Miami Life: Wine & Food, Organic Dining, The Deck, Convention Center

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

When you live in Miami Beach that means eating foods from around the world. The next event is the Juneteenth Wine & Food Festival. If you really want to lift your spirits, I suggest you have breakfast or lunch at Lilikoi Organic Living. The Deck at Island Gardens is Miami’s best kept secret. The Grand Hyatt Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel will be making its debut in 2025 and it’s a really big deal.

June 17-18. Juneteenth Wine & Food Festival

When most of us hear about playing in the sand we think about building sandcastles. When you live in Miami Beach that means eating foods from around the world. There are several festivals during the year that build gigantic tents right on the sand that house food, music, and merchandise exhibits that can entertain you for hours.

The next event is the Juneteenth Wine & Food Festival that features two days of activities dedicated to chefs and culinary personalities of the Black culture including wine and spirits. The festival has literature that explains Juneteenth to be the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

The Juneteenth Wine & Food Festival is going to be an epic tasting affair. Get your tickets at

Lilikoi Brings Everyone Back to Basics In Ritzy Miami 

If you really want to lift your spirits, I suggest you have breakfast or lunch at Lilikoi Organic Living. It’s our local healthy and organic spot with gluten free and vegan options. Even though the food is delicious, there is something about the place that calms you and makes you feel a good life can be a simple life.

The restaurant is not fancy but it’s so welcoming and adorable. Everyone is usually dressed very casually in their workout clothes, and no one is concerned about makeup, hairstyles and wearing designer accessories to make them appear successful. This is the place where everyone wants to relax and rejoice in the fact that they are in Miami where the sun shines most of the time. We took our godson Dr. Brett Sklaw and his wife Liz, to Lilikoi last weekend to see their reaction to it. They were visiting us from Columbus, Ohio, a very different environment from Miami. They instantly loved it because it’s just so unpretentious.

We all had to select our food from a wall menu, pay upfront, get a table stand with a number and then find a table (inside or outside) where our selections are brought to us by the waitstaff. We were all required to get our own utensils, napkins and water from a self-service area. It’s all very civil. By the way, everything is locally sourced. They also offer all kinds of juices and smoothies. The owner and chef Manuel Torterola took his experience working in kitchens around the world, from Michelin Star to family owned spots to create this clean eating, healthy focused menu.

Lilikoi is located at 500 South Pointe Drive, right at the entrance to South Point Park.

Getting Decked Out 

The Deck at Island Gardens is Miami’s best kept secret. For some reason, many people I know haven’t been there yet.  Some never heard of it. That’s because it’s tucked away in an exclusive area on Biscayne Bay that you can barely see from the MacArthur Causeway, the main drag that takes you from downtown Miami to Miami Beach.

You see this iconic stretch, which borders the waterway with all the cruise lines, in countless movies. You have to look fast though lots of Palm Trees to see The Deck on the south side of the causeway. If you are driving past the Miami Children’s Museum, you missed the opportunity to catch a glimpse of The Deck. Try again next time.

The Deck is a little intimidating, but so are many posh hot spots on and off the beach. I think a lot of Miami residents and tourists think The Deck is too expensive and exclusive to be a frequent hang out. That’s not true at all. We recently went to The Deck for a private party and all I can say is “go.” It’s absolutely gorgeous, the food was delicious, and the service was impeccable. While your evening will be a bit pricey, it won’t be that much higher than many other places. At least you get that first class feeling.

The Deck is connected to one of the most gorgeous marinas in Miami, home to the largest yachts in the area. We had a good time examining the super yachts that you usually don’t get to see up close and personal. One was more magnificent than the other. The Island Gardens marina is one of the few places that’s not surrounded by a lot of water traffic and noisy tourists. It’s all very serene.

The Deck gets really hopping on Friday nights with their weekly Dinner Parties. Saturdays host waterfront yoga, and on Sundays, they feature a luxe speakeasy brunch and an exclusive sunset lounge with nightlife music. Give yourself a treat. It’s filled with so many fun people. Get the details.

Miami Beach Gets a Convention Hotel    

2025 is going to be a really big year for Miami Beach. That’s the year that an increasing number of first-time visitors from all over the world will be spending time in the Magic City. Most first timers will be traveling here for business once the new 800-room Grand Hyatt Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel will be making its debut. The new hotel is going to make Miami Beach one of the best places for a business convention because of its proximity. Showgoers love to stay in a hotel close to a convention center because they can easily get back to their guest rooms for well needed breaks.

The other big advantage is that business folks don’t have to waste time sitting in traffic jams and racking up bills on expensive cab rides. For those who love to combine business with pleasure the Grand Hyatt Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel will only be a few blocks from the most glorious beach ever.

The hotel was designed by Arquitectonica architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia and is being developed by David Martin of Terra Group and Jackie Soffer of Turnberry Associates. There have been reports that the lavish 17-story project will create an estimated 1,909 on-site construction jobs, 724 full-time jobs and 225 indirect jobs. Get more details.



  • Lois Whitman-Hess

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.