Miami Spice: Deal or No Deal? (Pt. 1)

It's that time of year again, when restaurateurs, in a desperate bid to appeal to those locals whom they've shunned for the prior ten months, try to make nice. Fair enough. I mean a deal is a deal, and $22 for a 3-course meal and $35 for a 3-course dinner can represent real savings at a lot of these places. Except some restaurants offer scant and uninspiring (sometimes downright chintzy) menus - during restricted days and hours. That's not nice.

The first three Spice menus have trickled across the wire: Area 31, Red The Steakhouse, and The Grill on the Alley. Deal or no deal? Read on.


Red The Steakhouse.

Diners are offered a wide selection of appealing items. Ostensibly you

could order Hot Stuffed Peppers, Pork Chops, and Peach Crisp, which

would normally cost $63 -- thus saving  $28, or almost 50%. And if you

go on a Wednesday, when all wine bottles under $100 are half-price, you

have even a better bargain.

The menu will rotate through the two months. In the sample printed below, regular menu prices are placed in parenthesis.

1st Course-

($9) Red House Salad~ Baby Greens, Candied Walnuts, Westfield Farms Goat Cheese & RED Raspberry Vinaigrette

($9) Caesar Salad ~ Romaine Lettuce, Garlic Croustade, Housemade Dressing

($15) Soup Du Jour - King Crab & Sweet Corn Bisque

($16) Brad's Hot Stuffed Peppers - Housemade Italian Sausage & Tomato Sauce


Main Course Options:

($39 for an 8oz filet) 5-ounce Petite CAB Prime Filet with Béarnaise Topped Asparagus & Potato Gratin

($28) Atlantic Salmon w/ Basil Pesto w/ Béarnaise Topped Asparagus & Potato Gratin

($27) Ashley Farms Double Chicken Breast w/ Béarnaise Topped Asparagus & Potato Gratin

($32) Double Cut Pork Chop- w/ Béarnaise Topped Asparagus & Potato Gratin

($28) Bucatini, Meatballs and RED Lead

($34) Trenne Carbonara - Gulf Shrimp, Garlic, Peas & Pancetta


($15) Peach Crisp w/ Vanilla Bean Gelato

(Not on menu) Housemade Sorbets


*The Grill on the Alley is

offering choice of Grill Chop Salad ($9.50) or Soup of the Day ($6.75).

"Dinner entrée options include items such as Pan Seared Salmon with

Shiitake Mushrooms (with lemon butter sauce and sautéed spinach) and

the house specialty Skirt Steak (marinated in citrus juices, soy sauce

and garlic and served with vegetables)." The flank isn't a menu item,

but the salmon and mushrooms go for $27.75. Chocolate Mousse and Key

Lime Pie ($8) are the featured desserts. The savings is thus $7.50 or

$10.25, depending on whether you start with soup or salad. These rather

dull, limited selections are available only Sunday through Thursday.



Area 31 - The dinner

menu "begins with the appetizer Tuna Tartar (with sour citrus, caviar

and capers) and features entrees such as Local Yellowtail Snapper (with

red lentil, sumac, and preserved citrus); Braised Short Rib; and

Grilled Escolar (with Vidalia onion and sweet corn)." Dessert is a

semifreddo made with honeycomb, Greek yogurt and local fruit.

All of which sounds rather appealing. But it is implied that tuna

tartare is the sole starter choice, which is way limiting. The tartare

isn't on the regular menu, but tuna tataki is $15. Short rib is the

only entree offered whose price can be gauged on the regular menu -- it

goes for $28. Desserts are all $8, but, again, offering just one is

being stingy. And semifreddo isn't a thrilling dessert. The lunch

promotion is offered every day of the week, the dinners only Sunday

through Thursday. Assuming portions are similar, the total cost of this

meal would normally be about $51, for a savings of $16.  Not bad, but a limited menu, served on limited nights, makes the worthiness of

the offer...well, limited. Too limited. No deal.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >