Brickell City Centre shoppers certainly will not want for Italian fare with two major destinations dedicated to the crowd-pleasing cuisine. La Centrale (Italian pronunciation) food hall opens in phases from February 16-20 with impressive numbers: 40,000 square feet throughout three floors, 600 seats, 1,000 specialty items, 500 wine labels, and 19 eateries and bars of every type from sit-down dining to pastries and gelato. Easing the “What’s for dinner?” dilemma, the operation offers cooking classes and wine tastings, recipe cards to recreate its signature dishes at home, personal shoppers, and a mobile app to pre-order and pay, and even pipe in a curated playlist to unwind after a long day. Casa Tua Cucina also recently launched its lavish, 18,000-square-foot Italian kitchen and market in Saks Fifth Avenue.
701 South Miami Avenue; lacentralemiami.com. 70 SW 7th Street; 305.755.0320; casatuacucina.com
A local candle collection is emerging for quality ingredients and sophisticated scents. Jeannine Escobar named Buena Vista Candles after the neighborhood where she grew up and serendipitously returned years later. Originally a journalist, she found her true calling after discovering homeopathic tinctures. The curious type took a seminar on floral remedies at the renowned Bach Centre in Oxfordshire, England, never thinking she’d complete every level of certification there and continue her education at the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies. Her soy-only products feature five scents in three sizes. Lavnoir combines the finest French lavender with dark sea salt inspired by ocean air, while Figment celebrates an exquisite Greek variety of its eponymous fruit. Find them at Ahana Yoga and a pop up at West Elm Midtown Miami on March 4.
South of Fifth is giving Sunset Harbour some serious dining competition. The Lobster Shack launched a few weeks ago, and it’s already become the spot for fast-casual seafood. The owners, a family whose ties to the hospitality niche stretch back to 1921, imported salvaged wood from Maine for the interior and installed a lobster tank in front. Live Maine lobsters are flown in every other day for traditional lobster dinners and a variety of lobster rolls on locally baked bread. Five kinds include one with only claw meat that’s been warmed and buttered, and the “South Beach” with bacon, avocado and jalapeno slaw. Others are stuffed with king crab and Cajun-spiced shrimp. Shipyard Brewing, whose Export Ale and Monkey Fist IPA are on draft, is creating exclusive beers.
Palm Beach County residents have a new place to see and be seen. A group of them banded together to open 1000 North, a waterfront restaurant with a private club upstairs along Jupiter Inlet. Several partners are boldface names (Michael Jordan, Ernie Els) and the elegant project was developed by some of the team behind the nearby Bear’s Club and Ritz-Carlton Club. Everyone is welcome to use the 350-foot dock, though members have first dibs. Invite-only memberships extend to concierge and catering services, access to the private lounge and patio, complimentary valet, and fun events like wine tastings and dinners by guest chefs. The regular menu lists stone crab lollipops, Peking duck with pancakes, and yellowedge grouper with vierge-style strawberry sauce. A meaty steak section should go over well too.