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{PREMIERE ISSUE} Rebolaxe founder Omar Gonzalez







april 2017

features 24 Shape Up! Our round-up of experts have the tips to get you going.

32 All You Need is Peace & Love, World Alina Villasante takes her lifestyle brand global, from right here in Doral.

36 Office Ours Mayor JC Bermudez shares his passion and goals for the future of the city.

44 One Love Find it at Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Do yourself a solid and lighten up your wardrobe palette for spring.

60 Mom’s The Bomb Gift ideas that’ll make Mom love you even more this Mother’s Day.


APRIL 2017


50 Beyond the Pale

In-house designers Items in stock Made in Italy

1-800-880-7154 8935 S Dixie Hwy Miami, FL 33156


everything else 14 From the Editor 16 Around Doral Openings, events and other stuff you’ll want to know about this month.

20 All Well & Good Looking after your physical health and fitness and all-around well-being.

62 Matters Of Style From sunnies to a cycle and a serpent ring, Maria Tettamanti presents this season’s standouts.

64 Table Hopping The sophisticated and sumptuous Los Fuegos at the Faena Hotel is worth the drive to South Beach.

70 Wheel Life

Steve Siler compares the Lexus LC and the Lexus LX 570.

74 Out & About A look at who’s celebrating, fundraising and socializing in and around town.


APRIL 2017





Jeff Dinetz



Robert Curley, Linda Marx, Michelle Payer, Alison Ryan, Steve Siler, Maria Tettamanti CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Keith Major, Ricardo Mejia/RMStudio Corp., Sara Cantillo Photography GRAPHIC DESIGN

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Rebecca Peters SOCIAL MEDIA

Carolina Collazos DIRECTOR OF IT

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CONSUMER SERVICES inDoral is published 10 times a year and is distributed at select golf courses, marinas, automotive dealerships, retail locations, high-profile social events and parties, hotels, professional buildings and residences throughout Doral. Advertising information can be obtained by calling 954-315-3460, by emailing or by visiting our website at PENDING APPROVAL

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APRIL 2017

1792 Bell Tower Lane Weston, FL 33326 954-315-3460 Vol. I, No. 1 © Larel Media. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any graphic or editorial content without permission is prohibited.

from the editor

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APRIL 2017


Tie One On A bow-tie, that is— to help raise funds at Communities in Schools of Miami’s 28th Annual Fundraiser, Bow Ties & BBQ.

LUCKYUS The Rusty Bucket picks CityPlace Doral for its 25th U.S. location.


APRIL 2017

Rusty Bucket Restaurant & Tavern, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, has chosen CityPlace Doral as the spot for its 25th location. “We have been looking in the Miami area for years and are excited to open in the vibrant and diverse community,” says Rusty Bucket president and founder Gary Callicoat. “With two other locations in the state, we’re quickly building upon that presence and know that Doral is a perfect spot for us to continue our growth.” The 5,200-square-foot Doral restaurant has indoor and patio seating, a lively bar (of note: they won Best Spirits and Best Overall at the 2017 Vibe Vista Beverage Awards) and offers up killer chicken and waffles and Baja fish tacos, along with pastas, burgers, steak, pizza, kids’ items—you get the idea. Now get over there and enjoy. 3535 NW 83rd Ave., Doral, 786-800-5750;

Communities in Schools of Miami (CIS of Miami) will host its 28th annual fundraising event, presented by Publix Super Markets Charities, on Saturday, April 8, at 5 p.m. at the Intercontinental at Doral Miami. The annual fundraiser—this year’s theme is Bow Ties & BBQ—supports CIS of Miami’s educational programs and services that help over 20,000 South Florida students each year to stay in school through mentoring, tutoring, development skills, community resources and more. “This year, we’re giving our guests more of what they love the most,” says Elyssa Linares, president and CEO of CIS of Miami, about the event. That includes live musical performances by the students in the Guitars Over Guns program and from other local schools, dance performances, a barbecue buffet dinner, activities for kids and adults, and craft sales. A silent auction will offer vacation packages, hotel stays, theme park tickets, adventure packages, restaurant gift certificates, spa treatments, jewelry and sports memorabilia. And in keeping with the theme, attendees are encouraged to wear bow ties (but dress casually) for the event. Proceeds directly benefit CIS of Miami. To buy tickets, visit www.; for more information, go to 


SCHEDULE A TOUR Doral Campus 10311 NW 58th Street Doral, FL 33178 (305) 597-4545

Delray Beach Campus 15935 Lyons Road Delray Beach, FL 33446

around doral

weight IS over THE

If dieting and exercise have failed you time and again, check into the potential benefits of bariatric surgery at the Surgical Weight Loss Center of Excellence at Palmetto General Hospital.

These days it’s easy to change the style of your hair, the shade of your nails and even your eye color. But one thing a lot of people want to change about themselves is their weight, and that’s usually not easy. When diet and exercise fail and you’re considering surgical options, the Surgical Weight Loss Center of Excellence at Palmetto General Hospital can help. We asked them to explain bariatric surgery— the procedure, how it works, and what the potential benefits are. What exactly is bariatric surgery? Bariatric surgery is a term that includes various types of procedures aimed at restricting food intake and/or causing food to pass through the gastrointestinal tract without being fully absorbed or digested. The program at Palmetto General offers patients three surgical options: gastric bypass, lap-band surgery and sleeve gastrectomy. It also offers a holistic approach that provides patients with pre- and post-operative psychological counseling, personalized nutrition and fitness plans, as well as vitamin supplements. Who can benefit from it? Bariatric surgery can be a lifesaver for the 37 percent of American adults who are considered obese. Along with weight loss, surgery provides several benefits. It has been shown to have more consistent results than lifestyle counseling and prescriptions. Remember though, bariatric surgery requires significant lifestyle changes and ongoing patient commitment. What kind of results can patients expect? Bariatric surgery has been shown to improve 95 percent of its patients’ quality of life. Some studies also suggest that people live longer after weight loss surgery, compared to those equally obese who have not had surgery. Other improvements that have been documented are an increase in energy and self-esteem and improvement of arthritis, asthma and depression symptoms, allowing many people to decrease the amount of medications they take to treat these conditions. Though there are many benefits to bariatric surgery, the procedure does have significant risks, and it is not right for everyone. If you’re interested in learning more about the options available at Palmetto General Hospital or to schedule a consultation, call 1-800-522-5292 or visit


APRIL 2017

all well & good

By Alison Ryan

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Get down(ward) on the lawn for Yoga & Yolks at Shooters Waterfront; Tap 42 hosts “Detox/Retox”; Active Tuesdays at Rhythm & Vine.

& splurge sweat Want a guiltfree reason to indulge at some of Broward’s hottest restaurants? Several spots now offer the chance to exercise…and then tuck into in something tasty. Go ahead…you’ve earned it.


