Clarin Eye Care Has Vision for Future

Amid the hundreds of frames and myriad of contact lens choices inside its office, Clarin Eye Care knows true service means having integrity and a genuine interest for their clients well-being.

Since 1981, Dr. Bruce Clarin has practiced optometry in various locations around Palmetto Bay. His practice, with a strong customer base of more than 15-thousand, has been in the Kings Bay Shopping Center for eleven years. And when the opportunity arose for the practice to get a little elbowroom, they had the vision and wisdom to take over the store next to them. “We were bursting at the seams and now we can better serve our loyal clientele.”

On April 7, Palmetto Bay Manager Ed Silva, Mayor Eugene Flinn and Councilman Tim Schaffer, along with Chamber South and others celebrated the expansion with a ribbon cutting.

The practice had always been busy and successful, but grew quickly eight years ago when son Dr. Adam Clarin joined his father. In 2013, Adam convinced Dr. Susan Sherr, one of his fellow optometry schoolmates, to join. “She was one of the brightest in our class and I was delighted when she decided to come on-board.”

From the moment you come in for a visit, the smart use of technology is clear at Clarin Eye Care. Within the first four minutes, you are guided through a series of quick tests using three gleaming machines. Most impressive is the trailblazing Optical Coherence Topology machine (think MRI for the eye). It provides an amazing amount of information, some of which can even be life-saving. Once the painless process is done, you are whisked into an exam room for a doctor consultation and exam.

It is with the doctor that the technology is enhanced by the personal touch. Dr. Adam proudly justified how important it is to know his patients. “I often ask questions like ‘Is the food on your plate blurry?’ or ‘Do you use a desktop or tablet?’ because it is relatable and it helps me hone in on what difficulty we are trying to overcome during their visit.” It is Adam’s caring, down-to-earth language that takes the fear out of a visit.

Clarin Eye Care can analyze a patient’s eyes with incredibly deep detail, but it is the way it is explained with concern and in a personal way that sets them apart. In the end, my exam ended with Dr. Adam saying that over-the-counter reading glasses were just fine for me. He specifically avoided going down the road of selling me expensive custom glasses. “We go beyond the retail optical stores out there,” explained Dr. Adam. “They are selling product, where we are creating a relationship with our clients and trying to solve their issues. There’s a big difference.”

“We treat people the way we’d want to be seen,” explains Dr. Adam. “We don’t allow people to experience long wait times and we work in a clean, modern and cheerful environment. Our staff knows time and relationships are valuable and always respects every person who comes in the door, whether they be a CEO or a shift worker at a fast-food restaurant.”

With a vision and mission statement like that, it’s no wonder they have such a loyal following. If you’re eyes weren’t what they once were or you have specific needs, Clarin Eye Care is definitely worth checking out. As experts who have been quoted on TV and are well respected, they would welcome the opportunity to help you as well.

You can visit them at 14429 South Dixie Hwy, call them at 305-253-2525 or visit them on the web at clarineyecare.com.

Great New Restaurant: Alaine’s Osteria

Run, don’t walk to this stand-out new fine dining establishment in Palmetto Bay. Alaine’s Osteria may be a bit elusive to find, given that the old Bistro Foley sign still hangs above its doors at the SE corner of Old Cutler Road and SW 168 Street; but make no mistake, relaxed atmosphere world-class dining is now just minutes away.

The restaurant is the creation of Chef Gus Ribera who was head chef at Anacapri Restaurant on Miracle Mile for 11 years. Gus is a “home-style chef” offering a traditional Italian menu of lasagna, ravioli, fettuccini, chicken marsala, steaks and fish dishes. Gus is also happy to go off-menu to please his guests, and often does. He has an incredible pedigree, but, as a recent patron gushed, “I don’t need to know his background. His resume is on the plate, and the plate speaks for itself.”

While the food is top notch, using strictly fresh and local ingredients wherever possible, the overall experience is raised to the highest level by the ambiance the rest of the family adds. Think of it as the perfect wine pairing. When the right meal and the right wine meet, it is magic, and that is what is created at Alaine’s Osteria with the ‘whole-picture’ dining experience. “It is my family’s involvement that was missing in my prior ventures and it turned out to be my most important ingredient.”

Ribera’s wife, Marbella, serves as the restaurant’s ‘ambassador of goodwill and happiness’ and their six daughters, aged 20 to four, assist. With the whole family involved, their love, care and dedication intensify the level of service. There isn’t a moment when you aren’t completely pampered and attended to, feeling like one of the family. Even the open kitchen design makes you feel connected to the process and the art of cooking. It doesn’t hurt to also have several seasoned, loyal waiters and staff who followed Ribera to his new restaurant.

Chef Gus promises, “When you come in the door, you will experience a unique hand-crafted product. I made a promise to myself years ago that when I had my own place, I’d deliver art to the table on each dish. That’s why I develop my own recipes, make my own sauces, my own pasta and make sure everything is fresh and honest Italian.”

To that point, Chef Gus introduced Fiocchi (cheese and pear pasta purses) to the Miami market a few years back. “I worked on the sauce for months, and finally hit it right with a reduction of sherry wine and a hint of Gorgonzola cheese. The result was a big ‘wow’ to the mouth,” explained Gus, “Everyone tried to copy it. No one can get it quite right.”

Both families with kids and singles on dates will find something special about Alaine’s Osteria. The word-of-mouth and repeat customers has already made this place a hit since its opening in mid-January.

“With entrees starting at $15, we’re not high-priced,” Chef Gus adds, “But you are definitely going to leave here having had a high-quality experience.” The restaurant’s 35-seat dining room at 7920 SW 168 Street is open Sunday 4-9 p.m.; Monday-Thursday: 4-10 p.m.; and Friday and Saturdays 4-11 p.m. Reservations are accepted for parties of six or more and private functions can be scheduled. Visit http://www.alainesosteria.com/ or call 305-252-0355 for more information.

Town Hall for Input on Updating Coral Reef Park Playground

Palmetto Bay Councilwoman Karyn Cunningham organized a Town Hall to get input to the Village's plan to update the playground at Coral Reef Park.

Held in the cafeteria, the well attended meeting had about 50 kids, their parents and concerned people from the neighborhood. Yes, there was juice and cookies.

During the meeting, the Village Manager Ed Silva presented a series of videos and there were boards showing potential playground equipment and features that are being considered.

Also in attendance, was the Village Mayor Eugene Flinn, Parks Director Fanny Carmona, Village Clerk Meighan Alexander and representation from locals schools and the PTA. The idea was to get input from as many people as possible, especially the kids.

After a brief "field trip" the playground itself where the children had a chance to refresh their memories of what was there and ponder what could be, the group reconvened inside. Kids filled out their likes and dislikes on a survey and voiced their thoughts on the microphone with Councilwoman Cunningham.

During the presentation, it was revealed that the Village will name the updated playground as the Bridget Allison Pier Playground after a 7-year old Coral Reef Elementary student who passed away from a stroke in 2011. She was the daughter of Palmetto Bay Village Clerk Meighan Pier Alexander.

I'm sure the Village residents will enjoy the results when the project is complete.

VIDEO SNIPPET