Sushi purists have a new spot South of Fifth. Tribeca’s Michelin-starred Azabu opened a sister restaurant for an authentic Japanese experience (the restaurant group also owns Sushi Kanbe in Kobe). For omakase, head to its hidden, wood-paneled den past the large-scale bonsai tree in the dim speakeasy stocked with rare Japanese whiskeys. Another dining counter faces the open kitchen, where hot and cold izakaya dishes are prepared, and a secluded terrace offers outdoor seating. Heated by Binchotan charcoal, the robata grills yakitori to avocado as a nest for uni (pictured) to scoop together with a spoon. Curry salt accompanies corn tempura, while bayberries break up the buttery richness of leaf-wrapped, miso-glazed black cod. Piled like a volcano, kakigōri (shaved ice with condensed milk and fruit) is light enough to finish.
Hong Kong-based resortwear designer Marie France Van Damme was in town to open her eponymous boutique this week. The Bal Harbour pop up (through May) will hopefully turn into a permanent store, and rumor has it she already plans to expand in South Florida. It’s easy to see why women here would love her pool-ready pieces. Made with exquisite fabrics, such as Lurex rose-patterned jacquard from Lyon, France, this collection isn’t ordinary beach attire. She only works in black, white and metallics for day-to-night dressing for the most efficient holiday packing ever. Her bestselling “boubou” caftans are designed for dinner parties and to slip over one of her sleek minimalist swimsuits, from bandeau bikinis to Eighties-inspired one pieces. Her next beach bridal capsule collection, which sees life beyond the honeymoon, comes out soon.
COOKING FOR CAUSES
Local chefs are cooking for a couple causes on January 26. The hard part is picking which fundraiser to attend. Sean Brasel (Meat Market), Diego Oka (La Mar), Danny Ramirez (Harry’s Pizzeria) and Andres Barrientos (Miami Smokers) are setting up stations for the Creator’s Ball at LMN CTY (295 NE 59th Street). The 10th anniversary gala benefits City Year Miami, a nonprofit to keep kids in school and graduate on time throughout Miami-Dade County, pictured. Part of AmeriCorps, a network of citizens supporting communities, its members will impact 6,500 students this year. Reserve here. Brad Kilgore (Alter) and Dewey LoSasso (formerly the Forge) lend their culinary talents to DASH’s Taste of Design in Paradise Plaza (151 NE 41st Street). The 10th annual bash benefits Design and Architecture Senior High.
GERTRUDE THE GREAT
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney had deeper ties to art than founding her namesake museum of American art in New York. She also was quite an accomplished artist in her own right. The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach curated the first exhibition of her work since her death in 1942. Forty-five sculptures and drawings, several of which have been hidden away in private collections, are on view from January 25-April 29, 2018. Her uncommon sensitivity for the time, from not glorifying war to portraying the working class, is evident. In conjunction with the show, the Norton hosts a symposium on February 10. “Whitney’s Sculpture in Context” brings together scholars on topics like Women in a New Bronze Age, the Great War and the Whitney in relation to her life.