Miamians are fortunate enough to have access to fresh seafood year-round, but when summer hits, the need for light, refreshing fish and shellfish becomes almost a necessity. We rather munch down on ceviche and shrimp cocktails than baby back ribs and baked potatoes when the temperature hits 90 degrees -- let's not even mention the humidity.
Also, luckily enough, we're blessed enough to have Miami Spice. The two-month event provides reasonably priced prix-fixe menus at restaurants all across Miami -- at a really heavy discount. Considering the summer season and the fact that Miami Spice kicked off last week, we put together a round up of where to get your seafood fix without losing your shirt.
One of the reasons for Fish Fish making the cut is that it's a new restaurant. We haven't tried it yet, but the fact that it is owned by a couple of fishing and boating enthusiasts whose kitchen is helmed by a chef who grew up on a sustainable farm has piqued our interest. Also, Fish Fish offers several seafood options on its Miami Spice dinner menu. You can start off with a fresh, made from scratch traditional New England clam chowder and follow that up with your choice of fish and chips, hand-battered day boat Icelandic cod, served with house-made lime aioli, English mushy peas and hand-cut steak fries; sautéed yellow tail snapper, served with the chef's signature key lime butter sauce over lemon grass scented Basmati rice; or shrimp and linguini with a white wine, garlic butter sauce.
We've heard nothing but good things about this seafood restaurant located in Matheson Hammock Park on Biscayne Bay, plus its a great choice for fine dining in the South Miami area and offers waterfront dining in an area where it's hard to find. Also, its Miami Spice dinner menu offers a veritable cornucopia of seafood selections. Appetizer options include jalea mixta, consisting of fried fish and calamari with pickled onions, fresh corn, and jalapeño cream; as well as a sour watermelon shrimp ceviche made with Thai basil, micro cilantro, red onion, Thai chili cream, and cashews. Choose from three seafood dishes as your main course: spiced mahi mahi served with pineapple salsa and sweet plantain purée; grilled salmon served with lemon orzo, green peas, grape tomatoes, and saffron aioli; or a Caribbean bouillabaisse with jumbo shrimp, mussels, scallops, and the catch of the day.
This Coconut Grove landmark specializes in seafood and frankly, its menu made our mouths water. Gibraltar also offers you a choice of seafood for both appetizer and entrée on its Miami Spice dinner menu. You can start off with Sicilian-style cured tuna, served with spaghetti al oglio with garlic and lemon basil, grape tomatoes, capers, and pine nuts and follow that up with an almond-crusted mahi mahi, served with chardonnay-braised leeks, kale, and fried artichoke.
We chose Salumeria because, well, everyone who has eaten there comes away a fan of chef Angelo's culinary creations. Besides, we really love his take on cuttlefish and fortunately for you, it made the cozy bistro's Miami Spice menu. We highly suggest the grilled baby cuttlefish skewer with mixed spring greens and tartar sauce.
Here's another resto that made the list primarily because you get a double dose of seafood from its Miami Spice menu -- also, seafood is one of Tiramesu's strong suits -- so are its vegetable purées, and luckily, one of these healthy, light side dishes is served along with the main course on Tiramesu's Miami Spice dinner menu. Try the skewers of grilled jumbo shrimp served with melon gazpacho as an appetizer and the filetto di branzino, a pan-roasted fillet of Mediterranean sea bass, braised red cabbage, carrot purée, and saffron olive oil as your main course.
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This corner restaurant in Little Haiti has long been a neighborhood favorite recognized for its fresh ingredients and large portions. Soyka's Miami Spice dinner menu offers three seafood choices to satisfy your needs, including its refreshing ceviche, one of our favorites in the city, made with tilapia fillet and a habanero and ginger marinade, Choose from either a porcini shrimp risotto with ferron carnaroli rice, imported porcini mushrooms, shrimp, and asparagus, or the blue tilapia almondine, with toasted almonds, and Israeli vegetable couscous.
All meals listed here cost between $33 and $39 per person. Beverage, tax and gratuity not included. Miami Spice runs through September 30. Visit ilovemiamispice.com.
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