While the Super Bowl and Super Tuesday are history, it’s only the beginning of Stupor February in South Florida thanks to the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which kicks off on Thursday, February 21, with a slew of perky Food Network stars, fancy feasts and wine, lots of wine. And whether you’ll be in a drunken daze, a food coma or a combination of both, you won’t be alone. And it’s not just the festival to thank — or blame, depending on your perspective. The Forge is hosting a festival prelude on Wednesday with a four-course dinner (heavy on the Champagne, wine and cocktails) prepared by Chef Andrew Swersky and the Food Network’s Napa Style host Michael Chiarello. Cost is also hefty at $200 per person, but it will benefit scholarship programs for FIU hospitality students in South Florida. After dinner, the party will move next door to Glass. For tickets go to www.imgtickets.com.
Moving the party into the Design District is Sake 2 Me Tuesdays at Domo Japones, from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. featuring tunes by DJ Affect and a host committee including DJ Mark Leventhal, who, much to our delight, will spin also; Louis Oliver and Javi Ramirez. One bone we have to pick with this party, however, is that the invite says “dinner and bottle RSVP strongly recommended for entry.” Enough with the bottle service, people. Unfortunately that dubious service will continue when Aero Bar opens in March at 247 23rd St., Miami Beach. The brainchild of nightlife vet Tony Guerra, the 5,000-square-foot space offers two rooms with design inspired by The Jetsons. For a preview, check out www.aerobarmiami.com.
And for those who were looking forward to the annual Ocean Drive magazine beach blanket bacchanalia known as Volleypalooza, bad news. It was canceled this year so the mag could focus on its 15th anniversary party, which takes place at an undisclosed location on Saturday. Never mind the location — that magazine is 15 years old? We remember when their tiny office was above News Café. Details of the party are very hush-hush, but what we do know is that it’s being billed as a “million dollar party” with Barton G. at the helm, and is being held off the beach for the first time — which makes us wonder, should Ocean Drive change its name to Biscayne Boulevard?
A bit greener on the newsstands is Miami Modern Luxury Magazine, which is hosting a big Miami International Boat Show party Friday with Fearless Yachts at La Piaggia in the South of Fifth ‘hood at 1000 South Pointe Dr. Apparently the first boat designed by Porsche Design Studio, the Fearless 28’ will be on display for all to drool over. There will also be cocktails and models sporting the latest from Saks Fifth Ave.’s collection of Armani Collezioni. They say it’s by invitation only, but they don’t call the yachts Fearless for nothing, you know.
Also pretty gutsy is Queen Latifah, who signed on as a Jenny Craig endorser while at the same time opening a Fatburger at 947 Washington Ave. Also new in burger-land is the Dune Oceanfront Burger Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, where boaters can anchor their craft offshore and take a water taxi to the Burger Lounge’s Sunday afternoon party, which goes from noon to sunset and features DJs Shawn Rudnick and LQ spinning lounge and bossa nova. You can also just drive there, or better yet, walk there and burn off the burgers.
When you’re done, head over to 1250 S. Miami Ave. in Brickell for some swanky, Euro-fabulous dining (from tapas to caviar) and lounging at Badrutt’s Place, featuring a Davidoff Cigar Lounge and state-of-the-art sound system presided over by resident DJ Juan Andres. Owner Johannes Badrutt has an impressive background-his family owns and operates the legendary Badrutt’s Palace resort in St. Moritz, in biz since 1896. Nothing to sniff at.
Neither is the Malibu Rum Winter Beach Bash, hosted by Carmen Electra at the Paris Theater, 550 Washington Ave., on Saturday, featuring DJ Shaka23. Party starts at 10 p.m.and unlike the Stoli Hotel marathon, is one night — and by invitation-only.
You’ll need no invite to head down to the Daytona 500 Watch Party at the Homestead Miami Speedway on Sunday — it’s free to all speed junkies. Doors open at 1, race starts at 3 and there will be plenty of Hooter’s wings, massive HDTVs showing the race, pool tables, video games, discounted Richard Petty Ride Alongs, contests and more. Call 305-230-5229.