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| Columns |

New Prix-Fixe At Area 31, and Valet Prices Drop: China Grill $6, Fontainebleau $0

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Starting August 1st, China Grill's new Summer menu will include half-orders of the existing sharing plates. As the press release explains, "The new pricing is ideal for single diners and smaller parties who can now enjoy the same China Grill Experience they've come to expect over the past 14 years without the mandatory doggie bag."  

Seven new menu items are on tap, like spiced crispy pork belly with avocado salad, watermelon salad, and sweet chili sauce; lemongrass-crusted tofu tots with pickled cucumbers and kimchee sauce; and miso-grilled vegetables with udon noodles, spicy hoisin, and mushroom sauce.  

And, in another nod to new belt-tightening times, China Grill's valet parking will drop to $6 with validation. (404 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-534-2211).

Fontainebleau Miami Beach does China Grill one better by offering free valet parking, from now through September 30th, with validation from lunch or dinner at any of the hotel's restaurants (Scarpetta, Hakkasan, Gotham Steak, La Cote, Blade Sushi Lounge, and Vida).  For info  or reservations call: 877-326-7412.

Meanwhile, Executive Chef John Critchley has inaugurated a daily prix-fixe, five-course tasting menu at Area 31 (270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, 305-424-5234) that will showcase such treats as smoked kingfish croquettes; Whitewater clams; and seared Texas redfish. The sustainable seafood menu, which includes a glass of organic wine, is being offered at dinner for $50 per person (excluding tax and gratuity).

Area 31 has committed a portion of proceeds from the pre-fixe menu to the Marine Mammal Conservancy (MMC) of the Florida Keys. The MMC is a local nonprofit whose mission is to protect marine mammals and their habitats through research, rescue, rehabilitation, release and education. 

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