Cool in the Heat

Think we can’t do cooler-months fashions in South Florida? Think again. We went to some of Fort Lauderdale’s most fashionable shops for tips and trends – and found northern style with Florida flair.

As the summer drips away into the fall, stylists, boutiques, and fashion houses are swapping out light, playful fabrics for layers, darker hues and warm knits.

Not in South Florida — right? A place where people can enjoy a day at the beach into the new year and locals celebrate a dip into the low 80s, the region seems to be in a perpetual summer, save for the three days a year a “cold front” comes through. A place where we have to settle for flipping through magazine and Instagram posts of clothes and accessories that just won’t work.

Not so fast, local fashion experts say.

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A Celebration on the Coast

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Back in April, Jack and I got engaged and it’s been a whirlwind ever since.

To celebrate, Tatiana Lora of the Ritz Carlton kindly invited Jack and I to dine at the Fort Lauderdale hotel’s new restaurant, Burlock Coast. Open since November, I met her for breakfast there once and was eager to see how their dinner menu fared.

Walking in, the restaurant is nautical themed without the obvious anchors and netting. Instead, the bar stools are woven with dark wood, light orbs hang overhead, and the carpet pattern is reminiscent of ocean waves. The staff is dressed neatly in chambray.

Jack and I opted to dine al fresco, as the restaurant is directly across the street from Fort Lauderdale Beach and we could watch the sun set and the tide come in. The night started out with great news — since it was Tuesday, happy hour prices were in effect from 6 to 10 p.m.! As someone with a later work shift, this was welcome news.

Starting with a dish of fried oysters, Chef Gavin Pera prepared a barrage of menu tastings. He has a flair for presentation, pairing many dishes with sauces packaged in squeeze tubes. Next came greens with candied kumquat, tuna tartar, black grouper, steak, and pasta.

Finally, for dessert we were treated to a sampling of three desserts — including my favorite key lime pie — with “congratulations” written in chocolate.

Whether you’re local or making a trip into Broward County, I highly recommend stopping by Burlock Coast. Not only do they have an impressive line up  at the bar, but the restaurant also features a marketplace of rums and high-end cooking ingredients. Also, the makes an effort to purchase its food from local farms and fisheries, so not only are you shopping local, but freshness is guaranteed.

Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits, Ritz-Carlton Fort Lauderdale Beach, One N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, 954-302-6460

The Rockin’ Coast

Packed tightly in the club, worshippers to the rock gods anxiously await the melodies they know by heart: The deep drone of the bass, screeching riffs emanating from electric guitar, the pounding on the snare drum, and, finally, the singer screaming the first notes into the microphone. It’s not a scene from New York, Los Angeles or Austin, but rather a nightly tribute to music in sunny South Florida. Most visitors to the region are drawn to the sandy beaches and slathering of sun block, but anyone who knows anything can feel the rumbling of rock ‘n’ roll.

Operation Sacred Trust Combats Veteran Homelessness In South Florida With $1 Million Grant

While the nation thanks its veterans this weekend for their service to the country, many of those veterans are struggling on the streets of South Florida.

Cedric Halyard was one of them but he has gone from a homeless drug user to the outreach director of Operation Sacred Trust, which works to get homeless veterans off the streets of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

An effort by Carrfour Supportive Housing, PAIRS Foundation, Henderson Behavioral Health, and Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida, Operation Sacred Trust allows the four nonprofits use their expertise to help homeless veterans like Halyard.

Read the rest at HuffPost Miami.

Fort Lauderdale: Venice of America

The Greater Fort Lauderdale area contains more than 300 miles of canals that weave through the area. About 165 miles run through Fort Lauderdale itself, giving it the nickname found on the city seal, “Venice of America.” The canals sport their own South Florida flair with a mix of both romance and edginess and are a part of the urban sprawl, visible from train tracks and the skyscrapers.

Read more at Where Fort Lauderdale.