Sugarcane's managing partner and executive chef Timon Balloo kicked off Miami Spice last week by judging the competition at New Times' Iron Fork. That same night, after deciding on this year's winning chef, Sugarcane launched their own Miami Spice menu, offering guests a chance to sample three courses for $39 a pop for dinner and $23 for lunch.
Short Order was invited to try the special menu. Check out pictures after the jump.
Sugarcane's Miami Spice menu is simple and seasonal with few choices. While this can be a bad thing in a place with a menu that's designed for sharing and an overabundance of small plates, what's important here is taste. And taste never lacked. The concept for Miami Spice at Sugarcane is straightforward -- kick back, eat well, stay awhile.
The "kick back" portion of the menu features a selection of refreshing ways to begin the night -- presumably after you've had a few beet mojitos at the bar. There's a cured tuna crudo with pickled fava beans, olives, and shaved fennel, a local catch -- scallop and shrimp on our visit -- ceviche with watermelon and jalapeño, or farm-picked lettuce with grilled bacon and peaches.
You may be thinking to yourself that you've never really tried any of this at Sugarcane before, and that's because you probably haven't. The Miami Spice offerings, with the exception of dessert, are non-menu items. That's a perfect incentive to have people order a three-course meal in a place where the idea of a meal isn't structured around courses, but rather flavors.
Now that you've kicked back, you'll want to eat well, which is why next course is a little less crudo and little more filling. Your options? Stewed shrimp with creamy polenta and sweet peppers, pan-roasted Atlantic cod with melting shallots, English peas, and verjus butter, or a beef tenderloin with dusted sweet breads, corn relish, and barbecue jus.
Portions seem small upon arriving to the table, but match up with the typical tapas-like size of many of their other plates. We were rather full, but as the menu demanded we stay awhile for dessert, we did just that. A couple more beet mojitos helped.
Dessert options feature a lemon creme jar with blueberry compote and pie dough crumble. Sea salt dulce de leche with candied bacon and pan de azucar is the perfect balance between sweet and salty -- the heaviness of the dulce de leche disappears in the bacon -- if you're looking for something less on the sweet side. Or you can opt for complete sweetness with the mini torrejas -- Spanish French toast -- served with served caramel apples and cinnamon ice cream.
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Sugarcane also offers Miami Spice for lunch with minor differences on the menu. Instead of the ceviche, the first course features a country heritage pork terrine. The second course has barbecue spiced beef brisket sandwich or chirashi bowl in addition to the shrimp skewer. And for dessert, torrejas have been left out of the equation, probably so you don't stay awhile and get back to work. Instead, you can have a chocolate napoleon with smoked paprika ganache and marinated strawberries.
The worst thing about Miami Spice at Sugarcane? It's only available Sunday through Thursday. The best thing? Chances are you won't need a reservation.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha