American Way: What about a spot that's popular with
Rodriguez: A good local place is Caffe Abbracci. It's a
great spot right in Coral Gables. I've been going there for years.
American Way: Women everywhere were crushed when you
got married in 2002. Where do you recommend going for a romantic
Rodriguez: I would go back to the place where my wife,
Cynthia, and I got engaged: the Astor Place at the Hotel Astor in
Miami Beach. The Hotel Astor is a beautiful, old art-deco building
that was redone in the '90s. The restaurant is romantic, and the
food and service are great.
American Way: Miami has a combination of great old
hotels and luxurious new developments. Which do you recommend for a
Rodriguez: I'll give you three options, depending on what
you want to do. If you want to have fun, I'd go to Loews Hotel down
at the beach. Besides being right on the water, it's close to the
Lincoln Road Mall and the Art Deco District. If you're looking for
a place that's more family-oriented and more private, I'd suggest
the Key Biscayne Ritz-Carlton. If you want to be centrally located,
I'd go to the Mandarin Oriental hotel downtown. The Mandarin has
excellent views of Biscayne Bay and a great restaurant called
American Way: Miami is famous for South Beach. Do you
have any favorite nightspots down there?
Rodriguez: I'm not a nightclub guy, so I'm the wrong person
to ask. There's a lot of hype about South Beach, but I really enjoy
the Coconut Grove area. It's quaint, there are more locals, and I
used to go there a lot as a kid. It's really what I'd call Old
Miami. From time to time they have live bands down there, and there
are several bars with nice outside seating areas.
American Way: Miami is a great sports town. Do you
still follow your hometown teams?