Miami Spice doesn't, technically, begin until next week, but already there's much anticipation in the air, all leading up to the official Miami Spice kickoff party, New Times' Iron Fork, which takes place at the Hyatt Regency Miami on Thursday, July 30. The event features a host of Spice participating restaurants previewing their best bites, along with the epic Iron Fork chefs' competition where MC Kitchen's Dena Marino takes on Finka Table and Tap's Eileen Andrade for the coveted Iron Fork skillet of excellence.
Advance-purchase, general-admission tickets for Iron Fork cost $50 through July 29 and increase to $65 at the door (while supplies last). GA tickets allow entry to Iron Fork from 7 to 10 p.m. and include unlimited samplings of food from dozens of Miami's finest establishments. You can also take advantage of the Spice Rack Pack, where you can purchase four tickets for $150 and enjoy Spice with your buddies. VIPs get into Iron Fork at 6 p.m. for an extra hour of fun and have access to the exclusive VIP lounge. Advance-purchase VIP tickets cost $85 through July 29; VIP tickets at the door are $100 (while supplies last). Purchase tickets at newtimesironfork.com.
Last evening, Dolce Italian hosted the Federal Food Drink & Provisions for the final Miami Spice Mash-Up, which each restaurant preparing delectable dishes from their upcoming Miami Spice menus. The Federal's Cesar Zapata and Dolce's Dean Tzakanakis, both prominently featured on Bravo's Best New Restaurant, showcased their finest, whetting our appetites for Miami Spice, which starts August 1.
Dolce's grilled octopus with chickpeas, farro, and pistachio vinaigrette started off the evening's battle.
The Federal served a pineapple steak with black mole, bacon lardon, jalapeño jam, and holy basil.
Dolce's lemon risotto with gold shrimp was inspired by romantic nights in Sorrento.
The Federal's smoked petite pork shank with braised collard greens and smoked grapes was a plate of American comfort food.
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Both restaurants outdid themselves on dessert. Dolce's ricotta cheesecake with honeycomb was light and fluffy while the Federal's Krispy Kreme bread pudding with bourbon drunken cherries was basically all good things together on one plate.
Miami Spice runs from August 1 through September 30, with nearly 200 of Miami's best restaurants offering special three-course menus for $23 lunch; $39 dinner. For a full list of participating establishments, and to see menus, visit ilovemiamispice.com.