Perhaps no other NATPE-goer is happier to see this week’s conference and exhibition back in South Beach than Miami-based Chris Sloan, the co-founder, president and executive creative director of 2C Media. (Click here for complete NATPE 2012 coverage)
“As corny as it sounds, I love showing off the city,” Sloan said Tuesday afternoon at the Bleu Bar in the Fontainebleu Resort, where the conference is under way. “That and the food. Our city is obsessed with food - we have five culinary institutes.”
As someone who set up his company in Miami because of his love of the city, he means it when he says “we.” His career has included exec positions at NBC, USA Network and TLC, but he set up 2C Media in Miami to be in Miami. Sloan could “go on forever” about where to eat here but I asked him for a few of his favorites. There’s still time to make it to some of these spots while you’re in town - or make plans for next time you’re here.
Barton G: For an over-the-top “spectacle” that will “blow your mind” Sloan recommends this innovative restaurant, where the menus are on iPads and presentation is key. Sloan is pictured showing his photo of the “sliders,” served with a baseball setup. Lobster pop tarts come in a toaster. You get the idea.
Fabulous 40 Food Truck Night. There’s still time to plan for this one — every Tuesday night at 7 p.m., some 40 food trucks converge on the campus of Johnson & Wales University near the intersection of 125th and Biscayne (it’s also near 2C Media’s HQ). Sloan makes a regular night out of it with his family. “You can do it buffet style,” he says.
Scarpetta’s: The one restaurant on Sloan’s list at the Fontainebleu is this joint, considered one of the best Italian restaurants in Miami.
Café Romeo: This restaurant known for exceptional Northern Italian cuisine has the distinction of being the only restaurant foodie Sloan has been to that doesn’t have a menu. Every meal is made custom for the diner after a chat with the staff about likes and aversions. It’s in the city of Miami. Valentine’s Day reservations book a year in advance.
Sugarcane: Located in the popular artist section of town, mid-town, Sloan says this spot has the “coolest vibe in the city.”
Garcia’s Seafood. Most folks with a real interest in food are aware of Joe’s Crab, but Sloan says the real locals go to Garcia’s Seafood on the Miami River.
Food barges. Think food trucks on water. Parties on the sandbar. Order by text and get food delivered by kayak.
“They say Miami is where the future comes to rehearse,” Sloan says. As NATPE attendees make deals and dialogue about the changing content landscape, I think I can say for all of us, here’s hoping.