This Week’s Miami Happenings: Four Seasons’ Fashion Pop-Up, Sugarcane, Serafina

SUNDAY (Cinco de Mayo): Four Seasons’ Pop-Up Shop & Brunch
Four Seasons is hosting a panel of local fashion experts at their Style Sessions pop-up shop, where the experts will dish out summer advice on how to look and remain looking hot when you’re hot, sweaty, and agitated in the blazing, beachy sun. Accessories and products are on sale at the pop-up, and a decadent Four Seasons Sunday brunch follows, along with a one-on-one style consultation. The $50 tickets include advice at Style Sessions, brunch, free cocktails, a VIP Gift Bag, and access to Four Seasons’ pool. A day at the Four Seasons doesn’t get better (and cheaper).

Four Seasons Style Sessions pop-up is happening Cinco de Mayo, May 5th. (1435 Brickell Ave., Brickell) is open now. For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides. For tickets, visit the official website.

NOW: Spring Bites At Sugarcane
Midtown’s pioneering establishment Sugarcane has launched its spring menu full of crispy Florida frog legs and pan-seared foie gras over homemade rhubarb brioche. The flop steak with chimichurri sauce, an upgrade from the skirt variety, is a stellar addition to the menu no matter the season.

The spring menu at Sugarcane (3252 NE 1st Ave., Midtown) is available now. For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

NOW: The Serafina Summer Discount
One of the many benefits of claiming residency on Miami Beach is that until July 31, Serafina is offering 15-percent off on all their menus (better parking options and the best people-watching are the other SOBE perks.) All that’s required is a non-forged utility bill or driver’s license plus, of course, a healthy appetite.

The discounted menu at Serafina (1111 Collins Ave.,South Beach) is available now. For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

Know every inch of this city by checking out BlackBook’s Miami City Guides, & signing up for the weekly BlackBook Happenings email. 

This Week’s Miami Happenings: Dynamo Duo; Wine In Joey’s Garden; Calvin Harris At Story

MONDAY: Michael Schwartz Comes To The Raleigh
Synonymous with good eats in Design District, chef Michael Schwartz is in a serious expansion mode. Coming on the heels of his recently opened The Cypress Room, Restaurant Michael Schwartz at The Raleigh is ready to open its doors to the tourists and the locals who wouldn’t be caught dead crossing the causeway over to the mainland. The quaint spot will continue on with the chef’s ethos of simplicity of food and drink. Expect the same epicurean execution here as with Schwartz’ District outpost, which will be implemented by Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink executive chef Bradley Heron and pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith.

Restaurant Michael Schwartz (1775 Collins Ave., South Beach,) opens today. For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

THURSDAY: Wine In Joey’s Garden
Joey’s is spreading the spring cheer by launching its Wines in the Garden program. For $30 a head, from 7pm to 9:30pm this Thursday, feast on an Italian buffet and tastings from Argentina’s Ferllen Winery and Vinifera Imports. Considering the expected herds making way to Wynwood, reservations are required.

Wines in the Garden kicks off this Thursday at Joey’s (2506 NW 2 Ave., Wynwood.) Check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

FRIDAY: Calvin Harris At Story
Loving the Calvin Harris’ “I Need Your Love” jingle featuring Ellie Goulding? Chances are he will be performing it this Friday at Story along with a repertoire of his other dance hits – like the one that gave Florence Welch some club cred – and make up Harris’ number one records.

Calvin Harris performs this Friday at Story (136 Collins Ave., South Beach.) For details check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

Know every inch of this city by visiting BlackBook’s Miami City Guides.

This Week’s Miami Happenings: Sunset at Dolce, Sundays at Bianca, and Free Ice Cream

NOW: Dolce, chef Paolo Dorigato’s stylish restaurant at the Gale South Beach, has launched two specials designed to get you tipsy and full early. The Aperitivo Happy Hour serves two-for-one beers and specialty cocktails, including Bellinis and Rossinis (strawberry puree and prosecco). The daily Sunset Prix Fixe dinner menu, priced at $29 per person, offers a three-course meal that pulls together some of Dorigato’s fresh pastas, appetizers, and classic Italian desserts. Both programs get underway at 6 pm and run until 7:30 p.m.

DETAILS: For more information on Dolce (1690 Collins Ave., South Beach) check out the BlackBook Guides listing.

SUNDAY: Chilled out Sundays? Not on Bianca’s watch. The beige-loving eatery at the Delano is launching a high-energy Classic Sundays party this week. DJs will spin classic tunes as you feast on a $65 three-course meal with unlimited prosecco for extra $35. You can sleep at your desk on Monday.

DETAILS: For more information on Bianca (1685 Collins Ave. South Beach), check out the BlackBook Guides listing.

MONDAY: Summer is coming to Miami. Good thing the Ben & Jerry’s truck is coming too, passing out free ice cream to keep you cool.  To get your fix on this Free Cone Day, follow the Vermont-based sugar fairies’ truck on Twitter and ask it to drop by. If you’re lucky, the truck will bring ice cold refreshment right to you. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

DETAILS: To summon the Ben & Jerry’s truck, tweet @BenJerrysTruck and use the hashtag #OMGFreeBenJerrys. 

[To get the scoop first, subscribe to BlackBook Happenings, and browse the BlackBook Miami Guide for all the best spots. On the go? Download the free, GPS-enabled BlackBook app for iPhone and Android; More by Anetta Nowosielska; Follow Anetta on Twitter.]

A Few Photos of the New SET Miami Beach, Reopening Tonight

As we’ve been telling you all week, SET nightclub in Miami Beach will be reopening tonight after a major makeover. We just got our hands on some new photos of SET 2.0 to share with you, should you not be in a position to attend, poor soul. The one thing that’s missing: a video of a hostess delivering a bottle of Dom Perignon to the VIP section via zipline. If you’re in attendance tonight – or if you’re the hostess – do be so kind as to video the experience and pass it along. in the meantime, photographic images of the new SET. Don’t ask me who all those people are. They either got in for a sneak preview, or SET spent a hell of a lot of money on models.  Before you go anywhere, be sure to read Anetta Nowosielska’s interview with Opium Group founder Eric Milon, and flip through our Top List of Opium Group Nightclubs. Party on, kids (of legal partying age). All of these great photos are courtesy of Seth Browarnik/World Red Eye.

Set 2

Set 3

Set 4

[Related: BlackBook Miami Guide; Listing for SET; Subscribe to the Miami Happenings newsletter]

The Opium Group’s Eric Milon on the Reopening of SET, Zipline Champagne Delivery, and Top DJ’s

As the founder of the Opium Group, Eric Milon is not only South Beach’s nightlife kingpin, he’s also its unofficial face. Having grown from a modeling career that splashed his handsome mug on the cover of GQ to running Miami’s hottest nightclubs, Milon (right, with DJ Avicii) is now throwing his energy at the newly remodeled SET, which reopens Friday, April 5. We caught up with him amidst the dust and rubble of construction as he filled us in on zipline champagne delivery, celebrity DJ’s, and what it’s like to work with Anna Wintour.

How does a good boy from an upstanding Parisian family become a club king in South Beach?

I was an average student, but my mom wanted me to become an attorney. I went along with it for a while to please the family, but I knew it wasn’t for me. Then something incredible happened to me. I became a model, and a successful one at that. It’s no secret that clubs like pretty people, so I eventually made the switch.

Did you get some slack from friends for pulling a Zoolander?

Are you kidding? I was the envy of everyone. But there was my mom, who kept my career a secret for two years despite the fact that I was on the covers of a lot of the magazines her friends were reading. I modeled for 15 years and made a good living at it. My first job was a 20-page spread in Mexico for Vogue Hommes. It just took off and I started to enjoy the life of a model.

Any modeling horror stories to share?

I remember shooting something in Tortola for a magazine. I went there with another model, the photographer, and a stylist/art director who was a total pain in the ass. The shoot was mostly unremarkable, but the reason why I remember it is because of that miserable woman. Today she is the editor-in-chief of Vogue, and I understand people still don’t like her.

Why did you retire from modeling?

