Miami Life: Restaurant Find, Fireworks, Dog Dates, Special Offer

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We went to a restaurant this week in Miami that was “such a find” that I have to share it with everyone. Finally, the Fourth of July fireworks are back after the Covid suspension, and I’ve got the scoop on all the fireworks displays. Attention dog owners: Tropical Botanic Garden is offering several dog dates for Miami pups. I have a special offer from a designer friend of mine, who is offering her “showstopper,” innovative clutches at a deep discount. 

Sagra’s Rigatoni Bolognese is The Best Ever

Sagra Pizza Bar had some of the best Italian food I ever ate, and the prices were very affordable. The Rigatoni Bolognese was outstanding. Eliot and I both ordered it and the servings were so big we had to take half of them home. Don’t let the name of the restaurant fool you. It’s not a pizza joint. However, the character of the place is totally without decor. It’s like the owners found an abandoned building and turned it into a restaurant overnight. Everything looks second hand but that’s the allure. The patrons all looked like they were regulars, happy and content.

Yes, Sagra has pizza. They have thin crust Roman style pies from an outdoor Italian imported Valoriani traditional oven. How cool is that? Absolutely the best.

The restaurant was recommended by Kathryn Mikesell, the Co-Founder of Fountainhead Arts, the famous art residency in Miami. I’m on the Board. Every month Eliot and I host a dinner for the visiting artists. June was dedicated to the BIPOC, (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Mother artists. Here is Angela Davis Johnson, (next to me) Shizu Saldamando (on assignment) and Natalie Ball, all accomplished artists. Kathryn is the blonde.

Sagra has a restaurant in TriBeCa, but I’m sure it’s fancy and pricey. Sagra Miami is a whole other experience. Let’s go together. 11052 Biscayne Blvd. Miami | (305) 384-4759|

Miami Fourth of July Fireworks Are Back

Photos by Eliot Hess from previous years

Finally, the Fourth of July fireworks are back after the Covid suspension. Everyone agrees it was the right thing to do. As always, we have some of the best fireworks displays in the nation. We don’t want anyone to miss a thing so here is the list of what is happening where. Thank you for the events.


Head to Country Club Drive to watch the annual explosion of color and sound. 9 p.m., Country Club Drive, Aventura


Miami’s big July 4 bash on the bay includes local performers Timbalive, Julio Montalvo and Latin All Stars, with Genesis Diaz singing the National Anthem as well as bounce houses for the kids. Food trucks will be open for food and beverage purchase.4-9 p.m., Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; fireworks at 9 p.m.


The Fourth of July celebration returns after a two-year absence with food trucks, a concert and fireworks on the lawn of the Biltmore Hotel. There’s also a Stars and Stripes Barbecue with a grill station, salad bar and dessert, plus an open bar in the hotel ballroom and courtyard. Grounds open at 5 p.m. at Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables; free; concert at 7 p.m., fireworks at 9. Barbecue tickets $205 for adults, $100 for children 3-12; available at


The ticketed Independence Day Celebration at the Trump National Doral Hotel is sold out, but there will be a separate fireworks display near the Doral Glades Park area at 9:20 p.m.(Note: The park will not be open for viewing — the idea is to watch from your house.)


This North Beach bash features food trucks, a family zone, circus performers, a magician and live music, and from 4-9 p.m. you can skate inside the bandshell. A free shuttle service from the 42nd Street garage and the bandshell will depart every 15 minutes from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; a flat rate of $20 per vehicle will apply at city parking garages in the Art Deco Cultural District. 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; fireworks begin at 9 p.m.


The Independence Day Celebration presented by Hialeah Park returns with food trucks and a musical lineup that includes Leoni Torres, Chacal and Srta. Dayana, plus DJ YUS, DJ A10 and DJ Cuba. In addition to fireworks, there’s a laser show, too. 4-11 p.m., Milander Park, 4700 Palm Ave., Hialeah


“Race to the 4th” Independence Day Celebration returns with a kids’ zone, food trucks, live music and fireworks show. 6-10 p.m., 1 Ralph Sanchez Speedway Blvd., Homestead


The Ocean Drive Association will host a free patriotic concert in conjunction with the Miami Beach Classical Music Festival followed by fireworks. 8:30 p.m., Lummus Park, 1130 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach


The city is hosting drive-in fireworks show at Calder Casino, with live bands, DJs, raffles and giveaways and food trucks. It’s first come, first served, so plan on getting there early. Gates open at 7 p.m., Calder Casino, 21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens; fireworks at 9 p.m.


