Last night was my first foray into the world of “Grand Openings,” especially the sort that happen on South Beach. Needless to say, I do not typically get invited to these. But after receiving an invitation to the grand opening for Nespresso, the new coffee bar at 1111 Lincoln Road, I decided I’d see if I was cut out for this sort of revelry, the sort that is immortalized on Deco Drive.
Also, the invitation contained three pods of espresso that are technologically advanced, meaning I can’t just stick them in my Krups. They’re from outer space and are *proprietary*. They either go in a Nespresso machine or nowhere at all. There had been a rumor, later confirmed, that I might get a free coffee machine out of it (more on that later) and I decided that my price for selling out my loyal readers was a Nespresso coffee machine (retail price $199 and up). Hey, at least you’re not a cheap date.
On Tuesday, the day before the grand opening, I learned that in order to claim the Nespresso machine, I’d have to show up at 9am the following morning for a press preview. Umm, this is a blog, not the Daily Planet. And I have a day job, so I politely declined. In other words, I am now the proud owner of three Nespresso pods and no Nespresso machine. I am going to chew the ground up coffee beans like they’re Skoal.
Good news: I didn’t sell you out for a coffee machine.
Bad news: I was totally willing to do it. I didn’t even think twice. I high-fived people when I heard about it and bragged about it relentlessly. I feel like I need to take a shower. Out damned spot.
But this post isn’t about me. It isn’t about how out of place I felt at the event, not because I can’t hold my own at these, but because it is embarrassing to go up to the hostess and give her my name, have her flip through a few times, and then ask me that dreaded question (“Media?”) before sending me over to that other check-in post over on the side. The one with the dark rain cloud above it.
I gained entry (“What publication are you with?” “Some stupid blog,” I say. Blank stares. “Miami’s Restaurant Power Rankings,” I say. To which they think, “Oh, some stupid blog.”) and the event itself was lovely. Very chic. Beautiful people, and if I didn’t write that they’d each be very sad. The Nespresso boutique itself is stunning in its design. It’s futuristic, a la The Jetsons.
And now I have two confessions:
1) Not a drop of Nespresso espresso (in liquid form) touched my lips. In fact, there weren’t too many opportunities to try the coffee itself. The event was about so much more than coffee, you see. But I did get a taste ostensibly through Hedy Goldsmith’s dessert at the Michael’s Genuine station (Nespresso Bittersweet Chocolate Toffee Bread Pudding with Nespresso Arpeggio Anglaise). It was excellent, like everything Hedy Goldsmith makes. I hear she once made Pillsbury Crescent Rolls out of the tin canister and they tasted like the nectar of the gods, I’m just sayin’. Other restaurants in attendance: the Jonathan Eismann Food Court, Quattro, Meat Market, and Douglas Rodriguez’s restaurants.
2) The other confession is that I don’t really eat at these kinds of events. I know you’re relying on me to taste everything first, to make sure it isn’t poisonous, but I’ve never been good at eating during cocktail hours. I can’t eat standing up. There must be a phobia for that or an entry in the DSM-IV (“food-and-wine-fest-phobia”). So with the exception of Hedy’s dessert, a potato salad lettuce wrap from Quattro, and two passed hors d’oeuvres, I didn’t eat much of anything (let’s just say I went to dinner at Sakaya Kitchen afterwards).
I feel terribly guilty that I’m not doing right by the PR folks who are extremely kind and professional and are some of the best in the business. So let me say this: the Nespresso boutique is beautiful in its design and I look forward to actually trying the espresso. This is a great addition to Lincoln Road, a place to kick back before a movie or catch up with an old friend. The event was over-the-top, well attended, and should create some positive buzz for the store.
(Full disclosure: I received a few cups and saucers, a coffee scented candle, a couple of coupons for free coffee drinks. In other words, graft. I’ve been corrupted to my very core. Next stop: city commission.)
In any event, I get the sneaking suspicion that I won’t get invited to another one of these anytime soon. You’ll find me at Starbucks with the plebes.