Friday, March 30, 2012

Restaurant Feature: Haven

1237 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach

We first came across this Culinary Artist at the Taste of the Garden in Miami Beach’s Botanical Garden.  It was love at first bite.  After the 3rd helping of the Poke Ahi Tuna with Yam Puree & Coconut Green Curry, I was hooked! I had to go straight to the source.  Starting with jalapeño stuffed olives in my feVer Martini, I knew I was in for a wild ride.  The gastro-lounge atmosphere brings you to a cocktail party instead of merely dining at a restaurant.  The vibe changes as the night progresses, along with the décor, which encompasses you in a world created by projected screens.

As we explored the inventive creations it was almost as if multiple chefs had been flown in to prepare their own gastronomic specialties. It became obvious through the culinary chronicles that we were experiencing; Erickson’s approach reflects his passion for travel and regional cuisines.  Using the freshest, local organic ingredients, Erickson has found a way to combine his worldly skill and intricate flavors all on one menu that is easy to please anyone’s palate.  The attention to detail and devotion to the taste bud makes it so you literally can’t go wrong, from the Crackle-Pop Spicy Tuna Roll to the Duck Duck Quail & Tater Tots with Maytag bleu, even the Jerk Chicken Skewers made a statement, I have never known chicken to melt in your mouth.  Do not leave this establishment without experiencing the liquid nitrogen iced confections!

All the way from Arizona, to Texas, to the kitchen of Zuma in Miami, Todd Erickson’s reputation has preceded him and he has become one of the Stand Out Chefs of Miami!  Make a reservation now before you have to line up at the door to get a taste of Haven.

--Suzanne Okun

Wine, Dine & Support ACTORS PLAYHOUSE

21st Annual
Reach for the Stars Gala Auction
at the Miracle Theatre on April 14

Extravagant worldwide travel, a one-year lease for a 2012 Lexus RX 350, lavish spa treatments, signed sports memorabilia, internationally renowned art, luxury cruise packages, and many more of life’s indulgences will await guests’ bids at the 21st Annual Reach for the Stars Gala Auction. Presented by Actors’ Playhouse and Lexus of Kendall, this exciting auction takes place on Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables.

Attendees will enjoy exquisite fare provided by 30 of Coral Gables’ finest restaurants and open bars sponsored by Bacardi U.S.A. and Premier Beverage Company. Bob Soper, former CBS Miami meteorologist, and celebrity auctioneer for the past 21 years, will conduct the live auction with Actors’ Playhouse Artistic Director David Arisco.

Bid on over $300,000 worth of live and silent auction items including international business class airline tickets, worldwide hotel travel packages and cruises, exclusive celebrity wine dinners at popular South Florida restaurants, jewelry, golf packages, fine art, furniture, sports collectors items, spa visits, objets d’art, couture clothing, membership gift certificates and other items - all of which are contributed on behalf of the theatre.  Headlining this year’s auction is a one-year lease for a 2012 Lexus RX350. Supporters can visit the Actors’ Playhouse website to preview some of the items available:

Proceeds from this annual major fundraising event for Actors’ Playhouse, a 501©(3) nonprofit organization, will provide funding for capital projects of the Miracle Theatre and general operations.

Lexus of Kendall is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event, together with Platinum Sponsors, Air Berlin and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts. Gold Sponsors include AT&T The Real Yellow Pages, Azamara Club Cruises, Bacardi U.S.A., Biltmore Hotel, ClubMed, Seabourn, Steinway & Sons and Tiffany & Co.
AroundTown Magazine is a proud Silver Sponsor of the event.
Participating restaurants include Anacapri on Ponce, BGR The Burger Joint, California Pizza Kitchen, Catering by Lovables, Cibo Wine Bar, Cold Stone Creamery, Cookies By Design, Courtyard Café by Marriott Coral Gables, CrepeMaker on the Mile, Edda’s Cake Designs, Edible Arrangements, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, John Martin’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, La Cofradia Restaurant, Le Provencal, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Ortanique on the Mile, Panera Bread, Pasha’s, Rincon Argentino, Romanicos Chocolate, Ruth’s Chris Steak House,  Seasons 52, Special Events Catering By Les, Starbucks Coffee, Talavera Cocina Mexicana, Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill, The Café at Books & Books by Chef Allen, The Dome Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, The Westin Colonnade of Coral Gables, Tropical Chinese Restaurant, and Yuga Restaurant.
Reservations for this black-tie-optional event on April 14 are $150 per person and include gourmet dining, open bars, and the opportunity to bid on live and silent auction items.  To preview auction items or make your reservation, visit our web site at Reservations may also be made through the Box Office at 305-444-9293.

Meet the Artist: Aramis O'Reilly

AroundTown is proud to introduce Aramis O’Reilly. Aramis O’Reilly, professor of Art at New World School of the Arts, received his MFA in painting from Florida International University and attended both the University of Connecticut and Florida International University for his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

His work has been shown in various national and international exhibitions and is included in numerous private and public collections. Besides his studio work he has been involved in several large scale public art projects. Professor O’Reilly is also a recipient of the Cintas Fellowship Award.

“My work has been an exercise in creating moments that describe the play between the act of creation and the deeper forces of design with purpose. My work represents nature, vaguely abstracted yet certain in its design. My hope is to reach a state in each work where the play between representation and abstraction offers a means to express the exuberance of creation.”

What careers besides Art have you had?
I have had other jobs like most other artists who do not have a reasonable plan B. That is, plan A is making art all of time and plan B is, refer plan A. Fortunately, I have been living plan A for all of my adult life. This includes, sharing my experiences as an artist with other artists as a member of the faculty at the New World School of the Arts. I suppose that this has been the most fulfilling of all the “careers” that I have had outside of my true vocation.

What was your first experience that enticed you to pursue a career in Art?
I remember as a child looking through the World Book Encyclopedia and finding the section on Painting. I was transfixed by those pages that were filled with paintings from the spectrum of the history of art. I knew then that I wanted to be part of something that was so extraordinary.

Some of your paintings are expressive representations of the processes of creation. Why this topic in particular?
What the “processes of creation” means is ‘how’ life is transformed into other states both physical and perhaps even in intangible ways. Behind these processes loom larger questions such as, why? These questions I have no answers for, only faith. My work allows me to see the question asked over and over again. Maybe by seeing this question asked from different perspectives some response may emerge as a faint and distant echo.

 ….what inspires you?
I have heard say, “ may inspiration find me while I am working.” I think that somehow we create these moments of inspiration and for me it’s based on curiosity. Curiosity is everything.

You have a unique and vivid color scheme and a certain depth. How do you create your style?
I feel that style is not something that I should consciously pursue. It’s more like the trail that I leave behind. I cannot help but make things the way I do. Each person has that dilemma or ability or liability, depends on where one wants to place the onus of authorship.
In your own words…share with AT readers something unique about you personally?
I don’t know if I can recognize something unique about me. I see myself as pretty much ‘unremarkable’. I just like doing this thing we call art, a lot.

A Touchdown for Autism

Dan Marino Foundation teams up
with Panera Bread to support
National Autism Awareness Month

South Florida’s own Dan Marino Foundation is teaming with Panera Bread to raise autism awareness and funding  for the Foundation and its planned Vocational College  to serve teens and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

In support of National Autism Awareness Month in April, Panera has created an exclusive “football” cookie that will be sold individually or by the “Marino Dozen,” which will contain 13 cookies. Football cookies will be available at 33 Panera bakery-cafés throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties during the entire month of April 2012.

These one-of-a kind cookies will be sold through the “Touchdown for Autism” campaign, and $1 from every cookie sold will benefit the Dan Marino Foundation’s Vocational College, which is slated to open Fall of 2014.

Located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Dan Marino Foundation Vocational College will serve the academic and vocational needs of young adults with disabilities, ages 18 to 28.  The campus will include academic and functional education classrooms, an employability skills center, virtual computer-based career lab, student union, visual/performing arts studio, health and wellness center, music studio, and job placement service.  Micro-enterprising will play a key role, allowing students who wish to run their own business a venue to achieve this goal.  The campus will be environmentally sound with eco-friendly outdoor spaces and green technology throughout.  A supported residential component will be available for students who wish to learn to live independently in area apartments.  The campus will be powered by advanced technologies connecting students to the world and improving their abilities to engage. 

 “We invite everyone to join us in this fantastic, month-long campaign that will benefit many individuals and families touched by autism,” said Michael Crisp, operations manager for Panera Bread, who oversees eight Panera bakery-cafés in the Miami area. “The cookie sale was held last year at Panera bakery-cafés in Palm Beach and Broward counties, and nearly 25,000 cookies were sold. This will be the first year they will be sold at Panera bakery-cafés in Miami-Dade County. “We want to encourage everyone in Miami-Dade to learn more about autism, and to do what they can to help support the Dan Marino Foundation in their mission to open doors towards independence for children and young adults with autism and special needs by creating awareness and opportunities. It’s a great cause.”

MIAMI DANCE FESTIVAL: Flamenco, Modern Dance, Contemporary Ballet, Family Day, Film Night, Water Ballet!

Momentum Dance Company launches  the Miami Dance Festival 2012, April 1 – May 13 featuring a diverse schedule of beautiful and unusual dance events. “The Miami Dance Festival seeks to show a broad spectrum of dance in its many forms and expressions” explains Festival Co-Founder and Director Delma Iles, who is also an award winning choreographer and Momentum’s Artistic Director. “This year we have not only modern dance, contemporary ballet, and flamenco, but also water ballet, an environmental dance event, and we have added a special Family Day at the Festival.”

The Festival opens on April 1 with Momentum’s versatile dancers performing a free outdoor event at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden at 5:00 PM. The dancers will create improvisational interactions with art installations in the garden provided by the visual arts collective Irreversible. The audience will experience the Botanical Garden setting in a fresh way through the eyes and actions of the dancers in creative play with lively forms and settings offered by the visual art installations. The performance is followed by an informal reception where audience members can meet the dancers and other Festival participants.

Momentum Dance Company’s Spring Season 2012 is one of the highlights of the Festival. The company has just entered its Thirtieth Season – making Momentum the oldest continuously operating modern dance company in Florida and one of the oldest in -the Colony Theater on April 7 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Although admission is free, tickets must be reserved in advance via email to: The performances feature a World Premiere work by Iles that she has been very mysterious about. “I am not comfortable talking about new choreography until it is finished” she explains. “Work can evolve and change during the creative process so I want to keep my mind and options open.” However, she will say that it will be a work for four dancers with music by Handel.  Soloist Katie Sopoci has also created a new work, her first for Momentum, entitled Gravity. Two dancers grapple with forces of attraction and repulsion in a  multileveled exchange of bodies, weight and emotion. The program also includes Pots and Pans, by Iles, which premiered last season. “I do enjoy cooking” says Iles. “Pots and Pans plays around with the ideas of hunger, ingredients, chemical change, and occasionally eating too much.” The program is rounded out by two signature works for Momentum: Doris Humphrey’s groundbreaking 1928 masterpiece Water Study, which never fails to mesmerize audiences; and Iles virtuosic Brecht Suite, set to songs by Kurt Weil. “These free concerts are a gift to our loyal audience that had stood by us for so many years” says Iles. “As we enter our thirtieth season, we want to give back and to make our work accessible to all who want to experience it!”

On April 18 at 8:00 PM, Miami Beach Cinematheque hosts Festival Film night with a screening of Dancemaker, a documentary by Matthew Diamond chronicling the creative output of choreographer Paul Taylor. Taylor has been hailed as the world’s greatest living choreographer, having created a stunning body of dance work over the last forty years. When the curtain opens on the Paul Taylor Dance Company, audiences see a troupe of dancers soaring through the works of this formidable genius. However, behind the scenes lies a complex world of ambition, emotion, creation, and hard-nosed decisions. Dancemaker is a film that tells the tale of this extraordinary, peculiarly American company. Cutting from stage to backstage, the film looks at the rise of Taylor from solitary child to star dancer to master choreographer. The film travels with Taylor and Company from the rehearsal studio to an embassy-sponsored tour of India through a strike-threatened Broadway season. And finally, it gets to the core of Taylor’s talent, as he wrestles with the making of a new dance that is the centerpiece of his company’s season and of the film.Tickets $10 General Admission $9 Students & Seniors $8 Miami Dance Festival and MBC Members. For information and ticketing contact: (305) 67-FILMS (673-4567)

