Wallpaper* City Guide

Where to Eat, Drink, & Shop During Art Basel Miami Beach 2014

Wallpaper* City Guide
Where to Eat, Drink, & Shop During Art Basel Miami Beach 2014
Casa Tua

With the hordes descending on Miami this week for its annual bacchanal of art fairs, parties, and cash-dripping luxury-brand events, even the most battle-scarred art veteran will want to clear their head for a moment and regain something approaching sanity. So why not go shopping? Or have a nice meal you don't need to eat standing up while juggling a drink in the other hand? Or see the sights? Or—to hell with it all—just hit the clubs? 

To provide a few chic suggestions for non-art diversions during the fair week, we turned to the Wallpaper* City Guide for tips on the most enticing, of-the-moment destinations. See below for a sampling of these destinations, and click here to buy a handy app version of the entire guide.


Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

Chef Michael Schwartz’s neighbourhood bistro opened in 2007 and soon became a Miami institution, patronized by local artists, writers, architects and designers. Michael’s Genuine managed to make devilled eggs hip again, but in addition to the unpretentious modern American menu, Schwartz added the unexpected, such as hominy, kimchi, pickled kumquat, and a chocolate cremoso dessert served with sea salt and olive oil. The prized seats are out in the courtyard, and the bar is a great perch for a quick bite. Designer Carl Myers created the space, with boxy lights, rich woods, and his signature mosaic portraits, made using Guatemalan coins. 130 NE 40th Street, T 305 573 5550, www.michaelsgenuine.com 

The Forge

This power-dining institution underwent a $10 million renovation in 2010. Francois Frossard Design retained the stained glass, opened up the space and opted for a Miami-meets-Louis-XIV look, which is better than it sounds. Chef Christopher Lee’s progressive American cuisine is also a major draw. 432 41st Street, T 305 538 8533, www.theforge.com

Casa Tua

If you want to impress a local, Casa Tua is the place to book—especially if you can snag an outside table. The restaurant is hidden from the road by a hedge surrounding a pretty garden, which wraps around two sides of the Mediterranean-style villa. The atmosphere is low-key, but the waiters are attentive—a welcome change from the usual SoBe can’t-be-bothered attitude. The food is simple Italian, with a few twists, as in the odd splash of truffle oil. The results, though, are usually delicious. Casa Tua is always packed and regulars are rewarded with an upstairs club that is members-only on weekends. Don’t let that put you off, though—try a firm phone manner or enlist some help from your concierge. 1700 James Avenue, T 305 673 1010, www.casatualifestyle.com



This raunchy late-night haunt is a blend of 1920s Berlin cabaret and swinging 1960s London, with its slouchy sofas, Playboy pinball machine, and antique goblets stashed in display cases. As befits a cool after-hours venue, it does not bother with a sign—the entrance is through the parking lot. The club, in the Wynwood Arts District, is owned by Amir Ben-Zion, the co-creator of Miami Beach’s Townhouse hotel and Buck 15—another hipster to have jumped the bay. Expect performance art, burlesque, local bands like the Spam Allstars and celebrity showcases from Juliette Lewis. Our poison of choice is the Dark ‘N’ Stormy cocktail (rum, ginger beer, and lime). Bardot is open until 5 a.m. and gets livelier as the night wears on. 34th Street/N Miami Avenue, T 305 576 5570, www.bardotmiami.com 


When it opened in 2010, Wall at the W immediately became a SoBe hotspot. Officially an ‘ultra-lounge’ as opposed to a club (ie, there’s no dancefloor, just wide aisles), it was designed by Anna Busta of Studio B Design in New York. The walls are a harlequin pattern of wood and mirrors, there’s a copper-mesh ceiling, a lacquered bar, stools by Cappellini, and vintage sofas. To ensure you get in, make a reservation for bottle service (beware, two bottles for a table can run up to $1,000) and leave your credit-card details. Open until 5 a.m., Wall is a celebrity magnet, but VIPs are usually whisked in and out without anyone noticing, and you probably won’t realize who you’ve been partying with until you read about it the next day. W South Beach, 2201 Collins Avenue, T 305 938 3130, www.wallmiami.com


1111 Lincoln Road
Lincoln Road

Herzog & de Meuron designed this open, sculptural, concrete-and-glass parking garage and shopping space, which arrived in 2010. At ground level, international retailers, including Colombian design company Inkanta and Italian multibrand store Coltorti, cafés and eateries surround a pedra portuguesa stone plaza with a Dan Graham-designed pavilion. On level 5, the 165-square-meter glass-box Alchemist fashion boutique, designed by local architect Rene Gonzalez, has a snakelike ceiling mirror installation by Random International that responds to customer movement. A rooftop restaurant is reached via the SunTrust offices next door. The 1111 is inventive and full of surprises: witness the art under the stairs. 1111 Lincoln Road, www.1111lincolnroad.com

Atlantis Condominium 

Arquitectonica’s 1982 Atlantis building is perhaps Miami’s most recognisable structure, at least for anyone who can remember the TV series "Miami Vice." Each episode opened with a shot of the condo’s glass façade, with its five-story cut-out featuring a red spiral staircase, a palm tree, and a pale blue jacuzzi, as well as the striking geometric structure on the roof. The Atlantis, a 20-story residential block with 96 apartments, offered an exotic, urban lifestyle and made Arquitectonica famous. It was built during the cocaine boom, when so much drug money was stuffed into Miami’s banks that it impacted the skyline—they loaned liberally to anyone wanting to develop along Brickell Avenue. Unfortunately, two huge buildings have since gone up next door, so you’ll need to look that little bit harder to spot this postmodern icon. 2025 Brickell Avenue


The Webster

This luxury shopping emporium located in a renovated art deco hotel is the creation of French fashionistas Laure Dubreuil, Frederic Dechnik, and Milan Vukmirovic, a co-founder of Colette. The ground floor has a small bar and rotating pop-up stores, while ready-to-wear is found on the second floor, where anything tight and revealing sells like crazy. This is the place to pick up a pair of Balenciaga sneakers or seek out labels like Lanvin, Balmain, and Tom Ford. The Webster is also the exclusive retailer of Julian Louie’s architectural, hand-sewn jackets and skirts. If the weather permits, head up to the rooftop bar, which is a scene in itself. 1220 Collins Avenue, T 305 674 7899, www.thewebstermiami.com

Luminaire Lab 

A Coral Gables design mecca since 1979, Luminaire has been a training ground for favored interior designers in Miami. The owners, Nasir and Nargis Kassamali, brought their visionary concept to the Design District in 2007 with Luminaire Lab. Here they show un-quotidian pieces like Nao Tamura’s site-specific work of translucent filaments and silicone leaves; limited-edition reissues of midcentury conceptual pieces; and Spanish designer Joan Lao’s furniture line, Alternative, which is intended to elicit "emotional responses such as joy or comfort." The selection of books in the back offers the most abstruse and interesting design tomes found anywhere. 3901 NE 2nd Avenue, T 305 576 5788 www.luminaire.com

Photography © Claudia Uribe-Touri, Wallpaper* City Guide


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