Miami Spice

Miami Spice 2019: The Five Most Romantic Restaurants

Courtesy of Vista at Upper Buena Vista

Miami Spice is well underway, offering $39 dinners and $23 lunches at more than 200 restaurants through September 30.

The dining promotion is an especially budget-friendly time for a romantic evening. Whether it be a first date or a 20th-anniversary celebration, there's nothing more charming than a candlelit dinner for two.

Do you prefer a table with a water view? Would you rather dine under a canopy of trees? Or does exceptional service in a swanky dining room fit the bill? When you're ready for romance, try one of these five restaurants.
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Pollo alla scarpariello
Courtesy of Il Mulino NY

Il Mulino NY at Acqualina Resort & Spa

17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach

This is old-school fine dining at its best. Il Mulino features dark wood interiors, soft lighting, white tablecloths, servers in tuxes, and impeccable service. You'll find it difficult to resist the breadbasket, but save room for the three-course meal. The four appetizers choices are ricotta meatballs with tomato, basil, and Parmesan; a traditional caesar salad; beef carpaccio made with Tuscan-style beef (normally $29); and baked clams with breadcrumbs, lemon, and garlic. The well-rounded entrées include a veal scallopini alla parmigiana, scampi alla francese with egg-battered jumbo shrimp in a lemon white wine sauce with sautéed spinach, and pollo alla scarpariello sautéed with garlic, white wine, and mushrooms. Dessert is a choice of espresso panna cotta, tiramisu, or cannoli. Sit near a window for a beautiful view of the patio and pool. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly except Saturday.
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Truffle dumplings
Courtesy of Jaya at the Setai

Jaya at the Setai

2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach

Jaya at the Setai's alfresco dining area features a retractable roof and seating that surrounds a stone-filled pool so even the rainiest of Miami evenings can't dampen this magical outdoor experience. Start your Spice dinner with steamed mushroom-and-chive dumplings with dipping sauces; hamachi with avocado mousse, apple, pickled shallots, and jalapeño cucumber water (usually $23); or tuna with ginger ponzu, green beans, radishes, capers, sesame seeds, and fresh herbs. Move on to your choice of entrée, including Faroe Island salmon with cardamom-scented sweet potato purée, pickled cucumbers, and fresh herbs; lamb masala with basmati rice; grilled chicken breast with sushi rice, wild mushrooms, roasted shallots, and cilantro scallion relish; and green curry with seasonal vegetables, bell peppers, bamboo shoots, and Thai basil jasmine rice. End the meal with either masala chai crème brûlée or seasonal fresh fruits and berry sorbet. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly.
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Angus prime rib-eye with mashed potatoes
Courtesy of Peacock Garden Bistro

Peacock Garden Bistro

2889 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove

Follow a shaded path to a lovely garden with tables nestled under a canopy of trees. Hanging plants and whimsical decor make Peacock Garden Bistro an ideal spot for a romantic dinner. The menu, offering a variety of classic dishes, is simple and uncomplicated. For your appetizer, choose from burrata with heirloom tomatoes or lobster ravioli. Entrées include certified Angus prime rib-eye with mashed potatoes and Parmesan cheese, and seared jumbo scallops over hummus with salad, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto. For dessert, choose either a classic dark chocolate brownie with walnuts and vanilla ice cream or coconut foam with fresh berries. Miami Spice is offered for dinner nightly.
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Spaghetti all chitarra
Courtesy of Seaspice


422 NW North River Dr., Miami

On the bank of the Miami River, Seaspice offers a view dotted with megayachts. Inside, the restaurant offers luxe nautical touches. Miami's hot and sticky summer is the perfect time to try the chilled white summer gazpacho, made with cucumber, honeydew, and apple; a fresh watercress salad with ginger, cucumber, and roasted corn; or crispy tempura squash blossoms filled with Alaskan king crab and red pepper espuma. Entrée selections include pan-seared local black grouper with leek fondue; beef Wellington with baby spinach and roasted tomato; spaghetti alla chitarra with broccolini, artisanal sausage, and Parmigiano-Reggiano; and a plant bowl with carrots, radishes, cucumber noodles, tatsoi, hijiki, edamame, and soy cashew sauce. For dessert, choose from tres leches sponge cake with strawberries, blueberries, and ivoire pearls, or guanaja chocolate cremoso with a cocoa nib crumble, seaweed snow, and toasted rice mousse. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Tuesday through Thursday.
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Courtesy of Vista at Upper Buena Vista


5020 NE Second Ave., Miami

The rustic and inviting Upper Buena Vista is an open-air complex with lovely shops and boutiques. There you'll find Vista, an enchanting restaurant with lush greenery, string lights, and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Begin your meal with either burrata served with 12-year balsamic vinaigrette, citrus confit baby heirloom tomatoes, and Maldon salt; summer corn fritters with pepper jam and fresh basil; or beet salad with fennel, apple, basil breadcrumbs, and Greek yogurt. For your entrée, choose from whole dorada with sautéed spinach and fresh lemon; Wagyu bavette rubbed with Café du Monde coffee and chicory spice and served with house-cut fries; or pork osso buco with saffron risotto and roasted peas. Dessert options are chocolate soufflé, Nutella bread pudding, and summer panna cotta. Arrive early for a cocktail at the rooftop bar. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Monday through Thursday.
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Josie Gulliksen is a Miami native who's been covering Miami's arts and culture scene for more than two decades. She loves biking, spending time in nature, eating out, and attending all types of events. She dreams of one day writing a play and being on the stage.
Contact: Josie Gulliksen