Some things on Ocean Drive have managed to age gracefully. Take, for instance, the iconic News Cafe, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last month. Its not-so-distant neighbor, A Fish Called Avalon, does the same Friday, with a big cocktail party marking the amazing milestone. The party will feature the restaurant’s seafood menu along with tunes by DJ Mark Leventhal and the restaurant’s resident Latin band, The Beach Brothers. While the party, which goes from 7-10 p.m., is technically by invitation only, the invite does say that it welcomes Miami’s “old and new VIPs,” and that would include all of us, wouldn’t it?
One place that we’re sure will be here for a long time is Lincoln Road favorite Alta Mar, which once again thinks of the locals when offering its new 3 for $33′ menu offering three gut-busting, delicious courses. The prix fixe menu is available through March, should you find yourself sticking to your January diet.
Also blowing the diet is Bourbon Steak’s new Wednesday night Bourbon and Blues, featuring blues performances as well as add-ons to the menu including chicken and waffles, beer-battered grouper, pulled pork barbecue and a 25 percent discount on bourbon and whiskey selections. The band playing this Wednesday is Albert Castiglia & Graham Drout. In addition, the bar offers half-price cocktails and discount appetizers at its weekday happy hour, Raise Your Spirits, from 6-8 p.m.
Raise your hipster cred by checking out Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art‘s new show, Otherworld, an exhibition of found textile, garments and objects by Miami-based art collaborative Guerra de la Paz. The opening reception is from 7-10 p.m. Friday at 158 NW 91st St., Miami, and will feature the artists, wine, free Grolsch beer and snacks. According to insiders, Jazzar’s gallery/home is one of the coolest in town and features a loft-like garage and stellar pool area.
Back on the beach, which has been besieged by carnivorous temptations, a new sushi bar and lounge — the second-most over-saturated type of restaurant in town — has opened at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Sushi SoBe was designed by Fuji Fujita, one of only six master sushi chefs in the United States, and features raw fare and cocktails, and a Wednesday night promotion offering 50 percent off all drinks with the purchase of any food item.
Over at Jazid, a revolutionary new concept for a smoky music bar — the entire downstairs, you know, where the bands play, is now officially smoke-free.
A slow and steady buzz is emanating from downtown Miami, where the newest boutique hotel, Epic, has officially opened in the space formerly known as DuPont Plaza. History aside, Epic lives up to its name in that it may be the first hotel in that area with a see-and-be-seen situation, going on on the 16th floor. Chef John Critchley’s deelish seafood spot Area 31 — named after a sustainable fishing area in Florida, not a play on the secret government experiments and aliens — is jumping, thanks to a fantastic menu of fresh fish, raw and cooked, killer views of the skyline and water and a comfy, couchy outdoor cocktail scene that gives you a definitely different vantage point of our fine city. Coming soon to the Epic: the requisite hipster hot-spot lobby lounge (theirs is a two-story number said to be opening soon), and yet another celebrity chef-helmed restaurant.
May they all age as gracefully as those lucky few.