Well I’m finally back in New York where it is freezing but at least feels like Christmas time. In retrospect my week in Miami was one big blur, but there were a few food items that stood out in my mind. I already told you (about five times) about my salmon-pop encounter and subsequent love affair, but here are the rest of my favorite food moments from the trip:

1. Rock candy coffee stirrers in the UBS Lounge at Art Basel Miami Beach Not only was the food delicious and the service impeccable, but the details in the UBS lounge were also luxurious enough to make VIP patrons feel spoiled. People who would not dream of dumping a packet of real sugar into their skinny lattes happily swirled rock candy  sticks in their mugs while chatting with friends about that piece at Gagosian that would be perfect for the Hamptons house. Sometimes at Art Basel Miami Beach there is so much talk about getting into VIP areas that we forget to appreciate them once we’re in. So thank you, UBS, for reminding me of life’s smaller luxuries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The dessert spread at the Art Basel Miami Beach Farewell Dinner The Farewell Dinner for exhibitors had pretty impressive spreads all around, including a shrimp cocktail bar, sushi bar, and blini caviar bar. But the best had to be the dessert bar. There were mini pumpkin pies, mini key lime pies, hazelnut macarons, coconut chocolate marshmallows, and about a million other things I can’t remember. Luckily there were many lounge chairs available because I ate so much I couldn’t stand and needed about an hour to recover.

3. Girls with Champagne Drinks flow like water during the art fair, but the best aspect of drinking in Miami during the first week of December is that you don’t have to get drinks for yourself. Beautiful but forgettable girls walk around with standard issue smiles and trays of champagne so you never see the bottom of a flute. It is sort of appalling how quickly we get used to this service. By the time we leave Miami we fully expect a fleet of flute-bearing girls to greet us at the airport and I feel lopsided and unbalanced without a glass of Veuve Clicquot carelessly bubbling away in my hand.

4. Binge eating at Joe’s Stone Crab post-art fair After a week of 16-hour schmooze-fests, everyone needs a break. Which is why we headed to Joe’s Stone Crab on Monday night for dinner. The primary restaurant does not accept reservations and we do not accept one-hour wait times, so we headed next door to the take-out section. Groggy and exhausted, we ordered a horrifying mountain of foods and proceeded to vacuum it into our bodies with reckless gusto. It really could have passed for a piece of performance art as we shoveled unbelievable volumes of food into our mouths. My tempura fried cod with Asian slaw was great, as was the mind-blowing Key Lime Pie we shared afterwards. If you are in Miami I would highly recommend a visit.

It was a week of decadence and, in many ways, part of an alternate reality of the wealthy and pampered. Now it’s back to my small apartment in frigid New York with no VIP lounge, not bottomless Champagne flutes, and no all-you-can-eat caviar bars. Art Basel Miami Beach is nothing if not an orgy of the luxurious and the opulent, and such orgies, while titillating, are ultimately exhausting and cannot last forever. So it’s back to normal in New York to hibernate until the conspicuous pop of a champagne bottle rouses us once again from our humble slumber.

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