The moment you've been waiting for all year is almost here: Miami Spice returns this August. For two months, indulge in prix fixes at some of the area's best restaurants for $23 for lunch or brunch and $39 for dinner.
Running through September 30, the program was started 17 years ago by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau as a way to promote the city's restaurants to visitors and locals. Since its inception, Spice has grown to include hundreds of participating restaurants across Miami-Dade County.
This year, more than 240 eateries, including two dozen new spots, will offer Miami Spice menus. Among them are David Grutman's vegan restaurant, Planta; Jose Mendin's Habitat; and Helene Henderson's farm-to-table spot, Malibu Farm.
Here are menu highlights from five of this year's new Miami Spice participants:
1. Planta. David Grutman's buzzy vegan restaurant located off South Pointe Drive in South Beach will offer the best of its brunch and dinner menus during Miami Spice. Standouts are coconut ceviche topped with corn nuts, date guajillo, and pickled cucumber; steamed dumplings with shiitake mushrooms, sweet corn, and hot chili oil; the Frenchie pizza, which swaps cheese for an almond-based substitute and adds squash, mushrooms, and a truffle vinaigrette; and the Planta burger, a veggie patty made of black beans, mashed lentils, and beetroot, along with lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, and a gooey cheese made of carrot and potato. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach; 305-397-8513; plantarestaurants.com. Miami Spice offered Sunday through Thursday for dinner and Saturday and Sunday for brunch.
2. Habitat. The newest restaurant by the five-time James Beard Award-nominated chef Jose Mendin, Habitat, will serve Miami Spice dinner during the week. Try steak tartare sliders garnished with Parmesan fondue, green mustard, and black truffle; Wagyu beef gyoza with sweet potato and a spicy dipping sauce; a beet salad with burrata, pistachio vinaigrette, and green apples; or an eight-ounce hanger steak with a niçoise olive chimichurri. For dessert, dig into a daily rotating selection of sweets by pastry chef Maria Orantes. 2395 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-604-6700; 1hotels.com. Miami Spice offered Monday through Friday for dinner.
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3. Azabu Miami Beach. Inside the Stanton South Beach, find Azabu, a Michelin-starred concept based in New York. During Miami Spice, the restaurant will serve a selection of Asian-inspired plates, along with a chef's choice starter of the day. The menu includes Wagyu tataki with truffle ponzu; octopus grilled on a robata with coriander mayonnaise; a selection of mixed sashimi over a bed of sushi rice; and yuzu and key lime pie with raspberry sauce. 161 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-276-0520; miami.azabuglobal.com. Miami Spice offered daily for dinner.
4. Stiltsville Fish Bar. Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth will offer a host of seafood-centric items on their restaurant's Miami Spice menus. Dinner starters include roasted oysters, smoked fish dip, cobia tiradito, sweet corn spoon bread, and a hammock salad. Among the entrées are fried chicken, fish wings, and pan-seared fish and grits, or opt for the local catch of the day, either grilled or steamed. Finish with warm, gooey chocolate cobbler. Eating healthier is easy at Stiltsville — just look for the "skinny mermaid" items. 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 786-353-0477; stiltsvillefishbar.com. Miami Spice offered daily for lunch and dinner and on weekends for brunch.
5. Malibu Farm. When it debuted this past April in Miami Beach, Malibu Farm brought a California-cool vibe to the Nobu Eden Roc Hotel. It's reminiscent of the Pacific Coast town for which it's named — call it upscale beach-shack style. Here, find a mix of owner Helene Henderson's best-selling lunch and dinner plates. Among them are a skillet of "Swed-ish" meatballs, made with a blend of chicken and ricotta as an alternative to beef or pork and served with a cranberry sauce for dipping, and a chicken and ricotta burger hugged by a brioche bun and topped with bacon, tomato, red onion, and spicy aioli. Don't miss the grilled chocolate cake, prepared by throwing a cooled slice of cake on a sizzling grill. 4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-674-5579; nobuhotelmiamibeach.com. Miami Spice offered Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner.