Just a short ferry ride from Cancun lies the tiny island of Isla Mujeres. Cancun may be within sight but it feels 1,000 miles away... you see, Isla Mujeres hasn't been overrun by massive resorts, Hooter's and malls. The island still has a small town feel and in the main town, you can walk safely day or night, get to know locals and eat at many beachside establishments. Minino's, for example, offers great seafood served at tables on the sand. You can kick back, enjoy a Sol beer and listen to these two brothers play some marimba music while you thank God you picked Isla over Cancun.
Well, I suppose I'll park this list here and update it as my memory reminds me of where we ate during our most recent trip to Buenos Aires. Sometimes it's hard to remember where you ate if you don't write it down. I'll eventually add a bit of insight on each place. In the meantime, enjoy a nice picture of gnocchi (or noquis):
Noquies at Parrilla La Gauchita
Parrilla La Gauchita
Marcelita y Garcia
Vinos y Sabores
Where else but Argentina can you go to the local zoo and find a hot water dispenser specifically made for mate drinkers? Just bring your thermos, yerba and mate and for a few pesos, you can get some hot water. Just pour, sip and enjoy and you look at the llamas and carpinchos!
Of course, if you're little ones aren't drinking mate yet, why not go to a store in Palermo Viejo and pick up their first little mate set? Comes complete with yerba, bombilla and fun pink or blue mate.
Driving up Collins Avenue from South Beach up towards North Beach and towards the "upper 60s", one can't help but notice a preponderance of South American restaurants right around 69th street. Turns out the area is popular with South Americans (we didn't know this) where many Brazilian, Argentine and the occasional Cuban restaurant can be found.
We were heading to visit my cousin at a rental on South Biscayne Point Road when we decided to make a quick stop at New Campo Argentino on Collins just south of 71st. What we found was a great little Argentine restaurant (our waiter happened to be from Uruguay, thus the Pilsen) with good food at reasonable prices.
Perhaps getting the Provoleta was not the healthiest choice but it was really good. We made an effort to get a lighter lunch but then blew that out of the water by getting panqueques con dulce de leche - sinful crepes that were irresistible.
If the weather is nice enough, sit on the walk under the shade and peoplewatch. It's a great spot to enjoy a Pilsen and some good Argentine food. Walk next door to the little market to get some homemade alfajores to go and you'll be set.
It may not get more touristy than Times Square but there's just something about the lights and sounds of that big, bright mess that draws people like moths to a flame. You can't visit New York without taking in the lights of Times Square.
The massive Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach is a hot commodity. People line up on Collins and inside the hotel to enter clubs and bars packed wall-to-wall while creditors work on recovering funds after a massive renovation. Rooms typically start at $300 an up... a high price tag to fund a massive renovation.
Yet, next door, the Eden Roc Hotel, also recently renovated (bye bye spite wall) and now a Renaissance Hotel, offers a less pricey but glamorous option to those who want to stay in Miami Beach without the chaos of South Beach.
The hotel has added a new tower, renovated most of the pools, is fixing the hotel spa and has spruced up interiors and rooms. The bar is as glamorous as ever and still shows Morris Lapidus' creative touch.
Here are a few shots from our recent stay at the Eden Roc.
So much updating to do and so much good stuff I can add thanks to some recent trips to London, Rome and the Maremma region of Tuscany. So, let's start with a real quick one... something is better than nothing, right?
I went to New York City about two months ago to meet with a few clients. Great trip - very fruitful! One of the non-business highlights was lunch at a midtown Italian restaurant called Cellini. Now Cellini stands on its own with its regular fare. The
gnocchi I had, while not light by any means, were simply delicious. However, what really stood out in my mind were the cantucci that came with your bill. O U T S T A N D I N G!!! They were delicious - had a light hint of anise that made all the difference in the world. Seriously, I wanted to stuff my pockets with them. I asked if they sold them but, unfortunately, they do not. Too bad... I would buy a few pounds.
Visit them on your next trip to New York and enjoy the food and the delicious cantucci.