Miami Spice at J&G Grill: Just Grand

Crossing over the threshold of blue marble and mirrored walls of the St. Regis leads you to the J&G Grill dining room so rich and decadent that you can't believe that you get to dine there for a mere $39 per person. Thanks Miami Spice. This is what it's all about.

Where other restaurants may way want to skimp out on the discounted menu, the St. Regis does not: foie sauce, the best octupus, decadent desserts, steak and more all make cameos on this special menu. The view of the pool, the cabanas and the ocean add to the richness of this extraordinary meal.

See also: Our entire Miami Spice coverage

You know the drill, three starters, mains and desserts. Despite the low probability the night we dined, every single person at our table of five descended on the octopus for the first course. The salmon sashimi and heirloom beet salad options never saw the light of day tip of of our fork and for good reason, this octopus was just phenomenal. Tender is an understatement. This grilled black pepper octopus had just the right amount of heat with raw sweet onions and key limes accompanying it. This dish garnered so much attention from the table that we learned it was adapted from the Jean-Georges in Hawaii, which uses these local ingredients and flavors. We begged and pleaded that this become a part of the regular menu after Spice is up and we think we got word from the waiter that it is a definite possibility due to the popularity.

While we were still enjoying the moments in the octopus' garden by the sea, out came the entrees. The choices for the evening were the crispy lake trout with pork belly, the poussin with chanterelle succotash and foie gras jus and grilled skirt steak with potato puree and spicy chimichurri.

When it comes to the entrees, there were no bad dishes. The plating of the steak made it seem like we were missing half of our dish, but the portion and the flavor left little to be desired. Also, the poussin brought to mind the some kind of super awesome crime scene, "A chicken killed young for eating on a pool of foie gras juice, near the forrest of chanterelle succotash."

Yeah, we said it, "Antonio Bachour: Pastry Genius" and this spice menu offers up his desserts, which are a major treat. The options on the dessert menu offer a little something for every sweet tooth: fruity, chocolatey, and a bit nutty. The chocolate dulce de leche tart brought the Miami spice flavor to the typical chocolate dessert, accompanied with mango sorbet and caramelized bananas.

The most refined dessert was the passion fruit napoleon with coconut snow and coconut sorbet. This napoleon didn't have any kind of a complex, just a well-balanced demeanor. The most fun dessert of the night was the peanut butter jelly bar with raspberry sorbet and summer berries. The dish was playfully reminiscent of childhood and kicked up several notches by the pastry genius.

Overall, this is a Miami Spice that is not to be missed...come for the octopus and stay for the desserts, as they are all show stoppers. Also, since you are there, it is probably worth splurging on the $31 wine pairing for their Miami Spice menu, we brought our own bottles and were a bit startled by the $45 corkage fee (per bottle). Regardless, the meal and the ambiance were just grand!

Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst

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