The Festival continues into April with Guest Company Florida Dance Theater in a unique concert at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. This year marks FDT’s fourth appearance at the Festival where they have always been an audience favorite! The program features Ode to Sylvia, a romantic pas de deux by Artistic Director & Founder, Carol Krajacic Erkes, set to the beautiful music of George Bizet.  For vampire fans, HOWL@ The MOON is a work inspired by author Anne Rice’s latest book The Whole Gift, a  story of the struggle between good and evil for WOLF and MAN. In this new work by Ferdinand De Jesus, the supernatural power is represented through the movement as a force often seen as evil but which truly has a great capacity for good. Set to the music of Florence and the Machine and Zoe Keating, the work is filled with dynamic movement, creating a visual tapestry of contemporary dance. Cinco is a whimsical approach to the life of a dinner wait staff during a five-minute break, at a restaurant anywhere in the world. Choreographer De Jesus has set Cinco to the music Take Five made famous by The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Own Your Life originally premiered in New York City as a work in progress, and later evolved into a full length work. It is centered on exploring the encouragement and discouragement that one faces within one’s self, and the battle between desires and insecurities that challenge everyday reality. Utilizing these ideas as well as emotional experiences with the dancers, choreographer Stefan Dolbashi an, a dancer in FDT, was able to take the choreography deeper, from conflict to resolution. Bitter Earth is a work choreographed by De Jesus in memory of his father, who passed away in the summer of 2011. It is the image of Archangel Uriel, who brings divine light into earthly life and transforms painful memories, restoring peace. FDT performs April 26 at 7:00 PM. Tickets $20 General Admission/$10 Students and Seniors. Tickets are available at the door and at

Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, with its dynamic Artistic Director Ilisa Rosal, is one of the founding companies of the Miami Dance Festival and has performed every year to audience raves and critical acclaim! This year the company returns to a pure flamenco format featuring live music and Guest Artists from Spain. The company always delivers beautiful examples of flamenco in a variety of forms: soloists, duets, group works, castanets, shawls, and fans with emotional singing and vigorous palmas! April 29 at 5:00 PM at the lovely Hialeah High School auditorium. Tickets are $20 General Admission and $7 Students and Seniors. Tickets are available at the door, at PAN in North Miami, and at

In its ongoing efforts to improve writing about dance in our community and to elevate the dialogue about dance, the Festival has created a special workshop for writers and dance fans who would like to explore writing about this elusive art form. Writing About Dance, with Neil de la Flor, offers an opportunity to observe selected dances performed by professional dancers, and then write about them in a supportive environment. Workshop leader de la Flor teaches creative writing at Miami Dade College and writes for the Knight Arts Blog as well as other arts publications. This free event is sponsored by Miami Dade College Department of Arts and Philosophy. It takes place at on May 4 at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, Building 6, 485 NE Second Avenue, Room 6400, Downtown Miami. For reservations call 305-858-7002 or email:

The Festival closes with a new free Family Day event at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden on May 13 at 4:00 PM. Momentum performs its newest work for children, The Tiger and the Brahmin, based on a fable from India. The Tiger and the Brahmin tells the story of a trusting holy man who finds his kindness to a Tiger betrayed when the Tiger wants to eat him! The Brahmin seeks help from the Elephant and the Water Buffalo, but the clever Jackal outwits the Tiger and saves the Brahmin. This production features elements of Indian classical dance from both the north and south, as well as traditional mudras (hand gestures that tell the story) and beautiful colorful costumes from India! The work is a collaboration between Momentum Artistic Director Delma Iles and Mumbai native Geeta Diaz, a teacher of Indian classical and folk dance as well as a Bollywood choreographer. Exquisite masks were created by Marilyn Skow, chair of the theater department at Florida International University.

Taking dance to new frontiers, the Festival offers An Evening of Water Ballet (date and location TBA). Choreographer Delma Iles uses elements of contact improvisation, synchronized swimming and contemporary dance to create a unique only-in-Miami dance innovation. The dancers work underwater and on the surface of the water, which allows them to suspend jumping movements much longer than is possible on land. Watch Momentum’s website at for the location of the free event!

17th Annual Las Olas Food & Wine Festival

Recognized as a one of the most anticipated wine and culinary events of the year, the 17th Annual Las Olas Wine & Food Festival, presented by Bombay Sapphire® Gin, Martin Codax, elit™ by STOLICHNAYA® Vodka, Las Rocas Milagro Tequila, and Premier Beverage Company, returns April 16-21, 2012 on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale. This year’s event features exciting new additions and a variety of pre- and post-events that are sure to elevate the Festival experience. All proceeds from the Festival benefit the American Lung Association in Florida. 

“Premier Beverage is proud to continue their Title Sponsorship commitment of the Las Olas Wine and Food Festival,” said Bob Drinon, president & CEO, Premier Beverage. “Each year the festival continues to grow, and this year we will raise the bar with a wide variety of exceptional wines, the return of the Bombay Sapphire Lounge, and the addition of multiple ancillary wine and spirits events. We are excited to announce our title sponsors for the festival, which include Bombay Sapphire, Stoli Vodka, Milagro Tequila, Las Rocas and Martin Codax. One of the perks of attending the Las Olas Wine & Food Festival is the opportunity to place an order for the wines that are being sampled on the street and we’re pleased to say that ABC Fine Wine & Spirits will be our exclusive festival retailer.”

Monday, April 16th at 7:00 p.m., “Bourbon & Burgers” at Tap 42.
Wednesday, April 18th at 6:00 p.m., the Festival continues with “Wine Down Wednesday” at Preston’s Wine & Martini Bar inside of the classic Riverside Hotel.
Wednesday, April 18th, Rocco’s Tacos and Milagro Tequila will partner together for a Tequila dinner hosted by Milagro National Brand Ambassador Jaime Salas and
Rocco himself.
Thursday, April 19th at 7:00 p.m., Banfi Vintners and Tuscan Grill join together to present the Banfi Italian Festival.
Thursday, April 19th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Cheese Culture, one of the newest locales on the Boulevard, will be hosting “Around the Wheel.” Tickets are $45 per person and seating is limited to 30 persons.
Friday April 20th from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m., the much-anticipated Street Festival on Las Olas Boulevard, between S.E. 6th Avenue and S.E. 11th Avenue, encompassing four city blocks of food, wine and fun! At 10:00 p.m. two sensational after-parties will be held at Vibe & O Lounge, both located in the Yolo courtyard.
Saturday, April 21st from 11a.m.-2p.m., Cheese Culture will be hosting a “Rise & Shine” brunch.

Tickets to the 2012 Las Olas Wine & Food Festival are $100.00 per person and now available. Ticket prices for pre- and post-events vary. A complete line-up of events and ticket information are available at
or call (954) 727-0907.

The Wilds Within: Clyde Butcher in Black & White

The call of the wild is answered with Clyde Butcher’s celebrated black and white photography of the Everglades in the exhibit Clyde Butcher: The Wilds Within at the Ansin Family Gallery at the Miramar Cultural Center | ArtsPark through August. 

For more than 40 years Butcher has been preserving, on film, the untouched and wild landscapes of Florida; however, his interest with the Everglades began in 1986 when he was grieving over the unexpected death of his teenage son. Butcher escaped to the Everglades for days at a time, turning his grief into art. 

Emmy-winning filmmaker Ken Burns said “Like the work of Ansel Adams, Clyde Butcher’s remarkable photographs gives us an access to nature we rarely see or experience. They not only reveal the intimate and majestic beauty of the Everglades - and the need to save the fragile environment - they also remind us of the abiding kinship we mortals share when we work together to preserve these magnificent places. Butcher’s art is a national treasure.”

Butcher’s recent projects include work for the State of Florida’s Save Our Rivers program, the South Florida Water Management District, the Division of State Lands, the Bureau of Submerged Lands and Preserves, the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, as well as the Audubon Society, the Everglades National Park, the Nature Conservancy, the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Wilderness Society. 
A strong proponent of land conservation, Butcher is the subject of two award-winning PBS documentaries: Visions of Florida and Big Cypress Preserve: Jewel of the Everglades. He also hosted the award-winning nature documentary Living Waters ~ Aquatic Preserves of Florida and is a featured guest in the film Apalachicola River - An American Treasure. 

Butcher has been recognized statewide and nationally for his photography and humanitarianism. The State of Florida inducted him into the Artist Hall of Fame and awarded him with the Heartland Community Service Award. Other honors he received include the Ansel Adams Conservation Award from the Sierra Club; the Florida House Distinguished Artist Award in Washington, D.C.; Lifetime Achievement Award from North American Nature Photography Association; and Humanitarian of the Year from International University.

This exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call (954) 602-4500. The gallery is open Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.