Michelle Bernstein's Fried Chicken Returns Wednesday

The relaunch of Michelle Bernstein’s flagship MiMo restaurant, now known as Cena by Michy, means a lot of things. Most important is the return of beloved fried chicken nights that have long been a summer tradition.

The all-you-can-eat bacchanal kicks off Wednesday. As usual, $39 gets you platter after platter of crisp bird accompanied by watermelon salad, Southern slaw, and flaky biscuits.

The last item has been in the testing phase the past couple of months, as the ever-busier Bernstein juggles a handful of restaurant projects, the American Express Centurion Lounge at Miami International Airport, and meals for patients at Broward County’s Memorial Cancer Institute.

“Last night, I did a really nice buttermilk-heavy cream mixture to get a creamier texture,” she said last week. “It was good, but it wasn’t quite flaky enough, so we’ll have to keep working.”

The bird is also marinated for 24 hours in buttermilk puréed with garlic, thyme, tarragon, shallots, mustard, and fennel seed, she told Deco Drive in 2012.

Yet as Bernstein’s chicken became a tradition, a handful of other area restaurants have also launched summer specials offering hearty fare at a steal.

Every Wednesday night in July, the Dutch's Conor Hanlon and Joshua Gripper team up with local favorites for a $40, all-you-can-eat barbecue on the W Hotel’s patio. Last week, they brought in the boys from Proof Pizza & Pasta to dish out crisp-crusted barbecue chicken pizzas, mini meatball and sausage sandwiches, and smoky grilled octopus.

A bit farther south on the Beach, at Macchialina, Michael Pirolo offers all of his house-made pastas for $10 every Thursday throughout with rotating weekly creations.

Summer may just be the best time to eat in Miami if you know where to look.

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