Running from August 1 through September 30, the program was started 17 years ago by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau as a way to promote Miami's restaurants to visitors and locals. Since its inception, the program has grown to include hundreds of participating restaurants.
So far, 206 restaurants will feature Miami Spice menus in 2018, including two dozen new eateries like Planta, Chotto Matte, Habitat Miami Beach, Palat, and Azabu. Returning favorites include Scarpetta, Edge Steak & Bar, Red the Steakhouse, and Palme d'Or.
This year, Miami Spice will partner with Slow Food Miami, the local nonprofit that recognizes restaurants and businesses that practice sustainability and authenticity in their food and beverage programs. The Spice website will note the restaurants that have earned Slow Food's Snail of Approval.
Starting today, the official 2018 Miami Spice website, ilovemiamispice.com, will release sample menus from participating restaurants. Of course, these menus are always subject to change based on the availability of ingredients. Some restaurants choose to have a rotating menu of dishes, while others will change the Miami Spice menu halfway through the promotion period.
Here are menu highlights from some Miami Spice participants:
Stiltsville Fish Bar (Miami Spice offered daily for lunch, brunch, and dinner). Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth 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, or a hammock salad. There are several entrees including fried chicken, fish wings, and pan seared fish and grits, or you can opt for the local catch of the day, offered grilled or steamed. Finish with a warm gooey chocolate cobbler. Eating healthy is easy at Stiltsville — just look for the "skinny mermaid" items. 1787 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 786-353-0477; stiltsvillefishbar.com.
Bazaar Mar (Miami Spice offered for dinner Tuesday through Saturday). Chef José Andrés' colorful seafood restaurant serves whimsical creations. For starters, try the hamachi cone or the bagel and lox featuring Russ & Daughters' smoked salmon on air bread with cream cheese and pickled onions. Entrees include a fried whole snapper or the Po Boy, Jose, filled with fried baby squid and
Pubbelly Sushi (Miami Spice offered for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday). If you'd rather skip dessert and have another savory dish instead, Pubbelly Sushi has a menu for you. For your first course, choose between Japanese
Byblos (Miami Spice offered for dinner nightly). If you like extras, Byblos is a good choice. Start by choosing two items from the mezze section. Choices include toasted red beets, lamb ribs, duck kibbeh, shakshouka, snapper
Miami Spice. August 1 through September 30 at over 200 Miami-area restaurants. ilovemiamispice.com.