Miami Spice Braces For the Cold

The effects of the economy are being felt in every industry imaginable, most of all the ones that entertain and nourish us. The restaurant industry, from celebrity chefs right on to busboys, dishwashers, and even food producers and farmers are more than feeling the pinch. Fine establishments in Coral Gables and Coconut Grove, and all over downtown and Miami Beach are finding themselves with empty tables and plates left cold from a lack of customers. Not from January 12 through February 12. That's when the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (with sponsorship from American Express) are presenting the first ever Winter Miami Spice. Yes, yes, y'all - the same specially discounted fiesta of food everyone eagerly anticipates in the summertime is making an early appearance. Let the feasting begin!

Over 30 of Miami's finest restaurants will offer $23 lunch and $36 dinner prix fixe menus, so you can decide where you want to eat by district. Feel like heading to chic SoBe? Hit up the restaurant at The Setai (2001 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-520-6400), or the ever-chic Table 8 (1458 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-695-4114). On the mainland there's Andu (141 SW 7th St., Miami; 786-871-7005), Christy's Steakhouse (3101 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables; 305.446.1400 ), and more than we have room or time to mention. Visit www.ilovemiamispice.com.

-- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

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