Miami Spice 2015 started August 1st and continues until September 30th, offering a three course lunch for $23 and dinner for $39. While Miami Spice is a delight for locals, a vast majority of the participating restaurants tend to be on Miami Beach, Brickell or other destinations, that for some diners, is a trek.
The Miami Dining Examiner offers a list of ten Miami Spice restaurants worth trying that aren’t on the Beach or Brickell. These are listed in no particular order, grouped by neighborhoods. Coral Gables has been a foodie haven for a while, so it’s no surprise the vast majority of Miami Spice restaurants, not on the Beach, center in the City Beautiful in 2015.
1) Palme d’Or
One of the reasons Miami Spice is such a treat for locals is the chance to dine at expensive restaurants at a significantly reduced price. Such is the case with Palme d’ Or, the sophisticated French jewel located in the historic Biltmore hotel. The homemade squid ink capellini appetizer sounds intriguing, as does the seared duck breast with nectarine and sweet potato for an entrée. Service here is white glove elegant, the ambience intimate and special. Now diners need not wait for a special occasion to dine at Palme d ‘Or. Miami Spice makes it possible for dinner every night but Sunday or Monday.
2) Pascal’s on Ponce
Beautiful, refined French food with lovely service, Pascal’s offers Miami Spice every night but Sunday. The lobster bisque and crispy duck confit are recommended dishes. Dessert is a choice of two soufflés- Grand Marnier and chocolate.
Dining at Bulla is always fun, but the opportunity to eat eggs Bulla (huevos rotos), black grouper with lemon caper butter and carmelized brioche with turron ice cream, makes this buzzy spot a must try for Miami Spice. Bulla serves Miami Spice for lunch and dinner every day of the week.
4) Francesco Restaurant
Peruvian food is in right now, but Francesco has been doing Peruvian food, in an elegant setting, for years. Offering Miami Spice dinner every night but Sunday, diners should try the ceviche, honey salmon or shrimp risotto. They also offer a causa tasting (mashed potato dish with different fillings) for an appetizer choice; their lomo saltado is recommended.
5) Red Fish Grill
This restaurant, located on a lagoon in Matheson Hammock, is constantly voted one of the most romantic in Miami, and with good reason. The view of the water is spectacular, the palm trees lit with twinkling white lights, enchanting. The food, however, is the biggest surprise. Not content with being a boring fish house, the menu is inventive and delicious. Try the octopus ceviche or arugula and beet salad to start, pan seared snapper or grouper for the main course. Landlubbers have the option of a double bone pork chop with corn pudding to wet their whistle. If it’s too hot to eat outside, Red Fish also offer dining inside.
There aren’t many restaurants offering Miami Spice in Coconut Grove in 2015. Panorama, situated on the eighth floor of the Sonesta hotel, is one of them, offering floor to ceiling views of Biscayne Bay. Voted best restaurant in Coconut Grove by New Times in 2015, the food offered is eclectic. Diners should try the octopus ceviche to start; entrée options include wahoo fish, flat iron steak and New Zealand lamb chops. There are three options for dessert, but nothing is sweeter than the view from Panorama at sunset.
7) Lazuli Lounge
Located in the green topped Ritz Carlton hotel, this lounge is decorated in hues of blue, violet and green, like the lapis lazuli stone it’s name after. Dine amid soaring columns, a grand fireplace, plush couches and a cascading fountain, in the living room like lounge. While diners are at it, they can pretend they are F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, living the life of the rich and famous at the Ritz. The appetizer of salmon belly tartar with cured egg yolk, caper powder and fried shallots sounds intriguing. Lazuli’s version of surf and turf utilizes popular octopus with skirt steak, in starring roles.
8) Old Lisbon
There are very few Miami Spice options in South Miami but, Old Lisbon, serving gourmet Portuguese fare on Sunset Drive, is one. They offer Miami Spice for dinner, excluding Friday and Saturday night. Try any of the cod fish options (their specialty), the osso bucco and the kale soup.
9) Two Chefs
While listed as South Miami on the Miami Spice website, this Pinecrest restaurant in a strip mall offers a huge selection of menu options for Miami Spice 2015. They have Miami Spice for dinner every night but Sunday. Some of the tempting appetizers include crab cakes and baked meatballs, with entrees such as grilled shrimp, meatloaf or yellowfin tuna. Two types of soufflés are offered for dessert. Two Chefs offers a pleasant, quiet ambience with good service and a vast array of Miami Spice options.
10) Devon Seafood and Steak
The Miami Dining Examiner first sampled food from this Kendall restaurant, located in the Town and Country mall, at the Deering Seafood Festival. Intrigued, and looking for a Miami Spice closer to home, she dined there with her husband and two guests on a recent Saturday night. Devon Seafood and Steak had attentive service, an impressive wine list and good food. The cheddar and black pepper biscuits with soft butter was an excellent start to the meal. While the Miami Dining Examiner wasn’t thrilled with the Miami Spice menu (lobster bisque, steak, crème brulee), she tried to keep it light with strawberry salad (OK), crab cakes (crabby) and berries and crème. While she didn’t sample them, the lobster bisque, filet, pork chop and crème brulee were all recommended by her fellow diners.
Check the Miami Spice website for contact information for the restaurants, as well as Miami Spice menus. www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month.