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Michael Schwartz's latest restaurant, Amara at Paraiso, boasts a Biscayne Bay vista.
Michael Schwartz's latest restaurant, Amara at Paraiso, boasts a Biscayne Bay vista.
Courtesy of Amara at Paraiso

Miami Spice 2018: The Five Best Waterfront Restaurants

More than 200 restaurants are participating in Miami Spice, but only a handful of eateries include enchanting waterfront views and romantic ambiance. Here are the locations boasting the most attractive Spice menus to enjoy by the water.

The promotion offers prix-fixe lunch or brunch ($23) and dinner ($39) through September 30. Tax and tip are not included.

Amara at Paraiso blends Latin American flavors and local ingredients.
Amara at Paraiso blends Latin American flavors and local ingredients.
Courtesy photo

1. Amara at Paraiso. "We have a special spot here," James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz says of his Edgewater eatery. "It's miles away from the craziness of the city, but right there too. The eastern sunsets are so relaxing, and you get that golden glow on the buildings across Biscayne Bay on Miami Beach." Blending Latin American flavors and local ingredients, the dinner menu changes weekly, but if the arrozverde is on the menu, order it. It's served with a poached egg, romesco, mushroom escabeche, avocado, and cucumber.
3101 NE Seventh Ave., Miami; 305-702-5528; amaraatparaiso.com. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Sunday through Thursday.

Zuma offers views of the city and the Miami River.EXPAND
Zuma offers views of the city and the Miami River.
Courtesy of Zuma Miami

2. Zuma. This Japanese staple in downtown offers panoramic views of the city and the Miami River. With a generous 81 outdoor seats, guests can beat the heat by sitting under the retractable roof. According to reservations manager Malory Mohammed, the chef recommends the barley miso-marinated baby chicken, which is available as an entrée on the Miami Spice lunch and dinner menus. Other options include dishes from the restaurant's robata grill, sushi bar, and main kitchen. Stay refreshed with lychee and seasonal berry panna cotta for dessert. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami; 305-577-0277; zumarestaurant.com. Miami Spice is offered for lunch Monday to Friday; dinner Sunday to Wednesday.

El Cielo glistens at night.
El Cielo glistens at night.
Courtesy of El Cielo

3. El Cielo. Tucked away in the heart of Brickell is the third restaurant by Colombian chef Juan Manuel Barrientos, who also secured a spot on Latin America’s "50 Best Restaurants" list at the age of 29. Guests can choose from dishes such as catch-of-the-day tiradito with goat cheese foam, farmers' chicken with Colombian atollado rice, and a creamy coconut rice dish for vegans. 31 SE Fifth St., Miami; 305-755-8840; elcielorestaurant.com. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Monday through Friday.

La Mar serves fine Peruvian cuisine on Brickell Key.
La Mar serves fine Peruvian cuisine on Brickell Key.
Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental

4. La Mar by Gastón Acurio. Overlooking Biscayne Bay, La Mar at the Mandarin Oriental serves fine Peruvian cuisine. Chef Diego Oka's dishes focus on family recipes. Dishes include shrimp locro, a kobocha squash stew prepared with queso fresco, fava beans, choclo, poached egg, and rice; smoked tiradito salad; and lucuma flan for dessert. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-913-8358; mandarinoriental.com/miami. Miami Spice is offered for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Sunday through Thursday.

At Smith & Wollensky, watch boats cruise through Government Cut.
At Smith & Wollensky, watch boats cruise through Government Cut.
Courtesy of Smith & Wollensky

5. Smith & Wollensky. The upscale steakhouse in South Pointe Park feels like its own private oasis, with every outdoor seat overlooking Government Cut. Miami Spice items include a mini wedge salad, petit filet mignon, and chocolate layer cake made with Baileys Irish Cream. Upgrades are available for dishes such as angry shrimp (add $16), a 16-ounce USDA Prime boneless rib eye (add $25), and steak enhancements such as a Gorgonzola crust (add $5). Take advantage of the restaurant's wine selection and ask about the "cellar steals" for specially priced options by the glass. 1 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-2800; smithandwollensky.com/miamibeach. Miami Spice is offered for dinner daily.

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