The 19th annual Fourth of July party continues this year with music, fireworks and more. 6:30 p.m., Veteran’s Park, 15151 NW 82nd Ave., Miami Lakes


Start the holiday early with the annual classic car show from 6-10 p.m. July 3 at the Miami Springs Circle, then head to the Miami Springs Golf and Country Club on July 4 for fireworks. 8 p.m., Miami Springs Golf and Country Club, 650 Curtiss Parkway, Miami Springs


If you aren’t averse to spending money, head to Miami Beach’s original day drinking spot for a cowboy disco celebration in partnership with Calirosa Tequila with sounds from DJ Francis Mercier. The night ends with Nikki Beach’s own private fireworks show. Daybeds, cabanas and tables available with reservations. Doors open at 3 p.m., Nikki Beach, 1 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach; each person must spend $75 on food and drink; reservations at OpenTable


Bring your lawn chairs or blankets to the party in Palmetto Bay, with live music, food and craft vendors, a beer garden, lasers, entertainers and a toddler zone. 6-9 p.m., Palmetto Bay Village Hall, 9705 East Hibiscus St.; fireworks start at 9 p.m.


The day starts with music, games and more for Surfside residents and non-residents and ends with Zambelli beachside fireworks. All guests must be accompanied by a Surfside resident. Surfside Community Center, 9301 Collins Ave.; free for residents, $5 for non-residents; fireworks at 9 p.m.


The holiday “Star-Spangled Awesome” event includes live music, drink specials and food from Sake Room, Spris Artisan Pizza, Sweet River, La Santa Taqueria, and Knotty Burgers, plus The Wharf’s own special fireworks show overlooking the Miami River. Kids and leashed dogs welcome before 6 p.m.; after 6 p.m. it’s 21 and older only. Doors open at noon; The Wharf Miami, 114 SW North River Dr., Miami; walkups welcome, but RSVP for a complimentary Tito’s cocktail before 4 p.m. at eventbrite


Dog Date at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

I always felt that people who own dogs have the greatest advantage of meeting new friends. Many go to dog parks every day, stand around while their pets play, and they eventually get to know the other owners. I started to notice this when I took walks with my girlfriends who own dogs. They knew so many more people in the neighborhood than I did. I started to get jealous because I realized owning a dog was a great way to build a big social circle.

That social circle has even got wider these days now that Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is offering several dog dates for Miami pups in a tropical oasis. Fairchild is encouraging dog owners to take a stroll with their pup in their park to enjoy the fresh air and scenery. Fairchild is planning lots of special dog friendly activities. Past activities include, DOGA, Dog Bazaar, Pet Portraits, Glow night and more! Be sure to keep an eye on our calendar and follow them on Instagram @fairchildgarden to discover our latest dog date happenings.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is an 83-acre botanic garden with extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palmscycads, flowering trees, and vines. It is located in  Coral GablesMiami-Dade County, Florida, United States, just south of Miami, surrounded at the north and west by Matheson Hammock Park.

Sutton On Sutton

This is an offer for all readers of The Three Tomatoes. Fashion and Interior Designer Elizabeth Sutton, a friend of mine, is offering her “showstopper,” innovative clutches at a deep discount to celebrate her company’s move from Aventura, Fl to NYC. The Elizabeth Sutton Collection is now located in a townhouse on West 57th, a few steps away from Sutton Place. Anyone who wears an Elizabeth Sutton clutch can’t walk down the street without strangers stopping you to say how much they love the look of the clutch. It puts a smile on everyone’s face. I own 4 of them. I can get them for around $175. They sell in boutiques for over $350.

Even when I think I look awful, these clutches make me feel young, fashionable and daring. Go to the website and see the wide variety.  Elizabeth is quite a character and very successful. These clutches can turn out to be the next Judith Leiber collectibles.



  • As Co-Founder and President of HWH PR, Lois Whitman-Hess has been actively involved in public relations for a vast array of business sectors including technology, Internet-based companies, entertainment, law, publishing, fashion, beauty and art. For the last eight years, Lois has authored a daily blog called “Digidame.” It mostly covers her personal journeys as well as tech innovations, art, travel, and entertainment. In addition, Lois co-hosts a weekly podcast called “Lying on the Beach” with TV personality Steve Greenberg who is a contributor on NBC's Today Show. They interview luminaries who discuss their expertise and views on current events.

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