Gabrielle Anwar's Miami

The Film And Television Star Finds Her Home In Miami
Gabrielle Anwar appeared for five seasons in the USA Network show "Burn Notice," filmed in Miami. Photo courtesy of NBC Universal.
Gabrielle Anwar
Film & Television Actress

When she arrived in Miami to shoot a television series, Gabrielle Anwar didn't expect she'd put down roots. In 2007, she was cast as Fiona Glenanne in the USA Network spy series "Burn Notice." Set in Miami, it gave the actress the opportunity to discover the tropical beach city, but it was meeting her husband, restaurateur, Shareef Malnik, that cemented her future as one of the city's most devoted residents.

She's spent a good deal of this past year, however, away from home in Vancouver, after being cast in the ABC series "Once Upon a Time." "I play Cinderella's evil stepmother. It's a tremendously gratifying role. Rarely have I been afforded the opportunity to delve into such a wicked character. It is surprisingly cathartic."

On the ABC series "Once Upon A Time," Anwar plays Cinderella's evil, yet glamorous, stepmother, Lady Tremaine. Photo courtesy of ABC.
Getting Noticed
A Scene To Remember

It was a different, sunny city that first lured her away from her native England. When she was 19, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Anwar came of age in front of American audiences when she danced the tango with Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman."

When asked if she grows tired of telling people about her experience in one of movie history's most scintillating seven-minute dance scenes when she was just 22, she quickly dismisses the notion of being wearied. "I have such fond memories of my time on the set of the film. It's one of the most memorable roles I have played, and thus, like an obscure singer, I am often asked to reminisce about my one hit record!"

Coconut Grove, Miami's oldest neighborhood, is revered for its beauty on the bay.
Tropical Hideaway
Content With Quaint

She finds the most satisfaction working on her own passion projects, including a documentary with fellow actress, Catherine Oxenberg, entitled "Sexology" and her first novel, "Timepiece," which explores the relationship between a parent and opposite gender child. "I recognized it in the way I love and adore my own father," she says, referring to Tariq Anwar, her famous film editor father.

When not working, Anwar spends her time appreciating what life in Miami offers. "It has taken me years to find my niche. It wasn't until we discovered Coconut Grove that I felt truly at home," she says.

Gabrielle Anwar met her husband, Shareef Malnick, while shooting a television series in Miami. Photo courtesy of Seth Browarnik/
Cinderella Story
Putting Down Roots

The actress had no intention of staying put at first, but a chance encounter at an organic farm led her to meet her husband, Shareef Malnik. The owner of The Forge, the legendary Miami Beach steakhouse, he was there sourcing items for a new menu; Anwar was enjoying a birthday dinner with a friend.

In 2015, after the two married in a "Wild West" themed wedding at a ranch in Montana, Miami won her heart when Malnik carried her over the threshold of their 1920s Coconut Grove villa. "This is a Miami neighborhood that is experiencing a resurgence," she says.

Local Recommendations

Multi-Faceted Miami

Gabrielle Anwar's Miami is as varied as the roles she's played–mysterious, innocent, full of passion, and sometimes all at once. Discover the many facets of this ocean-side playground with our expertly curated guide to Miami.

By Land Or By Sea

See The Sights On A Scooter Or Sailboat

With the ocean as the backdrop, the city is ripe for exploration. Forgo the usual modes of transportation in favor of something a bit different. See Wynwood's graffitied walls while riding a Vespa from Wynwood Scooter Rentals (4431 N.W. 2nd Ave.; 786-299-9881). The company takes groups a graffiti tours of the neighborhood starting with the murals on the Wynwood Walls, the epicenter of the arts district. Six buildings at 2520 N.W. 2nd Avenue began as blank canvases when the late developer Tony Goldman invited street artists such as Avak, Neuzz, Maya Hayuk, and Lady Pink, to create these masterpieces. The tour continues along N.W. 2nd Avenue, where most of the art is on display on buildings and the area's repurposed warehouses.

If you prefer, take in the marvelous Miami skyline at dusk on a sailboat. For the personal touch, Coconut Grove sailing enthusiasts Sandy and Mike Jakob realized their lifelong dream with the help of a 40-foot catamaran built in Cape Town. In 2008, they brought the boat to Coconut Grove and now they spend evenings on the water, entertaining couples with customized cocktail or dinner cruises aboard the Hula Girl (Dinner Key Marina, 3400 Pan American Drive; 954-218-0042).