APRIL 2017




There’s no better way to relax your mind and body than holding a pose while gazing at the calming Intracoastal. That’s why Shooters Waterfront hosts “Yoga & Yolks” every Saturday, a free, one-hour yoga session on their waterfront lawn that’s led by Taryn Allen of Fort Lauderdale’s Barkan Method Studio. After the final pose, yogis can treat themselves to a healthy, all-you-can-eat brunch buffet ($34), along with bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys ($20). Reservations are required. Shooters Waterfront, 3033 N.E. 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale | 954-566-2855 |

At Tap 42’s quarterly “Detox/Retox” brunch, guests can detox with a fitness class led by local yogis or instructors from studios like CycleBar and Flywheel, then retox with a boozy brunch on the patio that features an array of Tap’s favorite menu items along with bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys and Funky Buddha beer. It’s also a chance to burn calories for a good cause: classes are $10 and proceeds benefit local charities like Women in Distress, Humane Society, Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and more. Check-in starts at 9:30 a.m. and brunch begins at 11 a.m. The next Detox/Retox brunch is set for April 15th. Tap 42, 1411 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale | 954-566-2855 |

The garden at Rhythm & Vine in Fort Lauderdale is known for its chill, party vibe, but every Tuesday night during the month of April, the garden transforms into a workout arena for their new Active Tuesdays. Expect a killer workout with some of South Florida’s favorite fitness instructors from CycleBar, Orange Theory, The Yoga Joint and more. After class, guests can shop a pop-up market that features fitness and wellness products as well as local organic food vendors. The ticket price ($20) includes entry to the class and market, plus passes to the featured instructor’s gym. Rhythm & Vine, 401 N.E. 5th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale | 954-533-3734 |

The cure for


faces Primary Care

With Primary Care, you’ll establish a relationship with a physician who will get to know you and your health; which means comfort and trust you can count on. For more information about your care options, go to

Doral | 9915 NW 41 Street, Suite 230


Care•ven•ience \‘ker-’ven-y n(t)s\ (noun) e

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Download the PineApp for locations and hours of operation. A not-for-profit organization supported by philanthropy and committed to our faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence. For giving opportunities, visit


all well & good Lauren Loparo will meet you at the beach for a life-changing Thai massage.

Rachel Loren Bolber works her micro-needling magic in the comfort of your home.


try thai

Want something totally different from the standard Swedish or deep-tissue rubdowns? Try Thai. I recently sampled Thai massage, which has been around for more than 2,000 years, and my world was blissfully changed. Unlike traditional massages performed on a table, you’ll lie on a thick, comfy mat while fully clothed in yoga or workout clothes. During my massage, Lauren Loparo from Expand Thai Massage used her arms, feet and knees to pull and stretch my tight muscles (think of it as a yoga session where someone else is doing all the work for you) and also applied acupressure along the body’s energy lines. “Acupressure is like acupuncture, but with fingers instead of needles,” explains Loparo. “It helps with circulation, joint mobility and relieving muscle tension.” In addition to her Oakland Park studio, Loparo will come to your house or find a stunning beachside location to do the body work. Prices start at $120 for 90 minutes; $180 for in-home massage. Expand Thai Massage, 1427 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park | 754-212-7769 |

If you’re looking to turn back time— without going to a dermatologist’s office—now you can receive one of the top skin-care treatments to help do just that, and in the comfort of your home. Rachel Loren Bolber, a medical aesthetician who is master-certified in micro-needling, recently launched the at-home service MicroMe to cater to clients’ busy schedules. During the micro-needling procedure, Bolber uses an electric pen with fine needles to deliver tiny punctures to the skin. This “skin injury” causes the body to trigger natural healing processes, stimulating coveted collagen and elastin production for improved skin texture and firmness along with reduction of wrinkles. It even works on acne scars and stretch marks. So, does it hurt? “Micro-needling feels like sandpaper exfoliating the skin. It’s extremely tolerable and comfortable,” says Bolber, who also points out that patients can expect some redness after the treatment, which subsides after a few hours. Results can be seen in one to three sessions and the price is $200 per session.

NO PAIN, LOTS OF GAIN We always need to be beach-ready in South Florida, but for many women, that often means enduring the dreaded discomfort of waxing. Catherine Lebreton, owner of Uni K Wax in Weston and Miramar, says women can make their waxing sessions less painful by properly preparing their skin. “You want to make sure the skin has been exfoliated and that you’ve removed all the dead skin cells two days before your service,” she advises. “Also, hair is easily removed from hydrated skin, so drinking lots of water to hydrate from the inside out and applying a moisturizer to the area the day before your service will help.” Lebreton also suggests avoiding alcohol before a wax because it tightens pores, and a tight pore holds onto the hair follicle. Last tip: Apply a cold pack to the skin after the wax session to quickly close pores. Uni K Wax Center, 1114 Weston Road, Weston | 954-888-4590 or 3141 S.W. 160th Ave., Miramar | 954-998-1662 |


APRIL 2017


In-Shape Personal Training Studio What’s the first thing we need to do to psych ourselves up to get into shape? First, we have to be aware that it is a decision of our own that involves a change in our lifestyle that will give us health and well-being. As soon as people realize that this change will require a commitment to overcome the obstacles that may be encountered along the way, it begins to be more bearable. What are three major things that sabotage our efforts to lose weight and get in shape? The three biggest saboteurs that most people experience are excessive alcohol, excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates (sugar) and the misinformation that is handled in the fitness environment with regard to nutrition and training programs. I say misinformation because most of the fad diets and training programs that we see in magazines or on social networks do not have a scientific basis or they present many limitations for the majority of the population. Are nutrition and exercise of equal importance? Nutrition and exercise have the same percentage of importance (50/50). Why? Well, because one complements the other. We cannot pretend to be fit if we only feed well and do not follow a proper training program at the same time. Neither can we pretend to be in good physical shape if we only exercise and do not take care of our food. We have to take care of both if we want to see remarkable progress. How often do we really need to work out and for how long to start seeing results, and how long should we expect to have to wait to see results? That is one of the most frequent questions that I am asked, and the answer I always give is: It depends. It depends on the experience, physical condition, age, gender, etc. of the person. For this reason, before designing a training program, I perform a physical evaluation of all my clients and based on the results of that evaluation and the goals they have I design their programs. What are the ways in which having a personal trainer help maximize results as compared to trying to work out on our own? As I mentioned in the previous question, I first perform a physical evaluation of all my clients so I can determine the correct way to go with each one of them. So one of the biggest benefits of hiring a personal trainer is that you will not be wasting time guessing what to do, how to do it and for how long to do it, because of the years of experience and studies that support me. You will save time, money, and possibly injuries. What is the healthy motto you live by? Do everything in moderation—the extremes always bring negative results.


APRIL 2017

shape up! It’s spring—and it’s time. From your mind to your skin to your body, optimize your potential and give yourself the best gift you can.





