When Zoo Miami’s Ron Magill took center stage as master of ceremonies at the first South Miami Taste of the Town rooftop party, he seemed to be speaking for all the attendees as he said, “the angels are smiling on us tonight.” It certainly appeared to be the case as the event atop the 73 Street municipal parking garage was crowned with a cloudless sky, with the moon peeking through a picturesque orange, lavender and magenta sunset that slowly faded and brought on the night.
Guests and sponsors alike seemed to echo Magill’s remarks while they sat at cozy tables for four enjoying a wide selection of classic cocktails and dishes offered by area restaurants. Tasty treats included fried gnocchi and signature guava cheese bread pudding from Segafredo; mini corned beef sliders from Irish Times; classic cuts of prime rib along with an excellent apple and nut cabbage baby greens salad from Outback Steakhouse; tasty ice cream desserts from Swensen’s; and many more yummy sampler plates from Casa Larios, Whisk, Shula’s 347 and other supporting area restaurants.
Gardner’s Market wine connoisseur Henry Barrow, formerly the voice of the Miami Dolphins, was clearly having a grand time while offering exquisite full-bodied wines from the Gardner’s Market diverse collection. “I may be one of the few attendees tonight who was actually born in South Miami,” he said. “I’ve been here my whole life – since 1947. My father was mayor, and this is truly a special night.”
Clearly it was, with so many special guests in the audience like Dick Anderson of Anderson Insurance, a member of the Miami Dolphins’ 1972 perfect season team. Anderson complimented the city for supporting such a special event that also gives back to the community, with proceeds going to improve the tree canopy and Parks Foundation.
“South Miami is truly a gem,” said Anderson. “It is wonderful to see so many merchants and restaurateurs coming together to support a good cause. It is so apparent tonight how blessed the community is, to enjoy so many active residents who are willing to step out and take the initiative to better our town for everybody; residents and visitors alike.”
Lance Frazier, store manager of Gardner’s Market said he was overwhelmed with the incredible turnout. “From the first bottle we opened, it has been great fun,” he said. “It is an absolute honor to be here. Mr. Henry Barrow knows just about everybody here. He is the consummate South Miamian, with a deep knowledge of all things wine as well as the gourmet cheese delights we are offering tonight.”
The VIP section had cozy velvet couches overlooking the live music coming from the nearby stage and complimentary cocktails from Zegafredo and Irish Times.
Pat and Jim Amaya came out to the event with their daughter, Eileen Maastricht, and all three raved about the good food, beautiful weather, great music and nice people at the event, which had several hundred in attendance.
Organizers George Alvarez from Celtix, Christina Casado from Miami-Dade’s Office of Community Image and Allison Diego from the Parks Foundation were the primary team that brought the event together. The event benefitted the Million Trees Miami Initiative and the Parks Foundation, while exposing the community to the rich variety of area merchants South Miami enjoys.
The next Taste of the Town is scheduled for late September. To find out more about the Million Trees Miami Project, visit For more information on the Parks Foundation visit To find out about how to get involved in the next Taste of the Town, contact George Alvarez at 786-457-6214.