Stephan Fortier Shares His Haute Secrets To Miami

Stephan FortierFounder and CEO of the Fortier Group, Stephan Fortier is a Miami-based entrepreneur and restauranteur, who launched over 30 various creative concepts and businesses, including magazines, fashion and film projects, retail stores, restaurant concepts, and organized legendary events particularly in NY, LA and Miami. Some of his most notable projects include; Ocean Drive Magazine Canada, Maison d’Azur Restaurant Miami, Tuccia Di Capri Handmade Sandals at Henry Bendel NYC, the Loft Restaurant and Supper Club NYC, Pazza Notte NYC,  Tosca Restaurant Miami, The Fortier Creative Group Miami (Interior Design & Event Planning) and the Restaurant-Club-Lounge 737 in Montreal.

Also noteworthy is Fortier’s latest mobile application GrapeStars launching in a few months, founded with childhood friends/partners Jean Jean and Robert Pelletier. GrapeStars, is a celebrity wine and spirts company that allows celebrities and celebrity-endorsed brands in the wine and spirits marketplace to promote directly to their followers on social media through a direct-to-consumer sales channel. This takes the difficulty for celebrities to find retailers out of the equation, serving as a game-changing application that allows brands to take out the middle man and most importantly, directly market to their audience through the swift click of a few buttons. In addition to the sales aspect, it also provides a virtual sommelier for pairing suggestions and allows users to explore different wine regions around the world. And of course, there is a giving back component, through the GrapeStars round up, where users can donate to a charity affiliated with their favorite celebrities.

Fortier is changing the game within various industries and he’s not stopping anytime soon. It’s clear that when it comes to wine and food, he is an expert, so we decided to sit down with the connoisseur to get his take on the hottest spots in the Magic City to eat, drink, sleep, play and shop. Find it all below.

Where were you born: Montreal

How long in Miami: 14 years

Neighborhood: Brickell

Occupation: Entrepreneur/Restaurateur

Favorite Restaurant: Cipriani because it’s in my lobby and I can’t deal with the Miami traffic

Best Sushi: Zuma

Best Italian: Casa Tua Cucina—it’s very casual but the food is actually the real deal, especially the fresh pasta

Best dessert: It’s a tie between the home-made Vanilla Gelato & Vanilla Meringue Cake at Cipriani

Best place for a romantic date: Le Sirenuse. You can take a stroll on the quiet beach after dinner.

Best Sunday brunch: The Setai in the courtyard

Best place for a power business meeting: Estiatorio Milos, although Milos is always a good idea, day or night

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? Faena Hotel 

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: The Miami Design District / Louis Vuitton

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: Audemars Piguet

Best Spa: Lapis Spa at the Fountainbleau

Favorite Charity Event: Hearts & Stars Gala

Favorite Cultural Event: Art Basel Miami Beach 

Favorite Cultural Institution: Frost Museum

Best Steakhouse: Prime 112

Best Pizza: Fratelli La Buffala

Best Lunch: Le Zoo at Bal Harbour Shops—it’s always quite the show sitting on the terrace and watching the “special characters” of Miami come and go

Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Equinox Brickell Heights

Best Massage: Icon Brickell Spa

Best new restaurant: Hutong—the service is a bit “challenged” but the food is great

Best hidden gem: The Surf Club by Thomas Keller—it has an old-glamour vibe and décor reminiscent to the Polo Bar in NYC

Best cocktails: Socialista—I like to go early before the masses arrive

Best wine list: Cipriani—it doesn’t try too hard and just focuses on the classics 

Best beach club: The Setai—it’s one of the few places on the beach that is very clean with great service

Best Museum/Exhibit: Pérez Art Museum Miami

Describe your city in three words: Beautiful, exciting, shit-show

All-around favorite spot in Miami: Cipriani for the sophisticated vibe and next-level service

Best Aspect of Miami: The weather, except in summer