411: Cipriani Downtown Debuts with Haute 100 Dinner

Michael Capponi, Lauren Fitzpatrick, Hadley Henriette and Oren Alexander

“The best things in life are free; the second best are very expensive.” -Coco Chanel

Such fabulous second bests fill the pages of luxury tome, Haute Living magazine, which threw its splashy annual Haute 100 Dinner at the highly anticipated debut of New York’s, Cipriani, the night before the restaurant’s official opening day. Just over 100 special guests, who were hand-selected by Haute Living’s editors, arrived via chauffeured BMW 760?s and a Ferrretti Riva 75? Vernere to the waterfront restaurant, to be toasted with free-flowing Dom Pérignon for their inclusion in Haute Living’s list of the 100 most powerful, influential and philanthropic people in Miami published in the annual Haute 100 issue.

Haute Guests excitedly entered Cipriani Downtown, marveling at the exquisite décor, which resembles the inside of a ship, the beautiful Andy Warhol photographs and oversized work from Avant Gallery and took in the ambiance of the Riviera, for which Cipriani restaurants are well known. The hours-long dinner included course after course of crab cakes, grilled vegetables, cheeses, beef Carpaccio, salmon and steak tartare, salads, gnocchi, risotto and decadent desserts, amid a soundtrack of Frank Sinatra hits and enlightening conversations.

Haute Living Publisher, Kamal Hotchandani, presented a toast to South Florida’s finest, not just for their roles as investors, thinkers, entrepreneurs, artists, billionaires, power couples, athletes, designers, originators and entertainers- but for their philanthropic efforts toward the betterment of our community. We refer back to Coco Chanel’s best things.

Philanthropic Influencers in attendance included: Tracy Mourning, Mike and Alicia Piazza, Michael Capponi, Lea Black, Joanna Krupa and Romain Zago, Michael and Nikki Simkins, Alan and Ruth Zelcer, Eric and Stacy Milon, Daniel de la Vega, Phillip Goldfarb, Phillip Levine, Robert Zarco, Bobby Yampolsky, Keith Menin, Russell Galbut, Brett David, David Martin, James Ferraro, Jason Atkins, Marco Selva, Jay and Laura Parker Manuel Groskopf, Edgardo Defortuna of Fortune International, Rick de la Croix, of Hublot and Ken Gorin, President and CEO of the Collection. Miami Heat wives such as: Adrienne Bosh, Jenine Howard and Savanna Brinson, LeBron James fiancee attended in place of their better halves, as the Heat players were in Chicago for the playoffs. The magical evening’ was sponsored by Jade Signature, Dom Pérignon, Hublot, BMW and Ferretti Yachts.

A Garden Party for Wishes

OnSunday, April 21, Make-A-Wish Southern Florida held its annual Garden Party to kick-off the upcoming 19th Annual InterContinental Miami Make-A-Wish Ball, to be held on Saturday, November 2, 2013. The private, swanky affair was hosted by Lifetime Benefactors Al and Nancy Malnik at their Palm Beach county oceanfront estate to honor contributors of the 2012 Ball, who raised more than $1.7 million. Ball Chairman Shareef Malnik announced that his significant other, Burn Notice star Gabrielle Anwar, will emcee the live auction as celebrity auctioneer for the third consecutive year, to which she lightheartedly proclaimed, “For the record, I beat Sharon Stone!”

VIP guests at the annual spring soiree included 2011 and 2012 Balls emcee Gabrielle Anwar; Chairman’s Challenge Member Richard Polidori; Chairman’s Challenge Members Todd and Kim Glaser, Chair of the Make-A-Wish Board of Directors, Brett Rose; Mike Kovensky, Director of Sales and Marketing for InterContinental Miami; Ball Auctioneer Brian Holland, legendary boxing manager Don King; noted restaurateur and reality television personality Fabian Basabe; socialite Linda Levy Goldberg, Tara Solomon, Nick D’Annunzio and many more. Set affront a backdrop of glamour and sophistication, attendees enjoyed an afternoon of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, as well as performances by ThePalm Beach Symphony Orchestra. In a nod to the power of magic, a life-sized hare named Mr. Bunny, a dead ringer for Peter Rabbit, and an elaborately tiered tabletop candy tower – laden with gold and glass vases full of gumballs, cupcakes, licorice and mousse – brought out the inner child in all guests.

In a grand finale that served as testament to the life-changing power of a Wish, Wedderburn introduced Wish Child Eric Osherow, a 15 year-old brain cancer survivor, who shared his moving story of persevering through surgeries, physical therapy and grueling rounds of chemotherapy, knowing that once he improved he would be able to fulfill his wish of a surfing trip to Fiji, granted to him by Make-A-Wish Southern Florida.

TARA, Ink. Walks for AIDS

We proudly joined the TARA, Ink. PR team and Marley, our Bichon Frisé poodle mascot for the 25th Annual AIDS Walk Miami on Sunday, April 28, which benefitted Care Resource, South Florida’s largest HIV/AIDS community organization. Through the generous support of family, friends and TARA, Ink. clients, including The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, Executive Chef Todd Erickson of HaVen Gastro-Lounge and General Manager Jonas Brewis of RA Sushi in South Miami, we raised more than $3,200 for the cause and enjoyed a day filled with camaraderie, exercise, fun and laughter. Oh and lots of Starbucks, after all, the walk was at 9 a.m. on a SUNDAY morning (the insanity!). TARA, Ink. still needs your help in order to reach our $5,000 team goal, visit the Team TARA, Ink. page and make a donation!

Recent cuts in federal funding have made medical care for South Floridians living with HIV/AIDS a luxury. It is everyone’s responsibility to do our part to raise the much needed funds and awareness,” says Tara Solomon, principal of TARA, Ink. PR. 

The team consisted of more than 30 members and contributors including: TARA, Ink. principals Tara Solomon and Nick D’Annunzio, aforementioned team captain Giuseppe Salamone, Meliz Andiroglu, Sarah Arison, Michael Baum, James Brown, Sasha Bizyaeva, Maxwell Blandford of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, Gaston Botta, Jamie Bowling, Francesca Cruz, Nicole del Castillo, Taylor Dixon, Stephanie Dunn, The Miami Herald restaurant critic Victoria Pesce Elliot, Diana Fleming, Joseph Garcia, Vene Giufurta, The Miami Herald reporter Kendall Hamersly, Dana Hotchkiss, Diana Jacome, Michael Leondas Kirkland, Alison Kunkel, Vivianne Kurzweil, Zackary Lancaster, WSVN Fox 7 anchor Belkys Nerey, Eric Newill, Ruth Robinson of Miami Science Museum, MIAMI Magazine writer Stacey Russell, Shiraz Events, The SunPost Weekly writer Mary Jo Shore, Sharon Socol, David Steinberg, Marisa Toccin and Taylor Withers.

Celebrity Sightings

 Jeffery Donovan and Jeremy Shockey were both spotted at SLS Hotel South Beach’s Hyde Beach this weekend, on separate occasions.

Spotted at Zuma: Nigel Barker and guests enjoying Spring Sake before his Merrick Park event; a friendly David Bisbal, and Jean Reno (alive and kicking) with wife and friends on Sunday night, after a media hoax reported him dead!

Pitbull made an appearance at The Melting Pot for an exclusive party with the winners of the “Skinny Dipping sweepstakes, which was hosted by the international fondue restaurant chain and Pitbull’s Voli Light Vodka. Pitbull and J-Lo have also been seen shooting their new music video for Live it up! Dale! in Miami and he’ll be appearing at the iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party this weekend.

On Saturday evening, Pain & Gain actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was spotted dining in the subterranean Lafite Wine Room at the The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar.

Later that evening, Gabrielle Anwar and Forge owner, Shareef Malnik were seen slow dancing in the corner of the bar, having a romantic moment, oblivious to the other patrons in the area. Muy romantic!

On Sunday, Mexican singer and actress Alejandra Guzman enjoyed the Mother’s Day brunch at the Forge with her daughter.

Luis Miguel was spotted at the Forge shortly after arriving via private jet into Miami on Monday. This is the second time in a few short weeks that he has been seen dining in the private dining room. He was joined by a few friends to enjoy the evening.

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