The Edit by Brett Graff
SocialMiami's editor covers the city's social scene.
Gigi Whitman Celebrates
“In the pink” is a phrase describing optimal state of happiness and the birthday party of Gigi Whitman was literally and figuratively dripping in all things blush and rosy. The grand living space and bar area of her Miami Beach home opened up to an outdoor, waterfront soiree where friends from all over the city – Swanee DiMare, Jennifer Valoppi, Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard, Carol Iacovelli, Suzy Buckley Woodward, Lydia Touzet, Beth Tasca, Alexa Wolman, Marisa Toccin, Laurie Jennings and her daughters Katie Whitman and Oren Halegua – arrived with love and well wishes. Daysie Johansson organized a gift – a ring – designed by Aldy Concepcion. But things got super hot in the sun when dancers from Hunk a Mania arrived strong and shirtless. Lunch was later served and the ladies dined on a feast from Joe’s Stone Crabs, colossal versions of those namesake crustaceans, potatoes, creamed spinach, salad and the doughy dinner rolls. Champagne and cosmos seemed to be the theme, but the well-tended bar was open and plentiful, seemingly a perfect match for the fun and friendship.
Brunch at Novikov
If you’re looking for the hottest place for people-watching, sexy beats and delicious sipping options, it’s the brunch at Novikov you’re seeking. Yes, the light of day is the brightest time to see the Miami and with the modern furnishings inside this downtown restaurant – a towering glass wine room, dark woods, a flash of red finishes — and the water outside, make for a stunning way to spend a Sunday. The brunch menu offers two categories – a standard at $99 per person and a premium for $199 — and they’re both mouthwatering.
The sips are unlimited so in the standard package, the offering is Nicolas Feuillate Champagne and Rosé Alta Vista, Malbec, Pinot Grigio, along with some mixed cocktails such as a Bloody Mary. And the premium pours include Laurent Perrier Rosé Champagne, Whispering Angel, a Sauvignon Blanc and martinis mixed with either leechee or wasabi. Either way, your daylight libation will go well with the sun-streamed sounds of the DJ.
House specialties are on both lists and your guaranteed to leave eating good Japanese food. All the starters are set to be served again and again, when you stumble upon one that growls for seconds (or thirds.) It could be the cucumber tataki or the salmon toro nigiri. There’s also brussels sprouts & crispy pork and a spicy tuna maki with chu toro & caviar nigiri – rich pieces of perfectly sliced fish atop rice. Both menus offer a dim sum, either shrimp & cilantro or spicy prawn. And also look forward to fried rice, either duck or beef. There’s black truffle, chicken & morel siu mai, robata citrus corn and duck & foie gras siu ma.
You’ll select one main course but it’s sharable, so make sure no diner orders the same. The 1/2 roasted Peking Duck is a presentation, a plate of the meat sliced perfectly and served with the pancakes and cucumbers. The Wagyu Ribeye is flavorful, sliced and salted. Plus there’s robata grilled branzino, vegetarian Singapore noodle and honey truffle king crab leg.
Dessert doesn’t involve any decisions, as you’re served a tray of decadent cakes and fruit puddings and the recommendation is obviously, to enjoy them all.
Your Poem Here
This March, O, Miami and WLRN Public Media are transforming a Downtown billboard into a canvas for poetry. Starting last week, the phrase [ Your poem here ] will be broadcasted on a billboard directly across the street from the Miami-Dade arena, asking patrons, tourists, and Heat fans to submit their ode to their zip code. On April 3, to commemorate National Poetry Month, O, Miami and WLRN will crown a winner and flip the billboard to their poem.
“We believe Miami is the most poetic city in the world,” said Scott Cunningham, founder and executive director of O, Miami, which spreads the love of poetry, and Miami, by turning Miamians’ poems into works of public art. “We hope to inspire Miamians to share their voices, so that the majority of residents have a louder, more powerful voice.”
The Zip Ode, an original form invented by O, Miami and WLRN, is designed to transform your zip code into an occasion for place-based, lyrical celebration. Invented in 2015, the Zip Ode is a five-line poem about where you live, written in the form of your zip code. So far, South Floridians have submitted 15,000 of them. Zip Odes has also traveled all around the United States, with similar poetry contests in Orlando, Toledo, and Boston. An early iteration of the project featured an invented form of poetry honoring the arrival of Lebron James to the Miami Heat.
In 2010, when James uttered the famous words, “I’m taking my talents to South Beach,” he both infuriated Cleveland fans and made Miami the center of sports news. While Miami celebrated and awaited his arrival, O, Miami and WLRN organized a poetry contest, soliciting short works to honor the King of basketball. A poetry contest was born. Now 13 years later, O, Miami and WLRN are teaming up again to take their talents to what everyone now knows is Downtown Miami.
“WLRN is excited to continue its long partnership with O, Miami as we share the stories of our vastly unique and ever evolving communities through the art of poetry,” said John LaBonia, CEO of WLRN Public Media.
The selected poem will be on-view for three weeks in the heart of Downtown for thousands of Miamians and visitors to recite during National Poetry Month. For one lucky poet, April 3 is game day. Cue the walk-in music. Submit your poem by going to OMiami.org.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.