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Posts Tagged ‘Miami’

Taylor’s Ultimate Hotel Destination Picks

In Uncategorized on December 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm

MILLIKEN CREEK SPA AND RESORT — NAPA VALLEY

Wow did I love this resort. I think after having been kicked out of my hotel room in San Francisco (mind you, I was vacationing with my mom — we got written up for noise violations but that’s besides the point), a relaxing quiet getaway was much needed. No, I don’t think you’d go here with a friend — either you go with someone you’re dating or you go with your wine loving counterpart mom. They too offer a wine/cheese happy hour which to be honest? Isn’t the smartest idea …. you are spending 9-4pm tasting variations of wine and will continue on drinking wine with dinner and bars following, the LAST THING you’d like at 4pm is wine. JUST an FYI. The resort itself was gorgeous and wonderfully groomed/maintained. I’d recommend a relationship getaway here.

RITZ CARLTON — FORT LAUDERDALE

Sometimes, my family and I just want to get the HELL OUT OF SOUTH BEACH. This destination spot, worked perfectly for our needs. Is it relaxed environment? Um. no…. I felt like in order to walk to the pool or to go to the gym I should have put on some heels, but other than that? Great hotel. GORGEOUS views from the balcony of our suite and great poolside/beachside accomodations. The only downside to the hotel is the meals — I felt like our breakfast every morning was straight out of a Royal Carribean cruise. I’ll make my own toast next time around, thanks.

THE STANDARD — SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI

To say that The Standard in South Beach is a home away from home? Is extremely spot on– to the point that my family just finished building our 2nd home right next door, kid you not. They have become close as family and are extremely accomodating to my family and I. The hotel is totally hipster and bare boned but it is a gorgeous setting and a “communal 60’ish” experience.

MALLIOUHANA RESORT– ANGUILLA

Breathtaking views, miserable and underpaid work staff, overpriced but you just can’t help yourself from returning. Anguilla, if you have never been, is one of those places you just feel so — free. You don’t know anyone, you will never know anyone and that’s the luxury of it. If you pop over to Key West instead, let’s give a hypothetical here, the likelihood you won’t run into an old gym teacher on a trip with her “partner”? Is slim to none. When you fly to Never Never Land you are totally isolated. Sure you’re spending more than you can afford on meals and transportation, but hey, at least you don’t have to conjure up gym teacher talk?

THE WAUWINET — NANTUCKET

The absolutely no cell phone rule may be a detterant for some, but in reality, it IS kind of extremely liberating to be incognito for a week and change. The hotel is gorgeous — you feel like you were invited to an uber classy friend’s house for the weekend. Awesome set up outside with white lawnchairs and a beautiful view. Food isn’t the hotel’s speciality but you have unlimited other options for that in Nantucket.

 

THE EQUINOX HOTEL — MANCHESTER, VERMONT

This IS my childhood in essence. Well… Vermont in the winter, Hamptons in the summer that is. I just adore this hotel. I think for the price they charge at this point? Some major renovations are necessary. The rooms are so not up to par but there is NO COMPARISON in regards to having that “winter wonderland in Vermont” feel, really. We ski at Stratton mountain which is a convenient 30 minute, if that, drive from the hotel. The landscape surrounding the hotel is breathtaking and the spa which is somewhat newly renovated is my mom’s (and mine when I take a lazy day off from skiing) oasis. The live music on the weekends is so outdated but never gets old to me — I think the three member band that plays on Friday nights is the same three member band that played Friday nights when I was barely old enough to walk.

 

ACE HOTEL — NEW YORK CITY

There is just something so swank and refreshing about the Ace. The Breslin, their buzz worthy bar/restaurant only adds to the allure of staying at this hotel. While the location of the hotel, as I mentioned when I originally blogged about the Ace, is somewhat seedy? It’s well worth it. You’re most definitely not going to have a quiet… calming hotel experience at the Ace — quite the opposite to be exact. Photo booths and tartan wallpaper take up most of the hotel lobby. Non-stop foreign techno music and Marc Jacob look alike models run wild throughout the halls all day and night. I dig it, big time.

THE BENJAMIN — NEW YORK CITY

The Benjamin, on the contrary, IS the type of place you’d go to get away from the buzz of the city… at least while you’re still in your room that is. The area, Midtown East, pretty much clears out on the weekends so it tends to be less noisy then perhaps, staying in SoHo or the LES for example on a weekend. The hotel accomodations are nice, nothing totally out of the $$$ price tag ordinary, however, their gym is great and the lounge/restaurant “The National” is really fun and THE spot to find hot finance men after work. Not looking, justttt stating an observation of course.  

 LIBRARY HOTEL — NEW YORK CITY

This hotel brings back a lot of memories from last winter. I used to play the role of Eloise, hating to impose on my NYC resident friends, I used to camp out very often here at the Library. I will say, it doesn’t have a lot of ROOM whatsoever. I think if they eliminated HALF of the amount of books they decorate each room with? You’d have a hell of a lot more space to sleep. I get a one bedroom which even for me (and I’m coming in under 110lbs) is a BIT TOO SNUG for my liking. The really sick ass part of staying here is the wine/cheese hour every night from like 5-7 and the unlimited fruit/coffee/tea/sweets available upstairs. TOTALLY my reasoning for going back — I loved it.

The Anglers Resort — 660 Mediterranean Kitchen

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2009 at 12:00 am

I love walking into a restaurant and feeling like I’m at home — or even better, walking into someone’s home for a nice home cooked meal. The newly redone 660 Mediterranean Kitchen, located in the Anglers Boutique Hotel, felt like home in many ways. The ambiance was warm and relaxing — the setting/ atmosphere also added to that feeling — we sat in a beautiful “dining room” like room in booths.

