Ciao-Ciao, Mr. Chow

Monday, November 30, 2009 by Jason Oliver Nixon.

Just before Thanksgiving—and en route to Antigua, Guatemala, where the Nixon clan celebrates the holiday—I spent a few nights in Miami to catch up on what’s doing in this balmy, beachy burg. There have been a slew of new hotels and restaurants open of late in South Beach, so I wanted to check in on the latest and greatest.

My partner in crime for my wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am whirl was design and style writer Saxon Henry, who’s currently penning a few pieces for the magazine on the Miami scene. She and I met up and tippled and tasted our way around the Deco district and certainly lapped up the the Big M (frankly, Miami is far too glitz and glam for me, I am much more of an understated type myself but my sojourn 'twas fun nevertheless).

Among our favorite evenings on the town was an especially spirited evening at the brand-new W South Beach. Designed by interiors superstars Yabu Pushelberg, the hotel calls to mind the one-time stomping grounds of the Rat Pack but updated for today—all polished stone, dramatic lighting, mega-height ceilings, flickering candles, slick and chic. We settled in for a few cocktails upon alpaca-draped chairs at the hotel’s dramatic and dark Living Room with is tapas-like nibbles and colorful libations loaded up with muddled fruit. 

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The sexy digs at the W South Beach’s Living Room Bar where Saxon and I sipped and supped among the fur-covered furnishings.

From there, it was on to the hottest new boîte in town, the hotel’s outpost of Mr. Chow, where Saxon and I sat between Drew Barrymore and her gaggle of hipsters and Jamie Foxx and his duo of libidinous lovelies. As we sampled the glorious dumplings and the wildly chic (but uber-expensive!) Peking duck, we watched Drew bop about the dining room and chat up the lovely Betsey Johson (we are crazy about Betsey, she is just so nice!) as Foxx oozed LA-style cool in gold sunglasses and an omnipresent BlackBerry. When the charming Michael Chow, the owner of the global Mr. Chow empire, came over to greet to us, well, that was the icing on the cake of our star-watching, name-dropping dinner.

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The sleek-and-chic interior of the just-opened Mr. Chow, the South Beach outpost of the global Asian restaurant known just as much for its scene as its perfect Peking duck.

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The restaurateur behind the Mr. Chow empire, Michael Chow, and his glamorous wife, Eva.

And what fun to be smack in the middle of such a scene!

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About Jason Oliver Nixon

Jason Oliver Nixon

Global Lifestyle Editor Jason Oliver Nixon is always on the prowl for the latest and greatest finds, whether it’s ferreting out the grooviest new restaurant in Paris or unearthing a home design store in Dubai. "I am attracted by color and energy, passion and verve," says Nixon. "Who wants to be beige and boring?" The former Editor in Chief of Gotham, Hamptons, and Los Angeles Confidential magazines, Nixon makes frequent appearances on television as a style authority. A resident of Brooklyn, New York, Nixon escapes to London whenever possible, where he can be found happily ensconced at Fortnum & Mason perusing new-fangled jams.

To contact Jason Oliver Nixon with your comments, questions, and blog suggestions, e-mail him at jetset.delta@gmail.com. Or, post your comment on his blog!

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