Read about some of the most exciting new occurrences in Miami in our OPTIMAR Observer.



    Miami Romance Month Wedding Showcase



    The Greater Miami Convention & Visitor Bureau’s ‘Temptations Program’ will culminate Miami Romance Month with its annual Wedding Showcase. The event caters to locals and couples planning their weddings in Greater Miami and the Beaches, showcasing concepts from more than 60 top wedding and luxury event planners, designers, florists, restaurants, caterers, venues and entertainment. Guests will enjoy delicious sweet and savory samples, Bridal dress showings by La Vie en Blanc, plus pop up shops by Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue Brickell City Centre featuring shoes, handbags, lingerie, fragrances and more.





    Palmetto General Hospital Names Resident of the Second Quarter



    Palmetto General Hospital recognizes Dr. Benjamin Phelps as the resident of the second quarter. Dr. Phelps was nominated by his peers, students and faculty who describe him as compassionate and knowledgeable. “Dr. Phelps has gone above and beyond the call of duty to assist in patient care and use every encounter as a learning opportunity,” said Dr. Manuel Brito, Vice President and Director of Graduate Medical Education at Palmetto General Hospital. “He is a leader with the utmost potential.” Dr. Phelps receives this honor amongst the 90 residents that are participating in the program.




    The Grandeur of Grand Avenue



    Grand Avenue is one of the most significant corridors in the Historic Village of Coconut Grove. It begins on South Dixie Highway and heads east to McFarlane, where some of the best shopping, dining, and entertainment are located. Grand Avenue traverses the West Grove, which is also known as Village West. This very distinctive neighborhood was founded by Bahamians and has a long-established and proud history. The time is now ripe for a major transition of Grand Avenue. Some refer to it as “gentrification,” while others feel it is inevitable, market-driven progress on which we can build a renaissance without displacing long-time residents.

    Recently, six properties were purchased by B & B Grove Properties LLC. The hope is that the new owner will appreciate the existing community and bring a new vitality of commerce, entertainment, and people to help improve the quality of life for all. It is also crucial that accommodations are made for long-time residents to have the opportunity to remain a part of the Coconut Grove community by providing affordable and workforce living facilities.





    Traffic Solutions Summit Focuses on Community Transportation Issue



    A Traffic Solutions Summit was convened by Miami-Dade County District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava on Saturday, Feb., 3, at the Cutler Bay Town Hall, and co-hosted by the Village of Pinecrest, Village of Palmetto Bay and Town of Cutler Bay. More than 150 area residents attended to hear from traffic experts, take a look at transportation improvement plans that already are underway and to offer their own thoughts about future plans. Participants broke into small groups to brainstorm transit solutions and to help produce a realistic action plan to reduce traffic, including individual commitments. Commissioner Levine Cava, said she was pleased with the turnout and the public input.




    Featured Restaurant: Empanada Harry’s Bakery & Café



    Harry and Michelle Coleman have a simple mission for Empanada Harry’s, which opened in April 2017: Offer gourmet versions of the Venezuelan pastries they’ve loved for years. The couple’s baking career began in 2008, when the Great Recession stifled their goals of becoming journalists. Instead, they took over Harry’s grandmother’s South Beach bakery, Charlotte, which specializes in Venezuelan pastries and breads. They spent the next decade running the popular spot. The couple offers 22 original empanada varieties that represent their take on the flavors of Venezuela, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. Try the Venezuelan pabellón, deep-fried and filled with the national dish of shredded beef, black beans, cheese, and plantains; or the Peruvian, a slightly sweet dough that’s filled with ground beef, egg, and spicy ají amarillo, baked, and sprinkled with powdered sugar.