This week, Miami Spice begins another edition of three-course dining deals, offering $39 dinner and $23 lunch specials. Because more than 250 restaurants are participating this year, it's important to do some homework before making reservations, especially if you're seeking a good hunk of meat.
Many steakhouses are offering special menus for the promotion, but take a look at them. You might be surprised to find some offer steak with an up-charge — or don't offer steak at all.
If you're hankering for a hunk of meat, you can't go wrong at the following restaurants.
3540 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove
At Ariete, chef Michael Beltran serves seriously filling dishes packed with flavor. On his Miami Spice menu, start with an order or croquetas made from smoked head cheese and served with house-made kimchee or a chicken liver mouse with house pickles. Though beef isn't offered as an entrée, you can get a Miami rarity: venison. Here it's served with twice-baked potatoes, sauce Diane, and wild mushrooms. Other entrées are grilled yellowjack and smoked pork chop. Dessert is the restaurant's specialty: candy cap mushroom flan with Sambuca cream. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly.
Edge Steak & Bar
1435 Brickell Ave., Miami
It would almost be a cliché to add Edge to this list if not for the fact that chef Aaron Brooks consistently offers great value during Miami Spice by serving generous portions of quality meats and seafood. At the steakhouse inside the Four Seasons Hotel Miami, begin with a chicken, pork, and hazelnut terrine with pickled carrots and beet and apple butter before tucking into a Creekstone Farms flat-iron steak served with grilled squash, green olive and rosemary salsa verde, and blistered baby tomatoes. Other offerings are a grilled branzino fillet, ricotta and lemon ravioli, and a Berkshire pork chop with heirloom carrots. After a meal like this, get a shot of adrenaline with the cafecito sundae, made with Cuban coffee ice cream, Maria cookies, and chocolate rum sauce. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly.
Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann
3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Though the restaurant offers a Miami Spice menu for lunch, on weekdays there are no steak offerings, so sate your cravings during dinner. Start with the oxtail croquettes with lemon aioli and move on to a rib-eye churrasco, finished in the multipurpose oak-and-charcoal-fueled plancha/parrilla/smoker. Other offerings are local snapper a la plancha and cast-iron wild mushrooms. Finish with a frozen vanilla profiterole or a dulce de leche tart. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Sunday throughThursday.
Red the Steakhouse
119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach
Chef Peter Vauthy's Miami Spice menu changes weekly, so it's best to call ahead to see whether it's the "classic steakhouse menu," the "seafood menu," the "Italian menu," or "Red's greatest hits." In any event, read the menu carefully. Though up-charges for items such as a C.A.B. Prime New York strip ($24 extra) can be confusing, avoid all the add-ons and get to the root of the matter: a good piece of meat prepared perfectly. If steak tartare is offered for an appetizer, order it. Other offerings are charred octopus, a giant meatball, or a classic caesar salad. No matter the menu, it will always include a certified Angus petite filet mignon and a Snake River Farms Wagyu skirt steak. Either is a flavorful choice, but if you're visiting during the chef's Italian menu week, you might want to opt for the chicken parm, finished in the oven and served with spaghetti marinara. Desserts rotate weekly, but highlights are a Fruity Pebbles panna cotta and lemon mascarpone cake. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly.
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Root & Bone
5958 S. Dixie Hwy., South Miami
Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth bring Southern hospitality to South Miami at their New York City concept, Root & Bone. If you're looking for pure comfort, the Miami Spice menu reads like a hug from someone's North Carolina grandma. Start with a complimentary amuse-bouche of cornbread bites with whipped Tabasco honey butter. Appetizers include warm pimento cheese dip, a watermelon and farmer cheese salad, and drunken deviled eggs. Get your protein the old-fashioned way: in meatloaf. The chefs use braised short rib and serve it with root mash, grilled green beans, and heirloom tomato. No one would blink an eye, however, if you opted for the sweet tea-brined fried chicken — a house specialty — or the shrimp and grits. All entrées are served with a side of mac 'n' cheese with a biscuit herb crust. Dessert choices are coconut key lime pie and that specialty of the South, red velvet cake. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly.
StripSteak by Michael Mina
4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Michael Mina's palace of beef inside the Fontainebleau Miami Beach is about as classic as you can get. Start with shrimp cocktail, a BLT wedge, or the restaurant's instant bacon — a thick slab of braised pork belly. Move on to an eight-ounce Moyer Farms filet mignon. StripSteak also offers salmon bourguignon and a peas and carrots cavatelli. For dessert, choose between a tart key lime pie or a rich banana pudding. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly.