, six-year, $35 million renovations and now features guest rooms, suites, studios, and private residences, refurbished and designed with 1000-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets, and Frederic Fekkai toiletries. Earning four star accolades, The Brazilian Court is just steps from the famed Worth Avenue and blocks from Palm Beach’s legendary sapphire blue waters. Guests can dine on the French-American delights from Haute Living’s culinary Haute Ambasador, Daniel Boulud, at Café Boulud, or honor local and national artists with a purchase from The Brazilian Court Art Gallery. Also onsite is a Frederic Fekkai salon. Naturally a state-of-the-art fitness center graces the property, but what really makes the Spanish-style-designed hotel haute enough to be listed here is its ability to reestablish itself as the epicenter of everything related to a Palm Beach pedigree, including lavish luxuries and extreme privacy.


Asia de Cuba
1100 West Ave.
Miami Beach

It’s a good bet that Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian South Beach will be one of the spicier restaurants in Miami this season, in more than one way. The menu has already garnered approval from the foodies, but we expected nothing less from restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow. Star items on executive chef Byran Flyer’s Latin-Asian menu include a miso-cured black cod, plated with edamame and black bean salad; ropa vieja of duck; Cuban BBQ chicken with Thai coconut sticky rice; char sui beef short ribs with tostones and orange-chili mojo; and lobster Mai Tai with rum, coconut, red curry, and boniato. Of course, it’s not the menu alone that draws the jet-setting, South Beach scenesters. Designer Marcel Wanders called on Sleeping Beauty’s castle for inspiration, and the end result delivers white-on-white tables, chairs, and marble floors accented by an alluring display of sunlight reflections on paneled mirrors. Hanging candelabra chandeliers and gigantic golden bells gently highlight the best side of the beautiful people that fill up the reservation list. Evening time brings the nighttime sparkles from “Magic City’s” skyline, which plays across every surface of the 102-seat dining room, or at close range from the 90-seat terrace.


Warren Tricomi Haircare
4441 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach

Glitz, glamour, a fashion show, and well-publicized national attention marked the $5 million reopening of the Fontainebleau. Today, the paparazzi have departed, but not the on-site features that created such buzz to begin with, including the Warren-Tricomi salon. Creative color and styling legends Joel Warren and Edward Tricomi are as critically-acclaimed as the locales where their collection of hair products are found. Joel Warren is the inventor of a vast array of color techniques that are widely touted for contrast, shadow, and depth.  Edward Tricomi brings dry-hair precision cutting techniques to the forefront of cosmopolitan styling trends. Witnessing his fingers at work with the shears has been compared to that of watching an artist with a pencil. Their collective talents, which are in high demand with those in the know, are the special ingredients that make their namesake products and salons paramount in an industry obsessed with the best.

The Four Seasons
Resort Palm Beach
2800 South Ocean Blvd.
Palm Beach

If the name alone doesn’t convince you to go, the property features certainly will. The Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach treats glamorous guests in the manner to which they have grown accustomed. Award-winning dining venues include The Restaurant, the Ocean Bistro, and the Atlantic Bar and Grill. After an early morning tennis match on one of the two Har-Tru courts, or a round of golf at one of three nearby championship golf courses, an afternoon by the heated oceanfront pool and pool deck are guaranteed hotbeds of activity for the young and young-at-heart. Impeccable service is of course top notch, but garnering the most attention lately is the 11,000-square-foot Spa & Salon. The intimate sanctuary begs no forgiveness in boasting creative treatments “to reflect the local Southern Florida flavor.” The use of mandarin oranges and marine oil ingredients justify these bold declarations. Though understated elegance has never been a Palm Beach characteristic, this resort property certainly is.


Shuichi Take Fitness Club
3250 NE 1st Ave. # 504

Just in time for 2009, a new fitness club hit one of Miami’s trendiest new areas. Shuichi Take Fitness Club at Midtown Miami is not just on board with what’s hip in fitness—this athletic center is leading the pack. Asian-inspired cuisine might be as dated as the Spice Girls, but an Asian-inspired fitness center is an avant-garde addition that Magic City residents welcome with delight. Housed in one of the impressive Midtown high rises, the 11,000-square-foot club was designed with feng shui in mind. Another trend this club takes seriously? Going green. Shuichi Take Fitness proudly stakes claim as the first fitness facility in Miami to do so. With commanding views of Miami’s skyline, the Sky Deck, which measures an expansive 6,500 square feet, includes a lap pool and Internet lounge. And while this may all sound new, Shuichi Take Fitness Company is well versed in body language, with more than 10 years in health and fitness solutions. Traditional routines and classes are available for those fitness gurus with established routines, or alter the course with alternatives like Reiki, acupuncture, and kettle bells.