Miami Spice is imminent and if you haven't already taken the time to peruse the menus of participating restaurants it's high time you do so.
Here's a couple quick pieces of advice: You're looking for menus that offer a wide array of choices for each of the three courses. You're looking for restaurants that during the rest of the year are ridiculously expensive. Last but not least you're looking for a place with a good drink selection, so you can divert all that money you saved on food toward your ongoing campaign to pickle your liver.
Enter Biscayne Tavern. The Jeffrey Chodorow (of China Grill fame) joint is tucked inside the lobby of the B2 Hotel downtown. There's no entrance from the sidewalk, so you have to saunter into the hotel's all-white lobby before making your way into the restaurant. Don't be scared.
Chodorow comped our $33 meal so we could give you the inside scoop about what this downtown spot will be offering during August and September.
First thing to note is that there are 13, yes 13, choices of appetizers. A server described the Crispy Gulf Shrimp Dynamite as similar to P.F. Chang's "Bang Bang Shrimp." If that's your bag then you'll get plenty of the crispy little poppers coated in a creamy, spicy chili mayo.
Grilled chicken wings were coated in a salty sweet Kalbi sauce and served with pickled carrots and scallion shoots. A pair of pork belly sliders came with a hit of spice courtesy of a Napa Cabbage slaw and a bit of salty nuttiness from miso-infused mayo.
For main courses you'll have your pick of seven full-size options, exactly the same size as what you'd get if you opt chose to order off the regular menu.
The braised pork shank, a hulking piece of meat that Italians braise in red wine and call ossobuco, comes with a lick of sweet currant sauce atop a pile of earthy, house-made spaetzle.
The shrimp and grits are extra cheesy and bubbly. You won't be able to finish it all so make sure to fry and egg the following morning and pop it onto the leftovers for a proper breakfast.
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SHOW ME HOW
Our last hint is to show up between 3 and 7 p.m. when their entire lineup of craft beers can be had for half price. There are cans of Tampa's Cigar City Maduro and Cracker White ales along with Brooklyn Brewery pilsner, Dale's Pale Ale and Harpoon Brewery's Leviathan Imperial IPA.
A round or two of drinks is just what you'll need to get over the panic that will set in after realizing the importance choice you're about to make.