Litto Gomezas, Padrons, and Calle Ocho…
I reside in the Greater Chicago area so I usually need a winter vacation that lets me briefly escape the cold. This year my leaf loving friends and I just happened to be in Miami the same weekend they resurrected Big Smoke Miami. Even though Miami has enough cigars to keep three SOTL’s (sisters of the leaf) smoking like chimneys, we still weren’t sure if we would splurge on the tickets.
But when I saw that Cigar Rights of America members (us) got buy one get one free ticket, we pulled the trigger. I played hooky from work Friday and cracked open the latest edition of Cigar Aficionado Magazine on the plane. It’s amazing what a conversation starter that magazine has proven to be.
Dipped out of the office early enough to catch Dinner at Joe’s Stone Crab. What can I say I like to smoke after a bit of food. The next stop was Casa De Montecristo by Prime Cigar & Whiskey Bar. This place is everything I want in a cigar lounge; live music, top shelf bar and ample indoor as well as outdoor sitting. The ambiance made it perfect for our first night on the town and Litto Gomezas was casually smoking at the bar.
Their was an LFD event so I got to smoke the La Flor Dominicana Andalusian Bull
After all, it was the cigar of the year in 2016 and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Complex and earthy, I paired it with a tequila silver and lime juice with a salted rim.
Friday Night at the Fontainbleau was the perfect setting. There was adequate space for the amount of attendees and it felt like 250-300 aficionados to me. There was a live band playing festive music and the buffet was surprisingly good. I distinctively remember the shrimp and grits and being proud of myself for not ruining my white dress. The ticket included 36 premium cigars which, I had to walk from booth to booth to collect, tricker-or-treat style.
It got a little tedious, but I collected my 72 cigars and made a lot of friends in the process. To my surprise I won an Instagram contest sponsored by La Galera Cigars so I picked up another 24 sticks, but whose counting, and I rewarded myself for the effort by lighting up a Padron 4000 Natural.
The rest of the weekend was filled with mojitos and Cuban sandwiches found on Calle Ocho. Each Tobacconist had its own ethos. Some offered coffee, others a pick up game of dominos. Each shop representing a unique family legacy and all were equally inviting. So happy I listened to the recommendation of our Lyft driver and checked out the Cuban fare at Café Versailles. Sunburnt with a coffee in one hand, adult beverage in the other, taking a long slow draw is my new happy place… thank you Miami!