When I reviewed restaurants for the Miami Herald and, before that, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there was no bigger rush than finding a four-star dining experience in the least expected places. Strip-mall restaurants with no marketing or PR budget, no social media, no hype — just deliriously good cooking and meaningful hospitality. The promise of those elevated discoveries is what carried me through the lousy meals (and there were plenty).
I felt that rush of discovery the first time I walked through what’s now The Copper Door Bed & Breakfast. Jamila Ross and Akino West had taken a run-down Overtown motel and rehabbed it into a chic B&B. Ross and West, both veterans of the Miami restaurant scene, exude an energy and passion that I knew would translate to something special for their guests. In this issue, photographer Felipe Cuevas and writer Andrew Giambarba take you inside The Copper Door, and I hope it inspires you to go experience it for yourself.
Discoveries abound throughout this issue, from the best new Asian restaurants in town and a 10-day itinerary through Thailand, to the latest smart-home gadgets and antique finds along North Miami’s 20th Century Row.
When it came time to photograph our Home & Design cover story on Dr. Brianna and Manny Varas — a pediatrician with a concierge-style practice and her luxury homebuilder husband — I wanted their house in Coral Gables to shine like the stars who live in it. Celebrity stylist Elysze Held spared no expense (sorry, bosses!), bringing in elaborate floral arrangements from Roses et Pivoines, artwork from Nisi B Home Design Gallery that has been in New York’s MoMA, and fashion pieces from the world’s leading design houses.
The result is a stunning shoot by Nick Garcia and insightful story by Angela Caraway-Carlton that speak to the power of the Varases’ hard work and perseverance. The day of the photoshoot was an all-hands-on-deck situation, with no fewer than 10 set assistants, an intern and a social media manager. I tried my best to stay out of their way, knowing that our team would deliver a four-star experience for our readers to discover.