LDPR's Meredith Phares is just back from a three-day press trip to Bal Harbour, Florida....
|Jan Schroder, Emily Leaman, Jacquelyne Froeber, and LDPR's Meredith Phares at St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort|
Upon arrival in this chic South Florida destination, we met for lunch at Mister Collins, the new restaurant at ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa serving interesting takes on classic American dishes. We feasted on tuna tartare, homemade guacamole, warm pretzels to start and I followed with a roasted beet and citrus salad. Perfectly sated, we embarked on a tour of Bal Harbour Quarzo, a boutique hotel with spacious suites, just a short stroll from ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa.
To prep for an evening out in Bal Harbour, we stopped at Gee Beauty, a new makeup and skincare studio located in the iconic Bal Harbour Shops, for a professional makeup application. With glowing skin and refreshed energy, the group headed to Neiman Marcus (the first Neiman Marcus outside of Texas!) for a Bal Harbour Art Chat. The evening was entitled, "A Collecting Life," and featured Ruth and Marvin Sackner, founders of the Sackner Archive, the world's largest private collection of concrete and visual poetry from 20th century art. Dinner followed at Makoto, Stephen Starr's new restaurant. From spicy tuna crispy rice to short rib robata (my favorite!) to frosty kobe fried rice, we tasted many of Chef Makoto's specialties before heading back to ONE Bal Harbour Resort & Spa, where I sank into my king-size bed.
The next morning, we toured the nearby The Sea View Hotel and had a cup of joe at the charming poolside coffee shop alongside the Olympic-sized swimming pool. We then checked into our next hotel - the brand-new St.Regis Bal Harbour Resort, which opened on January 19. While it was quite difficult to leave my oceanfront balcony, the thought of fresh seafood and al dente pasta lured me out the door. We met again at Carpaccio, a local favorite at the Bal Harbour Shops known for its classic Italian food and world-class people-watching. Leisurely window-shopping and afternoon spa treatments filled the afternoon (isn't life in Bal Harbour tough?).
To celebrate our last evening in Bal Harbour, we sipped creative cocktails in the lobby bar - my cucumber martini was quite refreshing - and then sat for dinner at J&G Grill. We shared some of Jean-Georges' signature appetizers ranging from black truffle pizza to Florida hearts of palm salad and selected some of his most popular entrees, based on the waiter's recommendations. But there's always room for dessert! The Grand Marnier Souffle and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae (with peanuts, popcorn and chocolate sauce, no less) stole the show.