Miami Spice kicks off August 1 and runs through the end of September with participating restaurants dishing up three-course prix fixe menus for $23 at lunchtime and $39 at dinner. With over 200 restaurants to sift through, we’ve combed through the options to present you with the essential lists of Miami Spice meals worth your time and money.
The promotion is always a good opportunity to step into the all-encompassing worlds of Miami’s chicest hotels, so we’ve narrowed down their best restaurants during Spice. The criteria? Restaurants with a stellar reputation for top notch food and service that are offering generous Miami Spice options with signature dishes front and center on the menu.
A meal just tastes better when you know you’re getting it at a great value, so savor the savings now through September.
1. Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill at The Plymouth
One of my favorite additions to Miami’s hotel scene is the hip boutique Plymouth Hotel, tucked away beneath a sun-bleached coral awning on Collins Park. With a louche, jewel-toned lobby and black-and-white tiled courtyard pool deck, a big part of its appeal is its outpost of New York City’s Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill.
Equally renowned for its fried chicken as its sushi, the Miami Spice menu allows for plenty of options. It’s the perfect opportunity to divide and conquer while sampling a little bit of everything. I’d start with the kanpachi usuzukuri, thinly sliced amberjack with yuzu pepper and ponzu, and make sure my companion orders the gindara saikyoyaki, miso-marinated black cod. Same goes for the entrée course. One of you go with the fried chicken with wasabi honey and the other gets the sushi plate and share. Finally, for dessert, opt for the key lime pie with yuzu and the chocolate bruno tart with green tea ice cream.
Available: Dinners excluding Friday and Saturday nights.
2. Byblos at The Royal Palm
Located inside The Royal Palm, Byblos serves some of the freshest Mediterranean flavors in South Beach and their Miami Spice menu allows for a generous taste of the otherwise rather pricy menu. The appetizers allow for a choice of two mezzes per guest. I’d opt for the lamb ribs with dukkah, buttermilk sauce, carob molasses and red chili schug, and while I tend to snub the sneaky supplements in Miami Spice menus, the black truffle pide with buffalo mozzarella and haloumi is well worth the extra $10.
The main course allows you to choose a side dish along with your entree. I’d go with the chargrilled flank steak with Turkish coffee rub and pomegranate and the cauliflower seared in duck fat with tahini, sesame and coriander. For dessert, the strawberry cheesecake qatayef with honey syrup and pistachio. Overall, this Spice menu is a great one to mix and match with your fellow diners.
Available: Dinners nightly.
3. Market at The Miami Beach EDITION
While The EDITION’s fine dining restaurant Matador Room is not participating in Spice, you can still get a taste of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s flavors at the hotel’s more casual and, frankly, underappreciated restaurant Market.
I’m going for their dinner menu and starting with their daily selection of four east and west coast oysters. Then, I’m diving into a bowl of rigatoni and meatballs because Jean-Georges’ tender, melt-in-your-mouth meatballs are greater than any others I’ve had in recent memory. For dessert, the salted caramel ice cream sundae piled high with candied peanuts, popcorn, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Afterwards? A nightcap at Matador Bar and then dancing at Basement. There’s your next Saturday night on the beach. You’re welcome!
Availability: Lunch daily. Dinners Wednesday through Sunday.
4. Bazaar Mar by Jose Andres at SLS Brickell
When Jose Andres, the Spanish chef whose SLS Brickell collaborator Philippe Starck calls “a piece of poetry, of craziness, of surrealism,” opens a new restaurant and it’s participating in Miami Spice, you book a table instantly. Set inside a clean, white dining room (with golden lobsters and mounted fish heads on the walls) of hand-painted tiles by Spanish artist Sergio Mora, it sets the scene for a dramatic culinary experience.
There’s a lot to choose from and it will be hard to decide, so bring a hungry bunch for sharing. I’d start with the California “funnel cake” for the sheer novelty of a seaweed funnel cake with avocado, blue crab and tobiko. Each diner chooses three items from the “Sea What Else” entrée course and I’d go with the oyster margarita served with tequila, lime and sal de gusano, the seafood butifarra with pork sausage and the steak salad made with shortrib, piquillo puree, avocado and orange. For dessert, it’s all about Andres’ deconstructed key lime pie.
Available: Dinners excluding Saturday and Sunday.
5. StripSteak by Michael Mina at Fontainebleau
A night out at the Fontainebleau is a classic Miami Beach experience and StripSteak by Michael Mina is still one of my favorite upscale steakhouses. They’ve also got one of the more generous Miami Spice menus as far as hotel steakhouses go. I’m starting my carnivorous meal with the tender ricotta cavatelli in a braised short rib ragout with tomato and parmesan and then indulging in the grilled beef churrasco in chimichurri with crispy russet potatoes. For dessert? The milk chocolate mousse bar with hazelnut and caramelized banana ice cream.
Available: Dinner nightly.
6. TATEL at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach
With celebrity owners Enrique Iglesias and Rafael Nadal at the helm, why not check out the new Spanish import at The Ritz-Carlton South Beach during Miami Spice? I’m starting with the classic tortilla trufada Spanish omelet and then moving onto the crispy Chilean sea bass prepared Andalusian-style in a sizzling tomato broth. For dessert? The flan made of brie cheese.
Available: Dinner nightly.