Miami Spice Preview at Hakkasan, Scarpetta, Gotham Steak

Last night, Short Order restaurant hopped at the Fontainebleau sampling dishes from the Miami Spice menus that three of its restaurants will offer starting August 1.
Having dined at Scarpetta and Hakkasan during Miami Spice last year, I noticed some welcome additions during our media tour.

Our first stop was Scarpetta. This year's menu is similar to last year's, but they've added a few different dishes. Favorites like the creamy polenta and spaghetti with tomato and basil are still there. Other appetizers include: raw yellowtail with marinated onions and baby greens; burrata with heirloom tomatoes, basil and arugula; and braised short ribs as appetizer choices. Aside from the spaghetti, entrée choices include Mediterranean branzino with zucchini spring garlic and lobster fricassee; spice roasted chicken; and bone in prime aged sirloin of beef.

Next I moved to Hakkasan. I had every intention of dining there last year but the regular menu was so much more appealing than the Miami Spice menu. Sure, it cost me triple, but the whole point of this promotion is for restaurants to showcase their best dishes, and last year's Spice menu had very limited choices. So I was happy to see more options for this year.

Appetizers include your choice of grilled Shangai chicken or vegetable dumplings (two pieces), followed by hot and sour or sweet corn soup before your choice of main course and rice and noodle dish. Entrée choices include stir-fry scallop and pumpkin in black bean; wok-fried silver cod in XO-marmite sauce; steamed seabass in crispy soybean sauce; sweet and sour pork and crispy Szechuan shredded beef rib-eye.

Hakkasan will also offer a vegetarian Miami Spice dinner menu and a Miami Spice dim sum lunch, which at $22 (plus tax and tip) isn't a bad deal.

My final stop was at Gotham Steak where I sampled the heirloom tomato, watermelon and feta salad, yellow fin tuna tartar and grilled hanger steak with fingerling potatoes, caramelized shallots and béarnaise sauce. Other options include miso marinated black cod with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, sticky rice, soy lemongrass ginger sauce; and Texas-style Berkshire pork ribs with habanero sauce and corn bread. A summer corn and jumbo lump crab risotto is also part of the appetizer choices.

Scarpetta and Gotham Steak will offer the Miami Spice menu for dinner everyday except on Saturday and Hakkasan everyday except Friday and Saturday. Dim sum lunch at Hakkasan is available Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 3 p.m. Valet parking is $7 until September 30.

Miami Spice runs from August 1 - September 30. For a list of participating restaurants, visit ilovemiamispice.com.

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