This week in Miami is the last Viernes Culturales of 2015—a great opportunity to snag some Cuban art as last-minute Christmas gifts. Music lovers should head to MADE at the Citadel, which is hosting singer-songwriters Justin Howard and Robson. It’s a good week for foodies, too, with two new restaurants to check out: international fusion at Pao at The Dome by Paul Qui, and comfort Thai at NaiYaRa by Piarat Arreeratn.
December 18 | Local music
Mean Pugging Presents: An Evening with Robson
Fresh off an impressive locals-oriented lineup of events for Art Basel, MADE at the Citadel, a new shared workspace in the Little River area, is hosting a night of live music featuring local singer-songwriters. Brazilian born Robson was raised in Miami and sings in a style that’s a bit doo-wop and a bit indie rock, not unlike the sound that Leon Bridges has recently popularized. Make sure to catch him before he’s as big as Bridges. Robson is supported by Justin Howard and Data Wars.
9 p.m. | MADE at the Citadel, 8325 NE 2nd Ave., Miami | $20 | website
December 18 | Arts & culture festival
It’s the last Viernes Culturales Arts and Culture Festival of the year. This monthly stroll takes place on the last Friday of the month along 8th Street, or Calle Ocho, Little Havana’s main artery. Local galleries stay open late, and the sounds of Cuban music fill the streets. Stop by Domino Plaza, where there’s always a congregation of people playing, you guessed it, dominos. Galleries boast an impressive selection of traditional Cuban art as well as work by next-wave Cuban-American artists working from Miami.
7–11 p.m. | Domino Plaza, SW 8th St. and SW 15th Ave., | Free | website
December 21 I Restaurant opening
Pao at the Dome
Pao at the Dome, by Austin-based chef Paul Qui, is the second restaurant concept to open on the FAENA campus. The FAENA team has been pretty tight-lipped about details of the menu and the interior space, but those who are lucky enough to snag a reservation this week will be treated to cuisine that blends international styles including Filipino, Spanish, Japanese, and French. The only word on specific menu items is that it will include crudo specialties and meats seared tableside over Japanese binchotan charcoal. The only interior detail is that the space features a Damien Hirst unicorn that sold for more than $6 million.
Pao at the Dome, 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach | (305) 534-8800 | website
AFAR Local is published every Wednesday, so check back for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? The AFAR guide to Miami has you covered.
Now open | Restaurant
Sunset Harbour has a new Thai restaurant, brought to you by Chef Piarat Arreeratn (aka Chef Bee) and his mother. The mother/son pair have put their heads together to deliver a restaurant that is an homage to Bee’s favorite childhood dishes and Thai street food. Chef Bee worked at Nobu and then opened Oishi Thai, a North Miami locals’ favorite, in 2005. While NaiYaRa, named for his daughter, is a homey concept, Miami-based design firm Oberhausen has put together a sleek interior with subtle nods to Thai influence.
NaiYaRa, 1854 Bay Rd., Miami Beach | (786) 275-6005 | website
Big Cypress National Preserve
There are more than 200 campsites to choose from on the Big Cypress National Preserve’s 729,000 acres, just an hour away from Miami, and this is the time of year to pack a weekender and take your pick. Stay in an RV, tent, or cabin. Build a campfire, grill some gator, kayak through the Everglades, and keep an eye out for the Skunk Ape, the area’s own Bigfoot. Also look out for alligators, a local inhabitant you’re much more likely to run into.
Patricia Guarch Wise is a Miami native and the blogger behind Miami Nice. Her interests include paella, paranormal activity, Proenza Schouler, and her Pekingese named Bonnaroo.