Miami Spice 2015: Five Weekend Brunches Worth Indulging In
Photo by Laine Doss
The weekend is coming and you're making plans for brunch with friends. Suddenly you remember that Miami Spice, the two-month-long dining deal, is in full swing and try to find a good weekend brunch place that offers Miami Spice. Alas, upon perusal of the Miami Spice website, you're disappointed to see that there are no specific brunch deals.
To that, we say poppycock and balderdash! There are actually plenty of places to take advantage of Miami Spice for your weekend brunch if you know how to work the system. The key? Miami Spice restaurants calls their brunch deals something else: They call it lunch.
Call it brunch ... call it lunch. That's just semantics. The truth is that these five restaurants are offering generous three-course meal deals for your weekend dining pleasure for $23 (tax and tip additional). Just a note while Miami Spice brunching — that $23 deal can turn expensive quickly when you add on a few Bloody Marys, so frugal brunchers might want to watch their alcohol intake.
Banana chocolate cream pie.
Photo courtesy of 1 Rooftop
5. 1 Hotel Rooftop
If you're looking to dine with a view, this is your best bet. Located 18 stories above Miami Beach, the rooftop pool area atop the new 1 Hotel is filled with plush white couches and reclaimed wood touches. It's a beautiful place to enjoy a long, leisurely meal, so cancel all your after-brunch plans and enjoy. The 1 Hotel Rooftop's Miami Spice menu features organic, local produce and local seafood. Starters include an organic tomato and frilled watermelon salad with Cypress Point creamery loblolly cheese or chilled strawberry gazpacho with Florida blue crab crostini. For entrees. there's a pan-seared Florida scallop dish with sweet corn, chorizo, and shellfish bisque, or organic red quinoa with artichokes and gigante bean salad with Tanglewoods Farm free-range chicken. Finish your meal with churros or a banana chocolate cream pie.
Scott Conant's pasta is worth the trip.
Photo by Bill Wisser
4. Corsair by Scott Conant
Scott Conant's second Miami restaurant features a more laid-back vibe at the Turnberry Isle. The menu is varied, with plenty of Conant's Italian influences. For starters, you'll choose from gazpacho with pickled radish and ciabatta croutons, heirloom tomatoes and burrata, a hearty eggplant parmigiano, or a fritto misto of calamari and seasonal vegetables. Entrees include free range chicken breast and a snapper provencal, but opt for Conant's strong suit and choose between the roasted porchetta or the raviolini ricotta. End with a milk chocolate budino, pineapple upside down cake, or honey pine nut semifreddo.
Soulful food at Bulla Gastrobar
Photo by Bill Wisser
3. Bulla Gastrobar
Bulla Gastrobar's Miami Spice brunch menu is filled with authentic Spanish delights. There's no skimping on choices and there's no copping out on quality. On this menu, you'll find serrano ham, churrasco, and the restaurant's famous huevos Bulla where house-made potato chips are topped with a jumbo organic egg, potato foam, thin slices of Serrano ham, and truffle oil. The huevos Bulla, by the way, is only the start of the culinary journey here (you've got other appetizer choices, but stick with that). For your second course, there's an overwhelming array of options. Caldoso with bombo rice, shrimp, chicken, and calamari; a seared tuna salad; churrasco with marble potatoes; coca de camarones (garlic shrimp resting on a flatbread); or a brioche packed with Serrano ham, tetilla cheese, and truffle. For dessert there's coconut flan with passion fruit sorbet — all that's needed after a midday feast like this.
Dine al fresco in the countryside at Redlander.
Photo courtesy of Dewey LoSasso
2. Redlander at Schnebly Redland's Winery
Executive chef Dewey LoSasso makes the trek down to Homestead daily, so you've got no excuse not to drive to Redlander. Besides, the rewards are plenty. The setting is lush and green and filled with waterfalls and gentle music. Redlander is also the only Miami Spice participant with its very own winery and brewery attached. Make a day of your experience and book a tasting or a tour (which costs extra) before sitting down to your meal made from local, farm fresh ingredients. Start with a fish dip of smoked mahi-mahi and key west shrimp, served with crostini made from the brewery's spent grains. There are also gator waffles (you are, after all, a hop, skip, and a jump to the Everglades) or local green gazpacho with drizzled lychee olive oil. For a main course, there's a wok-charred snapper sandwich with guava aioli, a grilled 10 oz. burger; a pulled pork sandwich with tostones and spicy dip; or the brewery tabouli salad, where the brewery's spent grains are turned into a delicious bed for seared sirloin or pulled chicken. Mango flan ends your meal.
A big bowl of noodles
Photo by Laine Doss
We had to include this sexy restaurant's dim sum brunch. There aren't too many choices to make for the Miami Spice menu, so just sit back and let the dishes start rolling out from the dining room. You'll start with a bamboo steamer of jewel-like dumplings filled with chicken, mushrooms, and shrimp. That alone might sate some appetites — until the main course plates start coming out. Noodles, lemon chicken, and baby pak choi are on the table for a convivial, family-style experience. It's only at dessert that you have to decide between the coconut panna cotta and mandarin mousse.
Hakkasan, by the way, has its own vegetarian dim sum brunch menu that includes vegetarian versions of its dumplings; a stir-fried vegetarian chicken with spicy sauce with tofu clay pot, and baby pak choi (desserts are the same), making this the best brunch for both carnivores and veg heads, alike.
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