In the face of the pandemic and an ailing economy, Miami Spice launched two months before its usual date as part of Miami Shines, a recovery campaign designed to increase business for Miami restaurants, hotels, and attractions during the city's hotter and slower months. The promotion kicked off on June 1 and will run through the end of September.
In addition to waiving fees for participants, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is allowing nonmember restaurants to take part. The current list includes 133 restaurants offering options of three-course lunch/brunch ($25) and/or dinner ($39) for dine-in, takeout, and delivery.
"We appreciate the city's support in promoting our efforts and helping us fill our restaurant in times that are all uncertain," said Guillaume Plecy, general manager for Meat Market. To accommodate its clientele, the Lincoln Road restaurant is offering the promotional menu daily and has expanded its outdoor terrace. "Spice is helping us gauge what will be the new reality for our business."
This year restaurants can choose when to roll out their Spice menus. Here are the five best dinner options so far. Prices do not reflect taxes or gratuity.
Diya Indian Kitchen1766 Bay Rd., Miami Beach
Get your vegetarian fix at this family-owned newcomer in Sunset Harbour. Diya Indian Kitchen is turning out a special menu of immune-boosting dishes during Spice months, including options of seasoned yellow-split-pea soup; curry chana chickpea quinoa salad on a bed of greens; and tandoori paneer, a dish of grilled Indian cottage cheese served with vegetables. Try entrées of mushroom matar marsala; soy protein in curry sauce; or roasted and spiced mashed eggplant barta. For dessert, Kashmiri flan with rosewater custard won't disappoint. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly.
Juvia1111 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
Impress a date with Juvia's gorgeous rooftop views and French-Asian fare tinged with contemporary Peruvian influences. Statt with your choice of shrimp anticucho with olive aioli and ahi limo chimichurri or Asian beef carpaccio with nashi pear, pickled red onions, micro arugula, and tozazu gelée. Next, opt for zucchini spaghetti with charred mushroom or an entrée of Mediterranean branzino accompanied by artichoke hearts, oyster mushrooms, and tomato confit. Lamb shank, a third main-course option, is served with porcini, tomato confit, and mashed potatoes. For dessert, enjoy old-fashioned chocolate mousse with whipped mascarpone or tres leches garnished with caramel pearls and served with three-milk ice cream. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.
La Petite Maison1300 Brickell Bay Dr., Miami
At Brickell's La Petite Maison, starter choices include of salmon carpaccio with guacamole, a green lentil salad, or ratatouille with feta. Entrée standouts include slow-cooked duck leg with orange glaze, a salt-baked fish fillet prepared with artichokes and tomatoes, and hanger steak topped with chimichurri sauce. For dessert, choose from cassata with raspberries, the sorbet of the day, or French toast with spiced ice cream. Miami Spice is offered for lunch daily and dinner Sunday through Wednesday.
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Meat Market915 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach
The Lincoln Road steak house is fully operational for Spice. Menu items include indulgences such as East Coast oysters with red wine mignonette and cocktail sauce, Wagyu beef dumplings with kimchi cabbage and brown miso aioli, and tuna tartare spiked with ginger and served with avocado smash ($12 additional). Entrée choices include organic chicken and miso black cod, but you came here for a steak. Choose from a six-ounce pan-roasted filet mignon with fried spiced onions (regularly priced at $30) or a ten-ounce prime rib eye and bone marrow topped with short-rib marmalade. For $11 more, you can treat yourself to white-truffle American-style Kobe tartare. Indulge in a slice of Fireman Derek's key lime pie for a sweet ending. Miami Spice is offered for dinner daily.
Talavera2299 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables
Miami Spice appetizers are caramelized pork carnitas and shrimp or corvina ceviche, each served over a crisp tortilla and topped with cilantro, onion, and red guajillo salsa. Then it's on giant shrimp sautéed with garlic, guajillo chile, and parsley, accompanied by house white rice; or grilled skirt steak served with roasted guajillo potatoes and fresh pico de gallo. Save room for the house custard-topped flan with assorted caramelized nuts. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Monday through Saturday.