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Miami Spice at One Bistro LR: Ritzy Spanish Flavors on South Beach

Jorge Ramos likes to start you off with an amuse-bouche -- an avocado globe stuffed with grouper ceviche in this case.
Jorge Ramos likes to start you off with an amuse-bouche -- an avocado globe stuffed with grouper ceviche in this case.
Photos by Carla Torres

Summer might be over, but Miami Spice is not. You still have 20 days to venture out into three-course offerings for a set price of $39. Our advice is to take full advantage. You'll miss it when it's gone.

Can't decide where to go? Just check out our selection of the good, the best, and the misses. Been to all of those already, even the misses? That's what we're here for. We recently ventured out to the ritzy One Bistro LR at the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach. Though the words "Ritz-Carlton" and "South Beach" together might make locals cringe, it was a surprising escape from the madness of South Beach right on South Beach.

See also: Miami Spice: The Top Ten Boozy Deals

Ramos is of Puerto Rican descent, but he grew up in Miami. His bold, delectable food screams sabor. It's his first year doing Miami Spice, so he's held nothing back. Not one of the dishes on the Spice menu is directly pulled from the restaurant's regular offerings, which means once they're gone, they're gone.

The menu is simple. There are a mere two offerings for each of the three courses. Go with someone special and eat off each other's plates -- it's that kind of place. You'll want to sit outside on the dimly lit terrace overlooking the gorgeous pool, open 24 hours. Take along your swimsuit and go for a dip after dinner, but remember what mom told you about digesting your food first.

Miami Spice at One Bistro LR: Ritzy Spanish Flavors on South Beach

Heirloom tomatoes are perfect for a September night and outside dining. Laid atop an olive purée and drenched in a gazpacho vinaigrette that's cut with a bit of jerez for an added kick, this dish is refreshingly simple and complex at once. Bitter greens and edible flowers add a nice balance. Order extra gazpacho -- you'll want it.

Miami Spice at One Bistro LR: Ritzy Spanish Flavors on South Beach

Charred octopus with a roasted corn purée, pepper relish, and jamón serrano is no pulpo a la gallega, but it's an interesting take on a popular Spanish dish. The roasted corn purée is worthy of an entire bowl by itself. Dip the bread in it once you've eaten pulpo.

 

Miami Spice at One Bistro LR: Ritzy Spanish Flavors on South Beach

Are you proud? If so, you'll feel right at home with the boldly named gallina brava. It's a dish to be proud of, though, as far as chicken goes. Pan-seared and coupled with a chistorra hash (so it has just the right kick) and pimento emulsion, this is one moist chicken. There are sweet peas too, in case you're into those.

Miami Spice at One Bistro LR: Ritzy Spanish Flavors on South Beach

Florida Wagyu skirt steak done Spanish-style? Yes! This is a steak's take on patatas bravas. Cooked to smoked perfection, it sits atop oil-fried and then baked potatoes and a roasted tomatillo-basil chimichurri. It's hot, spicy, salty, and sweet. Everything you would want from steak and potatoes.

Miami Spice at One Bistro LR: Ritzy Spanish Flavors on South Beach

For dessert, there's a hybrid -- citrus flan meets tres leches. Inside it hides a tropical fruit salad. And on top is a caramelized bit of mango purée.

Miami Spice at One Bistro LR: Ritzy Spanish Flavors on South Beach

Chocolate lovers, Jorge has you covered. A milk chocolate dulce de leche cheesecake oozes dulce de leche as a spoon passes through its caramel crisp. Dark chocolate has been tempered (thanks to molecular gastronomy), and the result is pate chips. Capuccino gelato is the cool finish. Well, besides a dip in the pool.

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