Micro Me Miami What are some of the latest and greatest procedures you offer that those of us wanting a “refresh” as we shape up our skin should know about? The best way to refresh your skin is with micro-needling for a flawless complexion. This procedure is used to stimulate your body’s own ability to produce collagen and elastin. I love this treatment because it triggers a healing response in our skin and we begin to regenerate healthy new cells naturally. This results in tighter, firmer, brighter skin noticed immediately and over time. Micro-needling has been available and popular among celebrities for the last few years as one of the hottest beauty trends, with minimal down time and effective results. What would you say to someone who has been thinking for a long time about a procedure but is afraid to take the leap? The longer you wait, the more damage control must be done, so jump right in! Gravity, decreased collagen production and a slowed cell exfoliation are non-negotiables in life. Therefore, the one thing that is guaranteed is your skin will see results of aging and environmental damage that accumulates over time. If there are concerns or fears about the procedure, I am happy to cover each question in detail to make the client feel as comfortable as possible. Tell us what’s different about what you offer in terms of not just procedures but support and service to patients. Micro Me Miami offers exclusivity, privacy and convenience by treating our clients in the privacy of their own homes. Many factors that get in the way of booking in-office appointments are eliminated, such as scheduling availability, transportation, time and distance. I like to treat patients in their own homes because it offers a level of comfort that is unavailable to people being treated in a busy, sterile office. I offer personalized protocols for each of my patients to treat their own goals and concerns. In addition, each client has access to my cell phone in case anything comes up and they need immediate assistance. Do good nutrition and exercise go along with making aesthetic procedures successful in the long run? Absolutely! As within, so without. I am a huge believer in fueling your body with natural foods and setting aside time each day to move in your body and produce endorphins. The vitamins and antioxidants available in whole foods contribute to healthy, glowing cells and a fresh complexion. Regular exercise increases blood circulation and cell turnover which helps fight wrinkles and pigmentation.    What is the healthy motto you live by? Beauty is all-inclusive. Your skin represents a combination of your nutrition, lifestyle, hygiene, happiness, and thoughts. Consider all factors in your personal routine.


APRIL 2017

Omar Gonzalez


Tell us the basic concept of Rebolaxé and how you came up with it, along with the name. The word rebola is Portuguese for “movement,” and “Axé” is a popular dance in Brazil whose meaning is positive energy. Rebolaxé means to move your body with the positive energy transmitted by Brazilian rhythms. I lived in Brazil for a while and wanted to make my own brand and style of Axé. Rebola came to my mind, I put the two together and voila—Rebolaxé! I’ve watched the videos of the classes and it looks like a lot of fun. How did you incorporate fun (and a little sexiness!) into the concept? Brazilian music will always be positive for people. It engages you and helps you release stress and relax in the class. I get involved with the women, so they like a sexy touch. Why do you think people enjoy it so much? It is a system and a dance totally different from the norm. People associate it with samba, and when they hear the different rhythms of the music, they get motivated to come to class more often. What do you say to those who think it looks like a fun way to get into shape but feel intimated because they might not be able to keep up at first? Sometimes they are a little afraid of samba. I always go from a little to more, depending on the group. I let them try out the class so they can feel the vibes and energy of Brazilian music. My steps and choreographies are made for them, so they feel comfortable. They are the main show, not me (laughs). How often should it be done and how long would you say before one can expect to start seeing results? My recommendation is to do it twice per week for the first month. Then they will want to do it more often because they fall in love with the rhythm and music. What are your tips for getting and staying motivated, which often seem to be the hardest part of the entire fitness journey? I always tell them to eat healthy, that what they are doing is great and that they are improving. The social aspect is very important so that all feel attended to and involved with the activity. What is the healthy motto you live by? I think that the body needs to exercise in every manner, in particular the cardiovascular. I recommend to exercise for healthy results, not esthetic.




Orangetheory Fitness What is it about Orangetheory that dispels the notion of gyms being intimidating for those just starting a fitness regimen? Orangetheory Fitness studios are designed to motivate. The workouts are constructed in a way that caters to every fitness level. Highly qualified coaches inspire and guide participants to beat plateaus and stick to their personal goals. Every session is performed in a group setting, which has proven benefits such as support, energy, endurance and accountability. Each member wears a heart rate monitor during their one-hour session, which helps maintain their heart rate in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The result is the “Orange Effect”—more energy, visible toning, and extra calorie burn post-workout for up to 36 hours. That’s why we live by the color orange! What would you say to someone who’s intrigued about joining, but still hesitant based on their own less-than-optimum fitness level? We all need to start somewhere, and it could be scary for someone who has never worked out before, but the way this workout is designed it allows the participant to go at their own pace. They are guided by professional fitness trainers who take away the guesswork in a workout. What is it about Orangetheory that made you want to get so involved in it? I had just given birth to my third child. I had looked for different alternatives to get back in shape. The big box gyms did not interest me, and a personal trainer was too expensive. I came across this new studio that had just opened in Pembroke Pines called Orangetheory Fitness. I decided to give it a shot and became a member in February 2012. I felt better than ever and started seeing results within a month. I inquired about the franchise in 2013, interested in being a part of a business I believed in. I decided to bring it to Miami Lakes in 2014 and soon expanded to Doral in 2015, and Country Walk in 2016. I have now ventured outside of Florida and I am opening studios in Houston, Texas. What’s the healthy motto that you live by? “Do it because they said you couldn’t.”


APRIL 2017

Sara Rovatti 500 RYT YOGA TEACHER In what ways does yoga help get us into shape that working out in a gym doing tough cardio and weight-bearing exercise doesn’t? What benefits are different? The times I trained in a gym, I felt focused only on botting cardio and building muscles. Since I’ve been practicing yoga, I’ve felt that it’s more than just a physical practice. Yoga will heat and work your muscles, too. You’ll lose fat and your muscles will tone. With all the stretching, folding and twisting, the yoga practice will improve your circulatory system, the lymph system, the digestive system and so much more. Yoga will detox your body, keep your joints lubricated, and combined with meditation and breathing exercises (pranayama), reduce stress and improve concentration. What do you say to those who have always wanted to give it a try, but feel nervous about it because they are physically inflexible or clumsy? We practice yoga to improve our flexibility, not because we’re already flexible. So you don’t need to be a contortionist to do it! I recommend you find a teacher you feel comfortable with to start. Each body is unique. So the capabilities of your body at any given moment are unique, too. There is no competition in yoga. Are nutritional habits important to maximizing the benefits of yoga? The healthier you eat the better it will be. You don’t need to be vegan or on a diet or refrain from food you crave, because healthy eating shouldn’t be torture. What you can do is bring more vegetables into your diet and be more aware of what you’re eating. If you’re interested in maintaining a healthy diet, a young face and a mind in peace, you will need a plant-based diet to achieve it. What is the healthy motto you live by? Freedom in every meaning of the word. I like to have my body free of pain and my mind free of negative thoughts. My body is the temple I live in, so I take care of it. I pamper my body as much as I can and nurture my soul every day by being present in the moment.


