Miami Spice starts August 1, just over a week away, but already the stress of trying to figure out what restaurants to eat at is kicking in. After all, with nearly 200 quality Miami establishments participating, it's not easy trying to figure out which restaurant has the best Spice choices. You could pick a place and take your chances — or you could check out South of Spice, the brand new event that showcases the restaurants in Miami Beach's SoFi neighborhood that are participating in the program this year.
On Tuesday, July 28, from 6 to 10 p.m., diners will enjoy a dine-around at South of Fifth restaurants including Red the Steakhouse, Tongue and Cheek, Local House, Smith and Wollensky, Fogo de Chao, Cibo Wine Bar, and Red Ginger. Attendees will also have the exclusive opportunity to sample
After checking in, ticket holders will have four hours to leisurely visit each of the restaurants where they can meet the chefs and sample items from the restaurants' Miami Spice menus. In addition, each dish will be paired with a wine or custom cocktail. Although the restaurants have not yet announced what will be served, expect high-end indulgences, like Red the Steakhouses, Certified Angus Beef steak. Red's Peter Vauthy says he can't wait for this inaugural event. "It's going to be a blast. The South of Fifth is developing a very neighborhood feel to it, and it's great to have my next door neighborhood chefs and I play in our own backyard."
South of Spice will also feature local artists, including Lebo, Gustavo Tonelli, New York Times bestselling author Gerald Posner, a mini film festival by Hollywood Shoes, and a mini fashion show by Satori Amici menswear.
Red's chef/partner says that he's looking forward to the event as a start to the Miami Spice season, which traditionally gives establishments a much-welcome boost during our traditionally shower season. "Miami Spice provides me the opportunity to cook outside of the Red menu and experiment a bit. We theme our weeks so we go from classic steakhouse to seafood to Italian and so on. I get to cook for people who may not come to the beach often and after tasting some signature spice items it provides me with the opportunity to bring them back for some dining for a birthday or anniversary. It drives business in a traditionally slow month, and I get to touch people's palates and win them over to my food"
The event costs $45 per person and includes food samplings and wine and spirits pairings. Local residents living in the South of Fifth neighborhood pay only $35. The event benefits Community Initiatives Foundation and their EAT SMART program to creative healthy food programs for inner city kids of Miami-Dade. To purchase tickets, visit southofspice.com.
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If you can't get enough of Miami Spice previews, check out Miami New Times' Iron Fork on Thursday, July 30, at the Hyatt Regency Miami. The event features over 50 of Miami's best restaurants, including many Miami Spice participants, dishing up delicious food. There's also a chef battle which pits Eileen Andrade of
Advance-purchase, general-admission tickets cost $50 through July 29 and increase to $65 at the door (while supplies last). GA tickets allow entry to Iron Fork from 7 to 10 p.m. and include unlimited samplings of food from dozens of Miami's finest establishments.
VIPs get into Iron Fork at 6 p.m. for an extra hour of fun and have access to the exclusive VIP lounge. Advance-purchase VIP tickets cost $85 through July 29; VIP tickets at the door are $100 (while supplies last). To purchase tickets, visit newtimesironfork.com.