Find Romance

Both Outdoors And In

Gabrielle Anwar thinks of Miami as one of the most romantic cities in the world, and likes to recommend a few places to steal away with that someone special. Start with the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (3251 S. Miami Ave.), built by Chicago industrialist, James Deering, as his personal estate, and named after one of the most captivating expanses of the Spanish coast. A frequent site for photo shoots, and a backdrop for film and television productions because of its stately beauty, the secluded palace amid tall Banyan trees exudes a mystical charm. Stroll the grounds and make your way to the back of the mansion, near the stone barge in the harbor, that leads to a sublime view over Biscayne Bay where time seems to stand still.

What could be more romantic than a picnic for two on the beach? While there are miles of shoreline to choose from South Pointe Park (1 Washington Ave.; 305-673-7779) has a grassy area where you can spread a blanket under a palm tree, along with easy access to the ocean. Traveling with a pet? Head to Bark Beach (Collins Ave. between 80 & 81st St.; 305-673-7730), where dogs play in the sand and surf off the leash adjacent to the quaint North Shore neighborhood, which is charming and ready for exploration. For an intimate dinner for two Gabrielle suggests The Forge (432 41st St.; 305-538-8533), of course. The noted steakhouse is owned by Gabrielle's husband, Shareef Malnik, and is known for, among other things, it's famed eight-room wine cellar featuring more than 300,000 vintages.

No Place Like Home

Take A Stroll

Coconut Grove is located in the middle of Miami, but feels completely separate and apart from the rest of the city. Its quaint main street invites window shopping with an abundance of indie stores that conjure a small town. One of those neighborhood places, and a gathering place for locals, is The Bookstore (3390 Mary St.; 305-443-2855), where, in addition with a robust assortment of volumes on art, photography, and architecture, as well as books by local authors, there's a breakfast, lunch, brunch, and coffee menu. Stop in to browse while sipping their signature cold-brew coffee. A five-minute walk around the corner takes you to Maya Hatcha (3058 Grand Ave.; 305-443-9040), a quirky gift and clothing shop, which opened in 1968, and hasn't changed much in the ensuing years. Find incense, candles and essential oils, and check out the selection of straw hats to keep you cool under the hot Miami sun.

Private Showings

Where Art Collectors Share Their Passions

It's worth planning a visit to Miami to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach (Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr.; 786-276-2600). The largest contemporary art fair in the United States is "a tremendous place to discover unusual art," says Anwar. But if your trip doesn't coincide with the five-day December event, there are numerous private collections throughout the city. See why developer Martin Margulies has been onARTnews magazine's list of the world's top 200 collectors for decades with a visit to The Margulies Collection at The Warehouse (591 N.W. 27th St.; 305-576-1051), a 45,000-square foot space housing his extensive private collection. Three blocks away at The Rubell Family Collection (95 N.W. 29th St.; 305-573-6090) you’ll find pieces by the likes of Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons, as well as nearly 7,500 other contemporary works housed in what was once a storage facility for contraband confiscated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. For 15 years, Rosa de la Cruz led private tours of the collection she and her husband Carlos amassed at their Key Biscayne home before opening an dedicated space accessible to the public. De la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space (23 N.E. 41st St.; 305-576-6112) is a three-story extension of the home collection, yet Rosa still doesn't turn away anyone who wants to see what she's kept for her personal enjoyment in her living room.

Photo courtesy of The Margulies Collection At The Warehouse.

Treasured Discoveries

Flashback To Old Florida

While there are plenty of “new” Florida experiences to be had, don’t miss some of the fun attractions from historic Miami. Built in 1825, the Cape Florida Lighthouse (Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach, 1200 S. Crandon Blvd.; 305-361-5811), is the oldest standing structure in Miami-Dade County. Climb the 109 steps to the top to best appreciate the incredible view. In the distance, just a mile offshore, is Stiltsville. Dating back to the early 1930s, this group of seven structures perched on pilings is only accessible by boat. History Miami (101 W. Flagler St.; 305-375-1492) hosts a Stiltsville tour with a local guide who relates the story of the mysterious houses. According to local lore, the offshore neighborhood was created by a fisherman named Crawfish Eddie, who built the first house to sell booze offshore during Prohibition.