APRIL 2017

all you need is

PEACE & LOVE, WORLD Just ask entrepreneur Alina Villasante, who’s bringing her brand of peace and love to the world one tee at a time. By Michelle Payer | Photographs by Ricardo Mejia


APRIL 2017

Alina Villasante at her Peace Love World warehouse and outlet store in Doral.



line,” says the woman who rises every morning at 6:30 a.m., boxes or lifts weights from 7 to 8 a.m. and spins with girlfriends every Saturday. “This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but also the most rewarding.” Her home is a lively one, with an open door policy that has people coming and going all the time. “A happy home has to have food, people, candles, music and flowers,” she says and back…and arm…and even down your leg. If you have heard of the founder and creator of about being surrounded by her children, famPeace Love World, you’re most likely a devotee and part of the “movement,” as she calls it, of ily, friends and the personal connections that showing love, faith, healing, encouragement to the world, one t-shirt and accessory at a time. Her inspire Peace Love World. motto is etched on every garment tag: “Love is not something you look for; love is something you Every year, Villasante and her team create become” and the mysterious Morse code-style red lines on the bottom of every shirt translate to five collections so soft they have been com“love” and “amor,” in the two languages that represent Cuban-born Villasante’s life, and “red, pared to baby blankets. All have their own which represents love.” meanings behind them, because everything Nothing seems left to chance, and every piece has a meaning, affirmation or uplifting message. In the designer does, she does with intention and an increasingly imbalanced world and a country divided by a contentious presidential race, Peace positivity, which were surprising stumbling Love World, in its tenth year, is somehow now more relevant than ever. Yet it all started simply and blocks when she first began. “Stores turned organically in 1999, when Villasante still owned a successful Doral-based aviation business with her me away, saying me and my clothing were then-husband. Every year, she would host a “love party.” Before you think swinging 60s, the annual too sweet and too nice,” she says. But for Vilgathering of best girlfriends at her house was a celebration of friendship, with Villasante gifting each lasante, her “I Love Mondays” tees mean “a guest her own creations and what would become the origins of her line: T-shirts with: I am Love, I chance to begin again.” “I Hate” anything was am Happiness, I am Strength or I am Peace emblazoned on the front. Friends wore them about town and not in her vocabulary, nor will it ever be emwould consistently be asked, “Where did you get that?” Thus, Peace Love World was hatched in blazoned across a tee. 2007 in Doral, where the corporate headquarters and 2,300-square-foot outlet store (and fashionista’s Peace Love World’s “I am Strength” tees dream) comprise nearly a city block on Northwest 56th Street. have been worn by everyday people as well as In ten years, Villasante has opened five stores in Miami and one in Cannes, France, and in Nocelebrities going through personal struggles. vember 2016 she launched a lucrative partnership with QVC that catapulted her into the global Perhaps that’s why the clothing and accessories stratosphere and landed her brand in seven countries, a first for the shopping network. Forty minresonate with fans like Oprah Winfrey, Jenutes into her first QVC show, all 17,000 tees and sweatshirts sold out. “Love is everything,” says nifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara, Ellen DeGeneres Villasante, by way of explaining the mass influx of her clothes into millions of viewers’ homes. and Jennifer Garner. “I am Strength” shows “Giving love is our responsibility. If you give love, you give life,” she says. the world that one can be knocked down withFor her, it’s very simple, which doesn’t necessarily mean easily attainable. “In order to get what out being counted out. Like Weebles, we may wobble, but we’ll never fall down. Sayings you want, you have to become what you’re from past collections seen in the Doral outlet looking for, because love attracts love,” says store include: “See the Good,” “I am Love,” the stylish entrepreneur and mother of three. “I Love Life,” “World Peace,” “I am a Brave “You have to wear it, live it, become it. Life Soul,” “I Love Everyone,” “Everyone Matbrings you everything you give.” She acknowlters,” “I am Natural,” “Soy Amor” and “Love edges that everyone has a personal struggle is the Only Way.” “Peace Love World is a dose and has conquered struggles of her own, of my energy in the world,” says Villasante. including health scares of her parents, with With these empowering and ice-breaking whom she is very close. (In fact, her dashing statements, it’s no surprise that in 2016 Vil84-year-old father is the company’s controller.) lasante was named one of People magazine’s She lives the gratitude she expounds and stops “25 Most Powerful Latin Women.” Her lugby church daily to give thanks for all the joy gage line is a best seller (“we can’t keep it in and abundance that fill her life. “Even when I’m traveling,” she says, “I will find a church stock”) and debuts on QVC this month. This writer gave her an idea for a “Gratitude Jar” that and spend $40 lighting candles for everyone.” she sent to the design team. An accessories line with yoga mats, bags (including diaper bags) and As with most entrepreneurs, her success backpacks is coming out in June; QVC is launching a Peace Love World home collection; a kids’ didn’t come overnight. “Running an aviation line will debut this fall. If all that isn’t enough, Villasante is tremendously philanthropic, working business was easier than creating a fashion with myriad charities, including Zanmi Beni, a children’s shelter in Haiti that houses disabled and abandoned children and where she has three godchildren. She is also penning her first book, Love is Everything, an “inspiring book about my life and how other people can embrace situations and grow from them,” she says. A conversation with Villasante is an uplifting, nearly spiritual experience (it’s no surprise she and Oprah connected), with pronouncements like “Be the person you want to attract and represent what you want to find in life. All you can do is get up today and embrace the accomplishments, celebrate the little things and keep going.” Universal words to live by in this world Ms. Villasante hopes to fill with peace and love.

Alina Villasante is all for wearing your heart on your sleeve…


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“This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but also the most rewarding.”


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off ice ou rs Ba ck city wher e sha he lov he’s h e res a his s—Do ppies t pas By r sion al Ma —at t Mic he hel and yor hel J le P C m goa B aye erm of th ls f or t r e ude he z futu re.




mayor Juan Carlos “JC” Bermudez takes a seat in his office, the same one he occupied for

nine years as the founding mayor of the city he worked to incorporate. Outside, planes form a landing pattern over Miami International Airport. A national commercial for Velveeta is about to shoot in the idyllic park across the street. The city of just 14 square miles is now home to 56,000 diverse residents, largely from Latin America, yet it looks like Anytown, USA, with palm trees swaying between wide boulevards and a trolley carrying residents to Dolphin Mall, and perhaps soon to Florida International University, if the mayor has his way. Bermudez is happy to be back. After a hard-fought race and run-off, he was sworn in December 20, 2016, and is once again leading the city he calls home. The nearly 20-year Doral resident and the proud father of three girls is equally as proud of Doral and all he created during his first two terms. “Our motto is ‘the premier place to live, work, play and learn,’” says Bermudez. “That is the reason we incorporated, and we need to get back to that value system and the values we had when we became a city,” he says by way of explaining why he was willing to jump into the fray all over again. The “part-time” job is all-consuming, especially coupled with his law practice in Coral Gables, but Bermudez is back where he wants to be, bringing a city to new heights and growing its quality of life. “The sense of community is what I’m most proud of,” explains the mayor. “We were right when we created the City of Doral; we made a city people were proud to grow up in, to stay in, come back, raise a family and eventually retire here.” Doral is clearly the mayor’s golden utopia, and he is as passionate about it as he is about family, Saturday morning basketball, UM, his beloved Notre Dame and his ’80s record collection, which includes every album by The Jam and The English Beat. He reminisces about seeing them, The Ramones and They Might Be Giants in concert back in the day. He can quote lines from the legendary movie Animal House and he has the quick, hearty laugh of someone with a positive outlook on life. His car radio is tuned to Sirius First


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CLOCKWISE FROM OPPOSITE: Doral Government Center; an artist’s rendering of Doral City Center and (left) the center’s fountain; a rendering of the Doral Legacy Park Community Center; the Doral Trolley.

