When August in Miami hits, sometimes we think the only living creatures that successfully make it through the summer are alligators and mosquitoes. And then we remember Miami Spice and we know we can survive.
Miami Spice starts August 1 and restaurants are gearing up for two months of non-stop service, when locals venture out into the steamy air in search of a meal deal.
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach houses three Spice participants -- the classic American Gotham Steak, upscale Cantonese Hakkasan, and Italian Scarpetta. Short Order was invited to sample each restaurant's menu (which is subject to change).
All three restaurants, by the way, offer discounted valet parking of $12 while dining, so be sure to validate your ticket. To further entice diners to come out on weeknights, each venue will offer an additional course during the week.
Gotham Steak will offer a Miami Spice menu for dinner only, every day except Saturday. The three-course Spice menu is $39. This classic steak house is offering a lighter touch, with Asian-inspired dishes for Spice.
Sea bass is pan seared and served over ginger fried rice with crispy shallots. Allow the quail egg yolk to mingle with the rice for added richness.
Braised short rib of beef with a sweet and spicy Korean marinade, presented on a bed of potato puree.
Hakkasan will present a Miami Spice menu for dinner Sunday - Thursday ($39), but a better value is the lunch on Saturday and Sunday ($23).
Dim Sum at Hakkasan: steamed chive prawn dumplings are paired with crispy dumplings.
Crispy sea bass with wheat flakes and clay pot braised chicken and tofu.
Charcoal grilled honey glazed chicken.
Miami Spice meals will come with a stir-fried seasonal vegetable. We received baby bok choy seasoned with minced garlic.
Scarpetta offers Miami Spice for dinner only Sunday through Thursday ($39). The Miami Spice menu, as usual, features all of the restaurant's favorite dishes (though we missed last year's branzino). If we had to choose one restaurant out of the three, we would go here -- if only for Scott Conant's famous spaghetti, which never fails to make diners giddy (right before lapsing into a food coma).
Swordfish bresaola with cara cara oranges and black garlic is a bright start to dinner.
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Creamy polenta with fricassee of truffled mushrooms lives up to its name. It's creamy, rich, decadent and one of the restaurant's best sellers.
A beehive-shaped serving of Scott Conant's signature dish. A simple plate of house made spaghetti is served with tomato and basil.
Yellowtail snapper with eggplant caponata, mussels, and tomato guazzetto.