Restaurants not participating in Miami Spice are making the most of the sweltering summer by offering customers a bargain before the two-month restaurant promotion kicks off August 1.
Bianca at the Delano is offering summer lunch and dinner prix fixes that began June 16 and continue all summer unless otherwise noted. Short Order was invited to sample the handpicked three-course offerings from chef de cuisine Luciano Sautto at Bianca.
At Bianca, Sunday is the best day to cash in on the restaurant's summer fare. Diners can make a day out of the experience by taking advantage of the free "Privileged Sunday Pool Party" open to the public and cool off before and after the meal. Lunch costs $23 and includes three courses. Dinner is more than double at $49 but kicks things up a notch.
For starters, guests can choose from octopus carpaccio, bruschetta braised oxtail with arugula pesto, and kalamata olives with crispy capers or smoked ricotta and onion compote. Mains include butternut squash with peppers and endive, skirt steak, or the grilled catch of the day. The ending is just as sweet as lunch -- a daily chef selection of granitas.
You'll be tempted to order the bigeye tuna pizza with truffle oil and will be saddened to find it's offered only for dinner. (Note to Bianca: Please offer this item for lunch.) Instead, opt for the smoked salmon carpaccio with frisée salad and capers if you feel like something more with your meal. It's refreshing with just the right amount of tang.
Bruschetta ceci is Italian for chickpea spread with lemon zest and buffalo ricotta. The combination of the spread with the ricotta is creamy, light, and smooth. It's the perfect bite for a bikini meal in the hot sun.
Entrée is your choice of chicken or shrimp with penne al pesto. There are fire-roasted tomatoes, zucchini julienne, and shredded chunks of Parmesan to make it extra-cheesy. The portion is just right for lunch, and the pesto sauce isn't the least bit heavy.
Granita flavors change daily depending upon the chef's mood. On a recent visit, the semifrozen dessert was offered in a watermelon flavor. It's not quite a sorbet and not quite a snow cone, but rather the perfect combination of both. And it's topped with house-made whipped cream. Consider it a splash for your palate (and body) to fight the summer heat.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha