• Miami Herald

These are the Miami Spice Restaurants we’re most excited to try

Staring down the expansive list of restaurants participatingin Miami Spice can be daunting.The annual summer dining promotion from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau offers three-course, fixed-price menus at more than 115 Miami-

Dade County restaurants. Prices range from $28 a person for brunch and lunch and $42 for dinner. Spice can be a great opportunity to try new restaurants or pricey favorites at a discount. If you need help knowing where to start your culinary tour, we’ve picked 20 restaurants we are looking forward to during the promotion, which runs from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30. Menus can change, so check with the restaurants before you go. To see menus, go to the website miamiandbeaches.com and search for your

restaurant of choice.


What makes it special: If you couldn’t take off on your yacht getaway this summer, this “ingredient forward” menu should transport you to the Mediterranean by way of Coral Gables.

What we’re ordering: The upbeat beets and asparagus salad is a good place to start, with frisee,grapefruit, sunflower seeds and aleppo pepper. We’ll be checking out the baby pork ribs with aromatic moruno sauce, organic greens and pomegranate, thank you very much. The chocolate souffle is also definitely happening.

Address: 259 Giralda

Ave., Coral Gables.

More info: 786-483-8014


What makes it special: This intimate hotel restaurant, part of a Michelin-starred concept that is the offspring of Sushi Azabu in Tribeca, New York, is named after a district in Tokyo. Azabu is a full-service dining room with an open kitchen, but there’s also Bar

Azabu, with more than 40 whiskeys as well as The Den, an exclusive, hidden sushi counter with a jaw-dropping omakase experience.

What we’re ordering: Each Spice meal begins withan amuse bouche. We love an amuse bouche. Now, you do not have to order sushi or sashimi to make yourself happy at Azabu, but we’ll start with it anyway and choose the hamachi jalapeno as our starter. Then

we’re diving into the Karaage Fried Chicken, made with marinated chicken thigh and bonito oil. You can choose one side, and we’re going with the terikayi Brussels sprouts (other choices are honey-glazed sweet potatoes or broccolini in spicy bonito barbecue sauce. For dessert, only the Chokoreto will do (note: trust us, it’s on the menu). It’s a dark chocolate torte with white other ridiculously pleasing ingredients.

Address: 161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach (inside the Marriott Stanton South Beach)

More info: 786-276-0520


What makes it special: This original restaurant from Danny Serfer is the sweet spot between elevated food and food that’s just rich, comforting and delicious. Think shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, a roasted veggie of the day and the beloved Parm of the Day (could be veal, chicken, eggplant and more). And for Spice there’s no tinybite menu. You pick any appetizer, entrée and dessert from the regular menu. That’s value. What I’m ordering: conch fritter with spicy tartar sauce, parm of the day, butterscotch Heath bar bread pudding.

Address: 6730 Biscayne Blvd., MiMo District

More info: 305-756-0366



What makes it special: Bourbon Steak Miami, from James Beard award-wining chef Michael Mina, is Italian gem in Coconut Grove will provide it with classic dishes and regional specialties. It offers lunch and dinner Spice menus. What we’re ordering: Our two favorite elements of Italian fare are cheese and pasta, so this is easy.

We’ll start with the creamy burrata with tomato, anchovy and pesto dressing, then dive directly into homemade pappardelle in a truffle porcini mushroom cream sauce (although we could be tempted with the wild mushroom risotto). Panna cotta for dessert. We’re comforted.

Address: 3176 Commodore

Plaza, Miami

More info: 305-444-1312


What makes it special:

Celebs like David

Beckham and Kim Kardashian first hit up this upscale Mediterranean at David Grutman and Pharrell’s new GoodTime Hotel. Grutman told Miami.com he gave the cheerfully fancy eatery its name after seeing an inspirational pink moon one night, the last full lunar evening of spring. What we’re ordering: Not sure you could go wrong with a starter of Kefte meatballs, ground beef with Moroccan spices.Then dig into the branzino, with a luscious chickpea tabbouleh, and yeminite zhug, which packs a nice heat. Let the baklava ice cream sandwich cool things down for dessert.

Address: 601 Washington

Ave., Miami Beach.

More info: 786-745-8050


What makes it special: This new spot in Wynwood calls itself an “experimental

kitchen.” Owned by Buenos Aires-based restaurateur Diego D’Alvia, the menu starts off in Latin America — specifically the Andes — but then takes multiple detours. What we’re ordering: For starters, the ceviche is a good choice. The chunks of fish are served over a green gazpacho and adorned with pickled vegetables.

For the main, try the Kanka Cauliflower, and not because you are going vegan, but because the way they roast this thick slice of cauliflower makes it feel as salmon with aji substantial as a steak. Someone else at the table needs to order the Challwa, pan seared amarillo Hollandaise. That is served with pink peppercorn and black rice salad and microgreens. You can eat off that person’s plate as well.

Address: 73 NW 26th

St., Miami

Info: 786-584-8487

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