I thought I’d run through some of the strongest dishes we had and some I’d suggest passing over:

Strengths:

– Fattoush Salad — Romaine, Kalmata, Pita, Preserved Lemon, Feta, Onion, and Tomato

– “Caesar Salad” Reinvented — Romaine halves, Olive Oil Bread Crumbs, Lemon Shavings, and Parmigiano

– Red Wine Poached Pappardelle– Short Rib Ragu, Crispy Sage, Parmigiano

Some weaker dishes:

Seafood Cioppino — Saffron, Orange Zest, White Wine, Tomatoes, Grilled Bread –– the dish was lackluster to say the least; I received about two pieces of shrimp, no scallops, and a lot of calamari. I’ll pass thanks. It also didn’t include the bread which HAS to be given in broth based stew like dinners — otherwise, there is no point in ordering them

– Tuna Tiradito — Sliced Raw with Florida Cirtus, Shallot, Chive, White Truffle Oil- My dad liked it however the portion size was measly to say the least — I don’t mind smaller richer dishes, but I didn’t taste the truffle oil which could have helped make the itty bitty portion size richer

Fontainebleau Hotel I Don’t Get You

In Uncategorized on December 25, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Here’s what happened — after dinner at Seniora Martinez last evening, my parents thought it would be fun to stop by the “happening and recently renovated” Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami. While this hotel was on my “To Do List” a year ago — I have to report, I was BEYOND disappointed with what I came across. The only salvation of my adventure was the EXTRA STIFF Vodka Tonic at Bleau bar.

Here were my MAJOR issues with the newly redone hotel, in no order:

1) I would estimate, roughly, that 90% of the guests in the hotel did not speak English — and I’m generally quite bad with my calculations. Just an FYI.


2) In order to find your way around this oddly shaped pod of a hotel, you needed interactive computerized maps that signaled to you where you were, and where en route the elevators were.

3) In the “hot lounge/lobby bar” located in the center of the hotel if you can even call it that — there were MORE children running around, swiveling around on the Art Deco chairs than there were adults! I am NOT lying to you folks — I would say it was approximately 11pm too which adds to the confusion in my book… Maybe they’re still on international time?


4) I was given the “eye” at LEAST five times in an hour duration — by both men and women. I’m sorry — when I meander around my hotel I don’t get stared at which until this point in time I didn’t really appreciate. This isn’t a catwalk this is a hallway of a hotel – STOP STARTING, ok great thanks.

5) There is NO COHESION WHATSOEVER to the various parts of the hotel — If you consider 400 plastic beach chairs paired next to luxurious cabanas, an all glass extremely modern gym, a Rat Pack inspired lobby, and high end chain boutiques cohesive? Then perhaps style and design isn’t my forte. I could be wrong but none of it fit together in my eyes — what were they thinking? Let’s take all the “hot style trends of 08 and 09” and throw them into one oddly configured, oddly styled hotel? NO THANKS… I will continue to reside down the street.

Can I Have Your Autograph? My New Chef Obsession

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2009 at 12:05 pm

So during my last trip to Miami, I mentioned to you guys my great experience dining at Michy’s, Michelle Bernstein’s restaurant. Well, what I did NOT tell you was that while I was enjoying my dinner I was asked if I wished to purchase her cookbook. The OBVIOUS answer was, “heck yes”. I also figured Iwould have Jose, our busboy, fetch me a copy in the back and put the “add on” to our check at the end. When Michelle AND her husband came out to meet and greet me? I was very impressed to say the least. Unpretentious, quick witted, and brilliant are the three words that come to mind to describe Michelle. She’s a brilliant cook but not such a great PR person. When I grilled her on who does her PR she merely cocked her head and said, “Myself?” She offered me a job working for her friends at the Mandarin Oriental, but to be honest, I’d be just ask content working as her foodie slave helping her become her own “Food Empire“.

The cookbook, Cuisine A Latina has WONDERFUL recipes — some of which include Arroz Con Pollo (my personal favorite) and a great Greek Salad. I thought I’d find a recipe in the book you guys may like — a Sugarcane Skewered Shrimp with Chile-Cilantro Rub Recipe.

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Plug in the link below to download her printable recipe card for this dish.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/cda/recipe_print/0,1946,FOOD_9936_18901_PRINT-RECIPE-3X5-CARD,00.html

I would also like to add that by creating this post I’d HOPING Michelle comes across it (or perhaps her husband) and realizes my potential as a GREAT (and free) PR person and hires me after graduation. Hey, we can all dream right?

Michael’s Genuine? I Believe It…

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 at 3:53 am

Michael’s Genuine, located in the Design District, is one of my FAVORITE restaurants in Miami, without a doubt.

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With a party of five, it’s easy to try mostly everything on the menu. Some highlights in our appetizers included… Duck Confit, Snapper Ceviche, and Chicken Wings (an all-time classic). The ceviche, my pick, was light and citrusy .. the touch of mint, however, really made the dish. The chicken wings were delectable as well.

For dinner there were a few stand out dishes. The Porterhouse steak, snapper, and pan-roasted chicken. We also ordered a side of mashed potatoes and pesto roasted cauliflower. Recommend both.

The best part of the dinner had to be the dessert. The warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream which seems rather commonplace, was out of this world. Also, the very popular “banana/caramel paninis” with warm chocolate sauce was gone within seconds.