He notes that when he entered office in 2003, REM’s “It’s the End of the World (as we know it)” was playing, and when he left, Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” was on the radio. inDORAL MAGAZINE


Wave channel 33. He notes that when he entered office in 2003, REM’s “It’s the End of the World (as we know it)” was playing, and when he left, Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” was on the radio. The lyrics are a philosophical and musical escape for a mind that is in overdrive to continue a legacy and adhere to the four-point plan that drove Mayor Bermudez’s election, with laser focus on 1) planned and controlled growth, 2) order and great quality of life, 3) ethics and transparency, and 4) a clean city and park system. There are now six parks in Doral where none existed prior to 2003. “We put great emphasis on the park system,” says Bermudez. “I grew up in Hialeah with parents who lost everything in Cuba and rebuilt their lives here. My father had to work two jobs to save enough money to start his own business. A lot of times, we would go to the neighborhood parks, which were a great place for kids, had good programs and were a place for families to congregate.” Doral Legacy Park will be completed soon; Doral Glades is on the horizon, and there is a 52-acre preserve he has his eye on to become a “passive teaching area” along with federal lands the mayor would like to see converted into additional parklands. He believes in a fit, healthy city and is working with Baptist Hospital to introduce nutritional training, tackle issues like childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes in adults, and create programs that appeal to older residents. With a population comprised of mainly Cubans, Colombians, Dominicans, Mexicans and Venezuelans, Mayor Bermudez says the key to success is “first to respect everybody’s heritage; we’re all Americans and we’re all here because we love the United States of America,” he says. “That is a most wonderful thing, when all those different nationalities come together and say, ‘We’re proud of being residents of Doral.’ We’re residents of Doral first, regardless of where we’re from.” The city is already known as the media hub of the Americas, with The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, Univision, Telemundo and Fusion all headquartered there, along with big business including Perry Ellis, Carnival Cruise Lines, Burger King and the growing lifestyle brand Peace Love World. Film and commercial work is up 330 percent from last year, with Doral gaining fame as a location for commercials and telenovelas.


“The key to success is to respect everybody’s heritage,” Bermudez says. “We’re all Americans and we’re all here because we love the United States of America.”

Fresh Market has plans for a new store; CityPlace Doral, a new mixed-use development is opening soon, and with more than 25 restaurants, city leaders hope it will put Doral on the map as a dining destination and add to its business and leisure appeal. Bermudez envisions residents having dinner, walking to local parks and enjoying an evening stroll in surroundings that are clean, safe and litter-free. He is reviving signage that reads “Welcome to Doral—Don’t Even Think About Littering” and says police will impose a $250 fine on lawbreakers. “I’m a big believer in performance-based government, which I’d like to bring back,” says Mayor Bermudez. “If you run a city like you run your business and home, you stay within budget and on task. We just want effectiveness and efficiency, which was a big campaign issue for our residents,” he says. What brings him the greatest joy? Besides family, it’s “when Doral residents are thankful and happy about things that have been done,” says the man who is famously quoted for his description of the city he once again governs: “This is the most diverse city in the most diverse county in the most diverse state of the most diverse country in the history of mankind.” And for that, he couldn’t be happier.

“The sense of community is what I’m most proud of. We were right when we created the City of Doral; we made a city people were proud to grow up in, to stay in, come back, raise a family and eventually retire here.” 42

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Kompal Gadh, M.D. FACOG

Adriana Luciano, M.D.

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Find yours and enjoy the full Jamaican luxury experience at Montego Bay’s Half Moon Resort. By Bob Curley



W When Prince Harry coincidentally visited Jamaica for a friend’s wedding at the same time I was staying at Montego Bay’s Half Moon resort in March, I half-expected to round a corner and find His Highness canoodling with girlfriend Meghan Markle. It’s that kind of place. Alas, the couple chose a different locale for their “Jamaican love nest” (as breathlessly reported by the British tabloids) this time around, but a royal visit to this iconic MoBay resort would have been nothing unusual. Appropriately, the prince stayed in one of Half Moon’s posh Royal Suites when he toured Jamaica in 2012 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, and a quick scan of the photos in the hotel lobby reveals a black-and-white snap of his father, Prince Charles, touring the grounds as a young man. The Queen herself has also stayed here, as did the Kennedys and a long list of other luminaries. That’s a long way of saying that Half Moon is a pretty exclusive resort: in fact, the hotel has set the standard for Jamaican luxury for more than 60 years, and shows no signs of letting its crown slip. Yet despite the tony pedigree, Half Moon manages to succeed where so many other Jamaican resorts—especially ­all-inclusives—fail: making guests feel like they’re part of the local community. Spread across more than 400 acres of oceanfront a few miles east of downtown Montego Bay, Half Moon certainly is a big enough place to disappear into if you’re a pap-dodging prince or celebrity. On-property activities are diverse and uniformly excellent, and restaurant options include bayside dining under seagrape trees sparkling with lights and one of Jamaica’s best fine-dining restaurants, built in and around a historic sugar mill. You can begin your day at Sunrise Beach and end it over cocktails at Sunset Beach. And of course the resort’s signature whitewashed suites and villas, most located oceanfront, are temptation enough to simply hang around your own private pool and soak up the sun all day long. Yet Half Moon is blessedly devoted to its sense of place, from simple stuff like featuring local treats like bammy and festivals on its restaurant menus to showcasing mento, Jamaica’s traditional


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LEFT: The lobby at Half Moon Resort. RIGHT: The Imperial Suites, which have private patios or terraces and a living room, are furnished with Queen Anne mahogany reproductions.



On-property activities are diverse and uniformly excellent, and restaurant options include bayside dining under seagrape trees sparkling with lights and one of Jamaica’s best fine-dining restaurants, built in and around a historic sugar mill.



FROM TOP: Il Giardino offers Italian specialties, including homemade pastas; an off-property excursion worth taking is to the Great House at the famous Rose Hall, where tours are offered day and night; for authentic Jamaican jerk, Scotchies is a must.


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country folk music, at the Sunset Bar cocktail hour rather than just defaulting to more tourist-friendly reggae bands. Even the jerk chicken, pork, and sausage served at Moonchie’s on Sunset Beach and the weekly barbecue at Sunrise Beach are sufficiently spicy to satisfy locals. Half Moon’s off-property tours also highlight excursions to coffee plantations in the Blue Mountains, Jamaica’s rugged backcountry, and a culinary adventure to Stush in the Bush, an organic farm where you can enjoy a Rastafarian-style vegetarian dinner prepared with locally sourced produce, much of it grown by hosts Lisa and Christopher Binns at Zionite Farm. Couples who marry at Half Moon are gently encouraged to give back to Jamaica via the Half Moon Foundation, an extension of the resort’s founding principles “to respect and contribute to the welfare of the community while offering discerning travelers the opportunity for remarkable vacation memories.” One of Jamaica’s best jerk restaurants, Scotchies, is within walking distance of Half Moon, while another, the Pork Pit, is a must-do when visiting downtown Montego Bay. The nightlife at the resort is pretty low-key, so if you crave some late-night excitement take a cab into town and cruise MoBay’s Hip Strip, a string of waterfront bars and nightclubs that includes Margaritaville, the Jamaican Bobsled Cafe, and Pier 1. To explore further, take the wheel of a spry Mini Cooper for a coastal tour with Island Routes to Ocho Rios or Negril, with stops for food and fun along the way. Many of the Half Moon’s 800 employees live right on property, so you’re constantly greeted with friendly waves whenever you’re riding the resort’s signature powder-blue bicycles from place to place. The ideal form of transportation at a place this big and flat, bikes are equipped with big baskets for your beach towels and water bottles. At a resort that enforces a dress code of long trousers and collared shirts even at lunch on the Seagrape Terrace, the bikes are refreshingly egalitarian: it’s hard to look stuffy while you’re pedaling

