New Times' Iron Fork/Miami Spice kickoff, presented by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, takes over the American Airlines Arena tonight, July 28, at 7 p.m. (6 if you're a VIP, baby). Tickets are still available at the door for $70 GA and $110 VIP.
Don't have a big lunch because you'll have to save room for all the amazing food in store for you from more than 70 local restaurants. The evening is also the best way to preview many restaurants participating in Miami Spice, which begins August 1.
There's much to keep you busy, including live entertainment from Spam Allstars, the Heritage Neighborhood Showcase, the Shuck It! oyster-shucking competition, and the evening's headliner — the Iron Fork chef competition, hosted by chef Allen Susser.
This year, it's a tag-team showdown between Via Verdi's "Wonder Twins" Fabrizio and Nicola Carro and the "Dynamic Duo" of Dustin Ward (BLT Prime) and Sean Brasel (Meat Market).
If you've still got energy, check out the afterparty, beginning at 10 p.m. at the W Miami. In addition, New Times has partnered with Share Our Strength for a silent auction, where 100 percent of proceeds will benefit the organization's No Kid Hungry campaign.
Of course, it always comes back to the food. This year, the participating restaurants have outdone themselves, offering savory delights ranging from pork belly to seafood. Though you should discover what every restaurant has to offer, don't miss these ten dishes at tonight's Iron Fork:
- Area 31 - tuna ribbons with passionfruit ponzu and crispy quinoa
- Bellmont Spanish Restaurant - hand-sliced 18-month-aged Iberico ham with pan con tomate
- Cibo Wine Bar - shrimp diavola and house-made focaccia
- Jackson Soul Food - mac 'n' cheese, ribs, red glazed shrimp, pigeon peas and rice
- Lure Fishbar - hamachi crudo
- Proof Pizza & Pasta - summer peach and country ham salad
- R House- Brazilian seafood moqueca
- Rioja Grille - rioja-braised short rib with manchego polenta
- Tamara Bistro - caramelized pork belly and sweet potato hash
- Trust & Company - charred octopus with romesco