Where CELEBRITIES EAT: CARPACCIO, Miami (One of WHITNEY HOUSTON’S Favorites)
While Ocean Drive remains the go-to spot for tourists and new money looking to savor the decadence of Miami, the old schoolers know that if you really want to get a taste of the fabulous lifestyle off the international city, one must venture from the beach.
There are a number of other hip locations scattered throughout the city where celebrities wine and dine to escape tawdry spring breakers. Downtown Miami plays host to The Viceroy and The Epic – luxury hotels where athletes and musicians like Braylon Edwards and Cash Money buy sky-high apartments and lounge poolside. The Forge the legendary Al Malnick restaurant that has hosted every celebrity legend including Britney Spears, Beyonce, and Michael Jackson.
But if you really want to dine and live like a Miami celebrity (and maybe even run into one), then a quick drive down Collins Avenue to the BAL HARBOUR Shops should you have the coins to enjoy it. Bal Harbour hosts only the best of the best stores – Versace, Gucci, Yves St. Laurent, and Fendi are just a few of the neighboring shops at this elite outdoor mall where star sightings occur daily.
At the epicenter of Bal Harbour is CARPACCIO – the Italian restaurant perfect for star gazing (the mall’s valet is right at the outside terrace) or a quick al-fresco bite between shopping.
Prices soar at Carpaccio where raw meats, pastas, veal and fish keep VIP guests happy in the mall’s signature restaurant. Celebrities like Whitney Houston (whom People Magazine spotted there with then-hubby Bobby Brown back in 2003 during lunch after spending $140,000 at nearby Cartier), rub designer shopping bags with the international set on the restaurant’s swanky terrace. (Even former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman stopped by during my last visit).
Authentic Italian fare is served up by waiters with thick accents, parmesan, garlic and red pepper beautifully flavor each dish, and presentations are magnificently laid in family style spreads or individual entrees at Carpaccio. Take a look at some of my favorites below, and peep the candids of Whitney at one of Miami’s most treasured restaurants!