Art Basel Miami Beach is under way. This is the 11th American offshoot of the Swiss contemporary art fair, which was founded in 1970. The Miami Beach Convention Center is currently hosting 257 leading international galleries, roughly half of which come from the United States and Latin America. We consulted The Betsy Hotel on Ocean Drive for browsing and dining recommendations outside of the main event:
Oak Tavern — The pleasant alfresco dining area of Chef David Bracha’s (River Seafood and Oyster Bar) new restaurant in the Design District is anchored by a 60-year-old oak tree. New American dishes include gnocchi with rabbit-truffle sausage, wood-fired pizza with duck and fontina, and stone crab crostini with avocado. 35 NE 40th Street. Tel. (786) 391-1818.
MC Kitchen — Chef Dena Marino (D-19, Ajax Tavern) and partner Brandy Coletta have opened an airy, minimalist space with an open theater kitchen. Their contemporary Italian menu features standouts such as stone oven roasted octopus, spaghetti with sautéed Florida prawns and classic Parmigiano Reggiano gnudi. 4141 NE Second Avenue, Suite 101A, Miami. Tel. (305) 456-9948.
Pop Up Piano Miami — Eight stand-up pianos (donated by Steinway & Sons Miami) have been strategically placed across the Wynwood, Midtown Miami, downtown Miami and Design District areas. Each piano is colorfully customized by an artist and is donated to a worthwhile charity after the art fair.
Wynwood Walls — The Wynwood Arts District has been transformed over the last five years from a grim industrial area into a vibrant arts enclave. Dozens of large-scale murals from some of the world’s most well-known street artists adorn the walls of more than 70 galleries, museums and art collections.
The Lost Beatles and Rolling Stones Photographs — This photography exhibit in The Betsy Hotel’s public spaces includes some 200 rare prints taken by Bob Bonis, the tour manager for both the Rolling Stones and The Beatles, during their first U.S. tours from 1964-1966.