around on a single-speed beach cruiser. Bicycling is just a warmup to Half Moon’s many fitness options: among the resort’s 50-plus (!) swimming pools is an Olympicsized lap pool, and the spacious, modern gym is equipped with a LifeFitness circuit, treadmills, spin bikes, and a studio offering yoga and pilates. The adjoining tennis center is one of the best in the Caribbean, and Half Moon’s sheer size makes it easy to run a morning 5K without ever straying off the grounds. And the golf is legendary: 18 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., right across the street, plus the equally acclaimed White Witch and Cinnamon Hill courses just down the road. The best activity at Half Moon, however, involves trading two legs for four and joining one of the resort’s daily Surf & Turf horseback rides. If a trot along the beach sounds tame to you, be forewarned: this is as much a swim with the horses as a ride. Half Moon has the only full-fledged resort equestrian center in Jamaica, with more than two dozen resident horses (many retired thoroughbreds from Jamaica’s racetracks), and the ride begins with a warmup in the show ring before you head to Sunrise Beach. Entering the surf bareback, you’ll soon discover that a wet horse is a slippery horse: riders are almost guaranteed to fall off once you reach deeper water. By that point, however, your former mount will actually be swimming (they can horsie-paddle up to a mile with ease), and your job is simply to grab a tail and enjoy the ride back into shore. It’s thrilling, silly fun. The resort’s Fern Tree Spa is an oasis unto itself: entering the spa grounds is like passing into a private estate, which it indeed once was. Lush tropical greenery hugs a warren of treatment rooms, steam room and sauna, outdoor waterfall pools, a yoga pavilion and a labyrinth. The Couples Fern Tree Signature Massage, which for us began with a gentle foot bath and ended with a plunge into a heated waterfall lagoon pool, is heavenly healing for two — truly the royal treatment at a resort that still reigns supreme for sophisticated Jamaican luxury.

FROM TOP: A pool behind one of the Royal Villas at Half Moon; the Turf and Surf experience is wet and wild fun; a mini-sub from Montego Bay Marine Park.



beyond pale THE

Do yourself a solid—and a pattern thrown in here and there—with a predominately pastel palette that positively sings out for spring.


STYLED BY Christopher Laboy

HAIR BY Cynthia Alvarez | MAKEUP BY Jessica Smalls using Make Up For Ever / The Wall Group | NAILS BY Teresa King | MODEL: Karsyn Bartruff / Supreme Management


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Mesh nude top and nude wide-leg pants by Julianna Bass; available at Lace-up Now sandals, statement earrings and tribal geo bangle; all available at


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White dress with black piping; available at juliannabass. com. Denim choker from Urban Outfitters; available at



Sweater from Ann Taylor; at Shorts from Zara; at Zara, Aventura Mall. Jeweled flat sandals and gold bar earrings, both from Ann Taylor.


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Black crop top and mint pencil skirt both by Julianna Bass; available at juliannabass. com. Suede slides and statement earrings; available at



Pink blouse with black piping, from Ann Taylor; at


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Lavender poplin shirt and silk tie scarf, from Ann Taylor; available at Pink culottes by Julianna Bass; available at “Fairy� slides by Donald J Pliner; available at Pyramid bag available at



Bell sleeve sweater and tie-front skirt, both from Ann Taylor; available at


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Yellow crop sweater from Silence + Noise; at Urban Outfitters, Aventura Mall. White cinch-waist poplin top, crop trousers and wrap sandals all from Ann Taylor; available at




FLOWERS THAT LAST Monika Wild Flower multi-colored painted cork bag with rock crystal detail by Ella McHugh, $1,375; at

Tiffany & Co. Soleste diamond earrings (total ct. weight .61) in platinum setting, $5,600; at Tiffany & Co. stores and www.

mom’ s ᅂHᄉ bomb So get her something extra-special this Mother’s Day—we’ve got a few ideas we’ll let you borrow.


Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau de Parfum is a sensuous blend of Bergamot, warm amber, Tiare flower and vanilla combined with creamy coconut for a whiff of summer; $70-$95, at


Fantasy Floorplans are a collection of 135 fictional, hand-drawn floorplans of your favorite TV homes, apartments and offices by artist Brandi Roberts that bring to life iconic homes that have never really existed—like this one of Rachel and Monica’s apartment on Friends. Available in four sizes and two colors and printed on heavyweight, acid-free paper; visit


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Forget the neutrals and get your giftee something with a kick, like this Small Doctor Bag in Chili Pepper from Shinola, $795; at


Any mom will appreciate the gift of sweet scents from the candles of the “Voyage de Pafumeur” in the form of a reed diffuser from French Studio Imports’ Lalique Collection; at


TOUS Bonjour Señorita smells of Bergamot, mango smoothie and raspberry macaron and is said to capture a “fun-filled, beautiful journey from Paris to Havana”….who wouldn’t want that? Look for it at TOUS, Aventura Mall.


CEO of and host of The Women’s Success Conference Stacia Pierce offers up tips to double mom’s drive and push her closer to her passions in life and business in The Success Journal; to purchase, visit inDORAL MAGAZINE


matters of style

Serve Something Chic This Dodi Thayer for Tori Burch dinnerware exudes elegance for every day and special occasions. Starting at $88; available at

spring’s standouts

Super Cycle If you rode a banana-seat bike as a child, Schwinn’s recently released Lemon Peeler will whisk you back in time. Equipped with fenders and coaster brake, this bright yellow cycle brings on nostalgia like no other. Oh, to be a kid again! $349; available at

Springtime never fails to fill us with fresh finds to take from the runways to the streets. Shop the season’s must-haves here. By Maria Tettamanti

Tropical Touch Tomas Maier just gets us. These aviator-style sunnies with palm tree-peppered lenses are unequivocally Florida. $250; available at

Reptilian Realness Snake fever is taking over the runways and jewelry displays. This Daniella Kronfle Serpent ring replete with blue sapphires and blue topaz in rose gold is a Spring sssss-staple. $4,900; available at Daniella Kronfle, 4141 NE 2nd Ave., #203D (by appointment only) and


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Flamingos, Scorpions, Oh My! Don’t shy away from statement earrings. Like, ever. These Miu Miu gold and silverplated faux pearl and crystal clip earrings will set you apart from the masses. $420; available at

Rock the Croc Designer Adriana Castro’s top-handle and structured Anka satchel will have everyone who sees it green with envy (pun intended). $3,370; available at

Beach, Please! There’s no denying photographer Gray Malin has a love affair with Miami. His latest limited-edition beach towel—a pool aerial image from the Magic City— is the perfect accessory for your next beach day. $99; available at

Snap to It! Snapt—a line of accessories built upon a simple snap system—allows tweens to layer fun pieces with a cool click. $8 and up; available at

Happy Heights

Push the Boundaries

For a veritable fiesta on your feet, these Christian Louboutin Venenana style heels are it. Leaf-shaped straps, iridescent beads and sky-high heels make this one sensational sandal. $1,545; available at

