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A FAREWELL TO ROBERT E. LEE, GM OF TRANSATLANTIC WINE AND SPIRITS


A man of inspiration and passion and as large as life itself passed away June 24th. Robert E. Lee, General Manager of Transatlantic Wine and Spirits left us. A family man and a true friend to many, he will be sorely missed but always remembered and loved.


MARCO BAX IS THE NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF AT ACQUA, FOUR SEASONS MIAMI
A Four Seasons Hotels veteran, Executive Chef Marco Bax, a native of Bergamo, Italy, comes to the Four Seasons Miami with the flavors of Northern Italy that made him famous at Quadratto (Quadratto was named one of London's best new restaurants by the editors of Wine Spectator Magazine in 2001), and previously at the Principe de Savoia Hotel in Milan, Carpaccio restaurant in Paris and the Grand Hotel des Bains in Venice.Open since October 2003, the Four Seasons Hotel Miami and its restaurant "Acqua are sure to become a destination in itself," said Ignacio Gomez-Tobar, Four Seasons Hotel Miami Regional Vice-President and General Manager. For starters Chef Bax's menu offers antipasti, soups and salads ($7-$16): lobster and melon salad with white truffle sauce, tuna carpaccio and mint salad; white asparagus soup with wild mushroom, and chilled yellow and red tomato soup with tiger prawns and avocado. Pastas and risotti ($13 - $23) range from homemade spinach gnocchi and pennette with chicken, caramelized shallots and mozzarella to saffron risotto with carabineros and asparagus. Entrées ($21 - $32) feature fillet of turbot with braised leeks and morels; duck with grappa marinated apricots; veal chops with polenta, sautéed spinach and truffle sauce and veal osso buco. Acqua is open 7 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and offers a Sunday brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.1435 Brickell Ave., Downtown Miami. 305-381-3190.


ON 10TH ANNIVERSARY THE BILTMORE CELLAR CLUB SPREADS TO GROUND FLOOR.
As part of the luxurious new make up of the Biltmore Hotel, the 7th floor Altamira Suite which housed the Cellar Club for 10 years, will become a state-of-the-arts Spa with private rooms overlooking the golf course, and the ground floor will be its new home. "We've purchased the golf course from the city of Coral Gables, and we're converting the Biltmore Hotel into a world class Resort & Spa" said Yvonne Roberts, Founder and Director of the Cellar Club, on the eve of its 10th anniversary. The Club became a food and wine destination and a place to be and be seen, with the Tour des Toques program which brought in Michelin star chefs from France. "With a growing membership - over 1,000 members - constantly bringing in guests for the Wine Tastings and Wine Dinners, the 7th floor had become too small," continued Ms. Roberts. Because it is adjacent to the Palme d'Or Restaurant, Cellar Club members can now enjoy over 100 wines-by-the-glass, guaranteed to taste good and fresh by a Nitro-System program directed by sommelier and restaurant host Sébastien Verrier. Some of the privileges of Cellar Club members include a 20% dining discount and no-corkage-fees at La Palme d'Or and at 1200, a 20% discount at the Spa, and a 20% discount in affiliate restaurants, such as Chispa, in Coral Gables. The Cellar Club is located at the Biltmore Hotel, a member of National Trust Historic Hotels of America, at 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables, Florida 33134. For further information, visit www.thecellarclub.com, or call 305-913-3203.


FOR THE SWEET TOOTH: CHOCOLATE BOUTIQUE OPENS IN COCOWALK
Azúcar , not the late Celia Cruz's leitmotif, but a Chocolate Boutique and Fine Coffees is the idea of husband and wife team from Puerto Rico. Recently arrived to Miami, Arnaldo Gonzalez, a former UPS manager in Puerto Rico and Maritza Collazo, both chocolate lovers, have opened their own 500-square foot sweet tooth fairy kingdom. Designed by Luis Collazo, a New York interior and flower designer, the store sells the line of Christopher Norman and Payard chocolates, as well as a line of sugar free chocolates. The store is well-stocked with specialty and rare coffees ( i.e. Colombian, Jack Daniels coffee Dry Roast, Café Alto Grande, a high altitude grown coffee from Puerto Rico). Their best seller so far are the Brazo Gitano Francés ($18) and Confisserie items typical of Puerto Rico such as mantecaditos, with or without guayava paste; almond cookies, wedding cookies. The Coffee Bar is open for freshly brewed coffees ($1.25 to $2.50). 3015 Grand Ave., 2nd floor, suite 210. 305-648-9009. FOTOS:


BELLY DANCING AND MID-EASTERN FOOD AT LEILA'S IN PALM BEACH
Palm Beach is caught in the veils of Leila, a 70-seat indoor/outdoor Middle-Eastern restaurant owned by Syrian-born entrepreneur Roy Assad and wife wife Evelyn. While the highlight is Tuesdays Dinner and Belly Dancing ($25), from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. with Belly Dancing teacher Dawn Askins, a former ballerina who teaches in Boca Raton, the attraction is Chef Alex Awad's Syrian and Lebanese menu. Mezzes or appetizers ($6 to $10) feature the usual Middle Eatern fare: falafel, hummus and baba ghanouj and offer a Mezze Tour ($39) with six different salads. For lunch and dinner there are pita sandwiches ($9 to $11)of grilled veggies, falafel, kefta, grilled fish, kish kebab, shish tawook (grilled chicken skewers), or a mixed grill ($25) that can be served as entrees served with a choice of rice or couscous ($17 to $28). Leila is open seven days for lunch and dinner. 120 South Dixie Highway (At the corner of Datura and Dixie). West Palm Beach. 561.659.7373.













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