Seven Best Places to Celebrate Chinese New Year 2017 in Miami

Chinese New Year's dragon dance.
Chinese New Year's dragon dance. Courtesy of Hakkasan
January marks the Chinese New Year, a 15-day period culminating on the eve of the 28th, when people will welcome the Year of the Rooster through dances, fireworks, and good food. Red envelopes bearing cash (the Chinese equivalent of Christmas gift exchanges) are handed out to children, and specific "lucky" foods promising good fortune are enjoyed. Fish is high on the list, because the word in Chinese sounds similar to the word “surplus.” Dumplings and spring rolls (named for the Spring Festival, AKA Chinese New Year) are also must-haves because they represent wealth.

Miami already has a reputation as a party town, and celebrating the Chinese New Year in style is no exception. Head to any one of these restaurants to welcome the Year of the Rooster with special holiday menus and festivities.
click to enlarge Hakkasan's "Fortune Tale" meant to symbolize the combination of many efforts for your fortune. - COURTESY OF HAKKASAN
Hakkasan's "Fortune Tale" meant to symbolize the combination of many efforts for your fortune.
Courtesy of Hakkasan
1. Hakkasan
This Cantonese gem inside the Fontainebleau Miami Beach offers a Chinese New Year prix fixe that runs through February 11. It's priced at $128 per person, and items include the Fortune Tale – a traditional Chinese prosperity dish that is prepared tableside and features roast chicken, jellyfish, and mooli (AKA daikon radishes).

“It is meant to symbolize the combination of many efforts for your fortune. We use chicken because it’s the year of the Rooster. Making it tableside is to show all the different characteristics and attributes that you want in your personality – to show how you bring the person together as a whole,” Fontainebleau executive chef Thomas Connell explains.

The meal also includes a dim sum platter, a signature Hakkasan dish, using four flavors to represent the four seasons. Main courses include steamed Dover sole with pumpkin, stir-fried tiger prawns with lemongrass and chili, and braised abalone with dried oysters. For dessert, indulge in the Golden Feather – a ginger panna cotta with mandarin and caramelized white chocolate.

On January 28 beginning at 8:45 p.m., a traditional lion dance, believed to bring good luck and fortune, will be performed. Guests can share their hopes for the coming year by writing wishes on red and gold ribbons.
click to enlarge The Mandarin Oriental is excited to welcome the Year of the Fire Rooster. - COURTESY OF MANDARIN ORIENTAL
The Mandarin Oriental is excited to welcome the Year of the Fire Rooster.
Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental
2. The Mandarin Oriental
The fire rooster will be welcomed at this renowned hotel by way of the Peruvian-Asian fusion menu at La Mar, as well as specialty cocktails at MO Bar + Lounge.

Start at MO Bar + Lounge with the Red Rooster, made with whiskey infused with tangerine and rosemary, Chinese five-spice syrup, lemon juice, jasmine, and ginger ale, or the Brickell Rooster, made with highland double rye, lychee saketini mix, cherry spice simple syrup, and Ancho Reyes liqueur ($14 each). Then stroll over to La Mar for steamed branzino with soy sauce, cilantro, Chinese wine, and scallions ($52) or tapadito chifa with sautéed chicken, tonku mushrooms, ají amarillo, and vegetables ($28).

Festivities will run from Monday, January 23, through Sunday, January 29. The menu will be offered during lunch and dinner. On January 28, a traditional lion dance will be performed in the hotel's lobby at 7 p.m.
click to enlarge A sampling of the new year feast at Da Tang Unique. - COURTESY OF THE GREENSIDE AGENCY
A sampling of the new year feast at Da Tang Unique.
Courtesy of the Greenside Agency
3. Da Tang Unique
This Brickell restaurant will throw a 15-day celebration featuring a prix-fixe menu, live DJs, shows, and the chance to win a seven-day trip for two to China. Priced at $55 per person (not including tax and gratuity), the eight-course family-style dinner includes wok-sautéed shrimp with walnuts and a freshly steamed dumpling sample platter with a variety of fillings, including eight treasure mushroom, shrimp, duck, and chicken. Other dishes are steamed sea bass with garlic and black bean sauce and green prawns with white sauce and water chestnuts. Desserts are red velvet cake and an assortment of sorbet flavors, such as lychee and passionfruit mango. The festivities run from January 27 through February 11, and a dragon dance will be performed January 27 at 9 p.m. in the lobby of the Four Ambassadors. Guests will be able to interact by "feeding the dragon" as it offers symbolic expressions of luck, fortune, wisdom, and joy.
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Alona Abbady Martinez lives in Plantation. She writes about food and family on her blog, Culinary Compulsion, and is working on her book, My Culinary Compulsion, a global food memoir with recipes."