Sport this robe in public and make ’em weak in the knees. Paired over jeans with a cinched waist, this Mira Mikati appliquéd cotton-jacquard robe is both whimsical and a fierce fashion statement. $725; available at inDORAL MAGAZINE


table hopping The sophisticated and glamorous decor at Los Fuegos by Francis Mallman calls to mind the most refined European dining experience.


worth a trip: Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann is on fire! By Michelle Payer 64

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rose by any other name would smell as sweet” may come to mind while inhaling the blood-red blossom, misted with fragrant rose water, that floats atop the Faena Spritz, a signature cocktail at Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann inside the glamorous Faena hotel on Miami Beach. Made with Absolut Elyx vodka, Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, aperol, hibiscus and rose water, the equally refreshing and romantic elixir is symbolic of its surroundings, a much-heralded contemporary Argentine asado (outdoor grill) restaurant by one of the world’s foremost chefs who has brought a level of sophistication, glamour and approachable cuisine to South Beach in surroundings that transport diners to London or Paris, or the era of the Great Gatsby. In a word, it is magical. This level of refinement is rare in South Beach, well known as a bastion of glitter and excess. Enter Faena, with its grand murals, chandeliers and intimate lobby, and stroll down a grand villa-style hallway past the opulent Living Room bar to Los Fuegos, which could hold its own in any international capital. The crowd is varied: young, old, dressed up or down in $600 Italian t-shirts, for glamour and grace speak the same language. On any given evening, and especially weekends, the hum of convivial conversation and a bustling staff of 60 attentive and well-trained staff pulsate through the grand salon, yet nothing can be overheard, which makes for privacy amidst the 85 tables indoors and 100 seats on a lush garden patio. On a cool night, a custom-canopy covers the patio in


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Great food. Great drinks. great people. the bucket life. Gary Callicoat, President & chief bucketeer

table hopping

the same reds and golds that infuse the restaurant with its comfortable elegance. Background music is unobtrusive, and when it can be heard, might be Gerry Rafferty assuring you, “It’s been you, woman, right down the line.” Red chairs, glossed wood tables and gold accents are punctuated by leopard-print banquettes, and with it all having been custom-designed by Frank Pollaro, it more than works. It is said the grand chandelier is electronically linked to Los Fuegos in Buenos Aires and flickers when there is lightning in Argentina’s capital city. The décor is a work of art that prepares the palate for what’s in store from Chef Mallmann’s custom-designed kitchen and grand wood oven “piano” that are the first of their kind in an urban environment and allow the renowned Argentine chef to meld his fire-cooking techniques into one over-thetop culinary atelier. Every dish is crafted by the extraordinarily talented Chef de Cuisine Cristian Menendez, at 27 a handplucked Argentinian prodigy of Mallmann’s for the past six years. Mallmann, who is at his South Beach outpost at least once a month (each time arriving with a suitcase of steak knives that were handmade in his native Patagonia), molded a naturally gifted chef with the nuances of his craft, helming an impressive (and impressively hot) open-fire kitchen turning out grilled masterpieces over a combination of 70 percent mesquite and 30 percent Florida hickory wood that gives the Bone-in Ribeye (and all the delectable meats) their incomparable flavors. The menu is only difficult for the decision-making process it requires, as nearly everything seems alluring and order-worthy. Appetizer favorites include Yellowfin Tuna with mango, shaved avocado, cilantro and sesame oil


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TOP: The outdoor bar at Los Fuegos brings a change of vibe from the indoor dining room. ABOVE: The grill is the key to the kitchen’s savory specialties, such as the Bone-in Ribeye among other cuts of masterfully turned-out meat.

($23), Wood Oven Empanadas made with hand-cut prime filet and llajua sauce ($16), a most deliciously surprising Almond Soup with watermelon, olive oil, sherry vinegar and dill ($14) and the not-to-miss Octopus a la Parilla with potatoes confit, garlic aioli, Kalamata olives and chervil ($24). Dinner is a carnivore’s dream, yet vegetarians will find excellent selections alongside the asado fare. Entrées “From the Wood Oven” include Roasted Lechón with the most mouthwatering sweet potato fennel purée, served with orange and fennel salad ($32) and Roasted Cauliflower with crispy rice, cauliflower purée, herb salad and almond and caper vinaigrette ($23). From The Grill, the Colorado Rack of Lamb with asparagus, red onion,

table hopping

quinoa, dates and mint ($46) is exceptional, as is the 12-ounce Wagyu NY Strip Steak with domino potato, arugula, avocado and pickled red onion ($58). Leave room for (Flintstonian-sized) desserts, including the Chocolate Profiterol Maiano with chocolate mousse, mascarpone, cream and raspberries ($14) and perhaps a dessert wine from the well-curated selection or a Starbucks coffee (created specially for Faena). Running the show like a finely tuned orchestra is Director of Restaurants Antonio Palomares, whose refinement and global experience is reflected in the perfectly timed tango of the staff. Younnes, one of the cast of congenial waiters dressed in smart red jackets, doesn’t just present the appetizers; he serves them with elegance acquired from his native Morocco and global fine-dining posts. A young man from the Philippines proudly describes each of the freshly baked breads he presents. Jalil, a most gracious and knowledgeable French sommelier, handpicks perfectly paired selections from a vast list that includes the Faena family’s first wine, the Faena Malbec. The delightfully cosmopolitan nature of the staff contributes to the restaurant’s international appeal, and they have clearly hand-picked the best of the best. After dinner, don’t miss C’est Rouge!, the Paris-meetsBuenos Aires cabaret in the Faena theater every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening. The elegant 150-seat theater is replete with gold leaf and red-velvet décor, and combines Miami style and Latin flair with the grand style of a European opera house on such an elegant scale that one could easily envision Josephine Baker taking the stage as the dramatic curtain rises. The world-class


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TOP & ABOVE: The cabaret show C’est Rouge! at the Faena Theater is the perfect way to cap off an evening after dinner at Los Fuegos.

ensemble of dancers, singers and acrobats creates a sensual, eye-popping show and is accompanied by a seven-piece orchestra that brings the house down by the end of the glittering, glamorous show. It’s a night out that doesn’t disappoint. Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann inside the Forbes Five-Star Faena hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and a new Sunday Asado Brunch. 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786-655-5610; C’est Rouge! cabaret tickets start at $65 and are available at













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wheel life

lextremes A gargantuan off-roader and a radical new sports car boldly bookend an invigorated Lexus lineup for 2017, with an all-new LS flagship on the way.

By Steve Siler


exuses have been known for certain qualities since Toyota first launched its premium division in 1989 with its ambitious LS luxury car supported by a warmed-over Camry called the ES250. Both were upscale, conservatively styled and faultlessly assembled, and over time they proved highly reliable and, well, highly forgettable. More than a dozen additional Lexus models have emerged since with similarly high marks for quality, but little to stir the loins in terms of styling. Then Toyota President Akio Toyoda, a genuine car enthusiast and talented racetrack, held a particularly impactful discussion with potential customers at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance during which most in attendance characterized Lexus products to be nice but rather, uh, boring, the mandate to set: add emotion to the brand and “ensure that the words ‘boring’ and Lexus never showed up in the same sentence again.” Well, mission accomplished, we’d say, especially with the two we are profiling this month.


If the LC500 looks like a concept car, that’s because a concept car is how it started out in 2012, and that’s all it was expected to be. But soon after the original show car debuted at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, the design’s overwhelming response prompted Lexus to green-light the swoopy coupe for production in two forms: the juicy V-8-powered LC500, or the more serene, fuel-efficient LC500h hybrid. And after driving both on the road and on a racetrack at the LC preview drive in Spain, I can say that the


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TOP: The Lexus LC began as a concept car, but overwhelming response at the 2012 auto show convinced Lexus to make it a reality; the LS570 SUV, first manufactured in 2008, got a refresh in 2016. ABOVE: Inside the LS570.

last word any sane individual will use to describe it is “boring.” Styling is really quite radical, especially for a Lexus. The classic, longhood/short-deck proportions are Corvette-like, only with cabin that’s been enlarged sufficiently to add a pair of tiny rear seats that are rather useless for humans but plenty accommodating of gym bags and/or little dogs. The controversial “spindle grille” design that’s now a Lexus design hallmark is rendered more three-dimensionally than ever, with the upper region jutting forward then tucking back in near the base. Head- and taillamps are set within wild graphic elements that will be echoed on future Lexuses, we’re told, with the taillamps incorporating nifty two-way mirrors to give the illusion that they’re several feet deep. Clever. Things are more conventional inside, but the ambience remains decidedly avant-garde. As a true sports car, the sculpted sport seats are set low within the dash, doors and center console that seem to rise around the occupants like giant leather flower petals. The gauges are big and purposeful and the infotainment screen graphics are gorgeous, and while the LC introduces yet another evolution of Lexus’ control interface, it’s easy enough to learn. And as ever, the appointments are divine and assembled as well as cars that cost three times as much as the LC. Speaking of prices, after lots of time in both versions, we can say that

wheel life

ABOVE: Snazzy styling continues from the outside to the interiors of the LC coupe.

the 471-hp LC500 delivers far more satisfaction for the money at its $92,995 base price than the $97,485 LC500h, the latter costing more on account of its sophisticated hybrid V-6 powertrain but which produces just 354 docile horsepower. Deliveries commence in May.

2017 LEXUS LX570

CNN recently ran a story about a ranch in southwest Texas that lets visitors drive around in World War II-era tanks for fun. And indeed, it looks fun. Well, the hulking Lexus LX570 SUV is about as close as you can get to replicating that experience in an automobile that can be driven on public roads in peacetime. Only without the turret and antique cool-factor, the fun is decidedly missing. Like the LC coupe, it’s far from boring, just at the opposite extreme. Certainly, there’s considerable daylight between the eight-passenger LX570 and a Sherman Tank, though the LCX’s 6,000-lb. curb weight is closer to tank level than most other four-wheeled things, including the gargantuan, long-wheelbase Cadillac Escalade ESV. What’s the point of it, you ask? Well, the LX570 is a Toyota Land Cruiser beneath the skin and, as such, boasts astounding off-road capability that is bound to remain untapped forever by its customers yet is a necessity in order to sell against Range Rovers. It’s a proper SUV flagship, and at the flagship SUVs level, customers demand that their demand that their vehicles can actually do what they look like they can do, even if the furthest they ever go off-road is parking on the grass at a neighbor’s estate. However unstoppable the LX570 is, it’s a dinosaur next to most other SUVs. This model first appeared in 2008, and a 2016 freshening just


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2018 Lexus LC (Base prices: LC500: $92,995; LC500h: $97,485)

2017 Lexus LX570 (Base price: $90,855)

• Seductive styling

• Looks bold yet old

• Real sports car bona fides

• Real off-road bona fides

• Pricier hybrid is less fun

• Luxurious and quiet cabin

made it scarier—the only way you could make it more intimidating would be with camouflage paint and machine guns. At the helm, one never forgets how big and tall it is. You’re never close to the action—it’s like driving in a tree—and between the window pillars, rear headrests and huge side mirrors, outward vision is poor, making tight quarter maneuvers a daunting task. Even with its big V-8 corralling 383 ponies underhood, the LX570 is reticent to accelerate, though once your chosen velocity is reached, it’s pure, Lexus-grade serenity. At $90,855, the LX570 is far pricier than other luxo-utes with as many seats and similar or better powertrains. It certainly fits Toyoda-san’s antiboring mandate, but unless a mobile missile launcher finds its way onto the options list, we’re not sure why we’d want one. If that does happen, however, Texas here we come! To test drive one of the models reviewed here, visit Lexus of Pembroke Pines, 16150 Pines Boulevard, Pembroke Pines, or call them at 888-235-1274.

outጃabout Fernanda and Guilherme Dabus.

Fabiana Santamaria, Rejane Gomes de Paula, Maddalena Segato, Carolina Milano and Fernanda Dabus.

Brazilian Foundation Pre-Gala Cocktail at Elysee Miami

Fabio and Joana Ribeiro, Reid Boren, Rejane Gomes de Paula and Maritza Caneca.

Diogo Brown.


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South Florida developer Two Roads Development hosted a special pre-gala cocktail party at its Elysee Miami sales center in East Edgewater in celebration of the sixth annual Brazil Foundation Gala. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while being treated to a performance by Nathy Veras, a past contestant on The Voice Kids Brazil, as well as an exhibition showcasing Carolina Milano’s photo series “Food Art” and abstract and contemporary works by Fernanda Dabus.

Jerry Sanchez, Reid Boren, Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, Taylor Collins and Jesse Ottley.


Alexandra Welss and Robin Kats. Thayara Mueller and Julia Sandi.

Kay Statz and Freddy Stehlin.

Samuel Barbosa, Leejon Neira and Adriana Mattos.

Ovoo Design District Event

Betto Biscaia, Paulo Miranda and Paulo Barros.


APRIL 2017

Brazilian luxury design, art and interior emporium Ovoo Original Design recently launched its Miami Design District showroom, the company’s first location in the United States. Described as a fusion of design, furniture and art, Ovoo’s luxury furnishings—including many one-of-a-kind pieces—combine the best of design, fabric and leathers from Brazil.


Leonardo D’Agostini, Jessica D’Agostini, Eliana Agostini and Marcos Agostini.

Julia and Carlos Leyrer.

Divine Savior Academy

Ryan and Dana Kirchoff.

Luis Sanchez and Michelle Gonzalez Sanchez.

Juan Ramos, Annie Stanzione, Paola Nunez and Jorge Romero.

This year’s Divine Savior Academy Annual Gala and Auction was themed “Elegancia,” and celebrated the rich cultural traditions shared by the local community. All proceeds benefited a special project for the school, a covered walkway to keep the sun and rain off of students during drop-off, pick-up, and recess. Sheril and Erik Wold.

Alain Laferriere and Lisber Vegas. Jennifer and Fabian Bello.


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inDoral Premiere Issues - April 2017  

Mayoral Grace / Peace Love World / Mom's The Bomb / Shape Up

inDoral Premiere Issues - April 2017  

Mayoral Grace / Peace Love World / Mom's The Bomb / Shape Up