Miami Spice starts today. For only $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner, diners can enjoy a meal they would often pay almost double for. Chefs, in return, receive increased business during the summer doldrums. More than 240 restaurants are participating in the two-month promotion, so answering the age-old question of "Where do you want to eat?" can be a decision fraught with uncertainty.
This week, we'll explore some of the best Spice values throughout Miami-Dade's most popular neighborhoods. Today, we bring you the spots in Coconut Grove.
For a light yet filling Italian dinner at Spasso, start with the caprese salad. Then choose from homemade tortellini, filet mignon, or seared branzino for your main course. There's also dessert; either ricotta cheesecake or vanilla gelato topped with a shot of espresso. Though the Spice menu is concise, it's a representative sample of Spasso's full dinner menu.
4. Panorama Restaurant and Sky Lounge
A panoramic view is exactly what you get at this restaurant nestled atop the Sonesta Coconut Grove. Looking at the appetizer options of lobster mac 'n' cheese and braised short rib, you'd think the entrées couldn't get much better. However, lunch boasts an impressive selection of flat-iron steak, salmon, and fish 'n' chips. For dinner, choose from lamb chops, grouper, or shrimp. The best part of Panorama is it's flexibility. Despite the swank factor this restaurant provides, the specials are available even on weekends.
3. Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam Grill
Known for its casual tropical style, delicious ceviche, and Latin American fare, Jaguar offers a Miami Spice menu that plays like "best-of" collection. Ceviche takes center stage for appetizers, although you shouldn't overlook tostones with cochinita pibil, a traditionally Mexican dish with a Jaguar twist. For your entrée, choose rib eye or mahi-mahi and prawn "a lo macho" — a fillet with shrimp, calamari, and rice. Not only is the latter dish plentiful in portion, but it also offers true Latin American flavor. For dessert, opt for the palomas de cajeta — homemade crepes with dulce de leche, bananas, and peach liqueur.
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Ariete's Spice menu is all about options, boasting the most items of any other restaurants on this list. With 13 core items to choose from and several others rotating onto the menu, there's something for everyone, from staples like gnocchi and the restaurant's chug burger to more adventurous options such as venison tartare and rabbit villette. Finish your meal with sour-orange doughnuts, or keep it classic and fresh with seasonal pie filled with local fruit.
1. Strada in the Grove
When an appetizer list includes crab cakes, you know you're getting a good deal. Strada (3176 Commodore Plaza) offers eight items for both lunch and dinner, and the menu is anything but boring. For dinner, there's gnocchi salentina, pan-seared chicken, or grilled branzino. Dessert stays true to tradition with a choice of panna cotta or chocolate mousse — both homemade.