Eventually I realized that I was powerless over my career. Once I came to that conclusion, I understood that I had to do something else. A friend suggested I fly down to Miami, which was becoming a fashion capital, and I was able to parley my modeling connections into a new career. My brothers and I opened The Strand, which did very well. From there we just kept growing. Today we have four clubs in Miami (Mansion, Cameo, Mokai, and SET), we are opening Snatch at the Shelborne South Beach this summer, and we’re planning a project in Wynwood sometime next year.

Snatch? What a name!

I like it. We are aiming for a Fourth of July opening, but we want to keep the concept a secret. For Opium Group this is another notch on our belt, with the difference that this venue will be inside a hotel. But I can assure you that we wouldn’t take on another project if we felt that we couldn’t deliver the kind of experience we are known for.

Any nightlife pet peeves?

Honestly, I’m kind of over the "Top DJ" thing. Because of how much they are charging today, it would be a financial suicide for any club to entertain them on regular basis. Of course, we do book top guys, but I wish the industry went back to feeling confident in discovering the next thing – taking a chance on artists whose egos have not set in just yet, and who are actually more interested in doing something new and exciting as opposed to what is going to play on the radio.

Have you become bored?

Not at all. Since we have different demographics in all of our places, it’s like a new show a couple of times a night, and you’re the master of ceremonies. And I really like the service I provide. I make people happy. What can be boring about that?

Your patrons drop crazy paper just to be part of your show. Are you surprised?

Yeah, that’s crazy. Some of my top customers will pay upwards of $70,000 a night just to do their thing. But I get it. If you are a regular guy, you can be happy with a bottle of Heineken at the bar. But there are people who like to show off. Is that something I would do personally? I don’t need to. I’m blingy enough already. But I’m happy to service those who are looking for that spotlight.

Speaking of limelight, the new SET is one tricked-out place. What’s your favorite part?

We decided to do a facelift at SET because it was time to give it some TLC, and this was an opportunity to meet the needs of our clients. We took out some of the VIP tables, making the club even more exclusive, because the people who come to SET look for that cachet. Quality over quantity. I can tell you that whoever will spend serious money on a table is going to get the service of a lifetime. We have a zipline by which one of our hostesses is going to slide down from the mezzanine level to deliver a bottle of Dom. Talk about all eyes on you.

Indeed. Are these stunts part of your magic formula to success?

Nightlife hasn’t changed one bit in the past forty years. The girls do what they do and the guys pay the bills and everyone leaves with a smile. There are no secrets to this business. Maybe that’s why so many try to do it. You open the door and get the right people in. But most importantly you’ve got to have the will to reinvent yourself as an operator. Staying relevant in this industry is probably our biggest success as the Opium Group. That requires taking the ego out of the equation. So many in this industry feel on top of the world, because today they are the hottest thing going. That’s the biggest challenge. With age comes wisdom.

[For the intel to party properly in Miami, check out the BlackBook Miami Guide and subscribe to BlackBook’s free Miami Happenings newsletter. Read A Spirited Rundown of Opium Group Nightclubs in Miami; More by Anetta Nowosielska. Follow Anetta on Twitter.] 

This Week’s Miami Happenings: The Flat, The Cypress Room, & Cafeina’s Mezzanine Open

SUNDAY: A Grown-Up Lounge Opens In SoFi
Wondering if the art of a conversation with posing hotties in a posh setting is the ultimate in oxymoron? Cedric Adegnika, the owner of The Flat, a new, Euro-themed cocktail lounge in SoFi, is banking on proving that allegory false. The spot is for those who intend to bookend their evening plans with a pre-dinner martini and nightcap in an environment where hushed conversations abound. As with all other Adegnika’ endeavors/sought-after VIP experiences, an outing at The Flat should be anything but deflated.

The Flat (500 S. Pointe Dr., South Beach) is open now. For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

NOW: The Cypress Room Raises The Bar
Michael Schwartz, the wizard who put the Design District on the culinary map, has opened his latest eatery The Cypress Room that pays homage to the good ol’ American eats, classic cocktails, roaring ‘20s, and taxidermy. Schwartz’ restaurantserves up Roel Alcudias understated dinner creations and Hedy Goldsmith’s sweets, with plans to unveil the lunch menu in the near future.

The Cypress Room (3620 NE Second Ave., Design District) is open now. Check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

THURSDAY: Caffeinated Birthday
Wynwood’s beloved Cafeina is three years old. To celebrate this momentous occasion, the hyphenate spot (bar-gallery-restaurant) is debuting Mezzanine, the new upstairs lounge area, where burlesque performances and free cocktails will help you get into the celebratory mood.

Mezzanine at Cafeina Wynwood Lounge (297 NW 23rd St., Wynwood)opens Thursday the 4th. For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides. 

Be the first to know about the latest openings & events in Miami by signing up for the weekly BlackBook Happenings email & downloading the BlackBook City Guides app for iPhone and Android.

This Week’s Miami Happenings: Easter Brunch At The Ritz, BrazilFoundation, Greek Opens In Midtown

SUNDAY: Easter Brunch Gets A Makeover At The Ritz
Easter celebration gets a posh upgrade thanks to the holiday shenanigans The Ritz-Carlton South Beach has in store for this Sunday. The Bistro One LR serves brunch, which will include a holiday-inspired buffet complete with a raw bar, meat carving stations, champagne cocktails, and chocolate homage to the Easter bunny. Still have room for more? The celebration continues at DiLido Beach Club, where the purchase of a bottle of Moet Ice champagne or two bottles of rosé will get you a pound of free stone crabs.

Easter brunch is happening at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach (1 Lincoln Rd, South Beach) on Sunday the 31st. For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

TUESDAY: BrazilFoundation Gets Sexy At Vizcaya
Wanna hit on the future Victoria Secret angels in training or scrutinize the legit bombshells who already earned their wings? Arguably the sexiest altruistic undertaking this side of the equator, the BrazilFoundation is holding its second annual gala at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens to generate resources for the community-led initiatives, while showing off some of its homeland’s best-looking assets.

BrazilFoundation Miami’s second-annual gala is happening this Tuesday at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (3251 S. Miami Ave., Coral Gables.) For tickets, visit the official website.

NOW: Greek Bites Debut In Midtown
Midtown’s international culinary line-up in is adding a Hellenic joint to its eclectic mix: Kouzina Greek Bistro. The Bistro promises to serve an authentic fare, thanks to a mash-up of herbs, extra-rich olive oils, honey, and pungent kalamata olives executed by the chef Alexia Apostolidi, who arrived from Greece literally last week.

Kouzina Greek Bistro (3535 NE 2nd Ave., Midtown)is open now. For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides. 

Know every inch of this city by visiting BlackBook’s Miami City Guides. Be the first to know about the latest openings & events in NYC by signing up for the weekly BlackBook Happenings email. 

This Week’s Miami Happenings: Cecconi’s, Brothers Beckett, Serafina Brunch

NOW:  Cecconi’s Adopts Mixology Pairings
If coupling lamb chops with Shiraz feels too old school, head on down to Ceccioni’s at the Soho Beach House Miami for some mind-boggling mixology pairings on executive chef Sergio Sigala’s new, customizable spring menu. You’ll find yourself sipping on reposado tequila with Aperol and grapefruit peel served with hamachi crudo and a gingery gin concoction that tastes nothing like it sounds when paired with bufala mozzarella. Best part: the face time with the mixologists, who are as generous with shoptalk as they are with alcohol.

Mixology parings are now available at Cecconi’s Miami Beach (4385 Collins Ave., South Beach). For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

WEDNESDAY: Sibling Satire At The Arsht Center
Supporting the performing arts is belly-hurting hilarious thanks to Brothers Beckett, a cheeky play penned by a local playwright about friendship, family, and slacker siblings, laced with sharp banter and dark humor.

Brothers Beckett is playing at The Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Downtown) through Sunday, March 24. For ticket information, visit the official website.

EVERY WEEKEND: Brunch Debuts At Serafina
The latest NYC culinary transport is rolling out its brunch menu. Serafina’s chef Marco Zuccala will be serving up Italian dishes, such as egg white frittatas and lemon ricotta pancakes, which will go deliciously with those bottomless Bellinis.

Serafina is open now (1111 Collins Ave., South Beach). For details, check out the listing in BlackBook Guides.

Be the first to know about the latest openings & events in Miami by signing up for the weekly BlackBook Happenings email.