August in Miami brings news both good and bad. On the minus side are intensely hot days that feel like the sun has a personal vendetta against you and your tender skin. On the plus side is Miami Spice, during which about 150 of Miami's best-loved restaurants offer three-course meal deals.
There's only one glitch in the Miami Spice program: Many participating restaurants don't offer Spice menus on the weekend, leaving you to either pay full price for your Saturday-evening dinner date or moving date night to Tuesday.
Which restaurants offer Miami Spice on the weekends? You could peruse the website, clicking on every restaurant until you find a suitable spot for dinner with the boys or lunch with the girls, or you could just read on, because we've done the legwork for you.
Here are ten spots that offer Miami Spice Friday through Sunday. We've marked whether the restaurant serves lunch, dinner, or both and the Miami Spice price.
1500 Degrees at Eden Roc
Chef Paula DaSilva's farm-to-table philosophy is what elevates 1500 Degrees from a fine steak house to a great restaurant. Her Spice menu changes daily, based on what's fresh. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. (Dinner only, $39.)
You never know what fish you're going to get at Altamare -- mainly because executive chef Simon Stojanovic doesn't know until the fishing boats come in. What you do know is that you'll receive a beautiful meal. Spice entrées offer skirt steak and pasta, but opt for the catch of the day, served as a pan-seared filet or fried whole. (Dinner only, $39.)
Chef E. Michael Reidt offers a menu filled with locally and sustainably sourced seafood. But that's not all that's on the menu. Area 31's Spice menu offers a generous array of choices -- from snapper to pork cheek to skirt steak and beyond. Plus, the view is killer. (Lunch, $23; dinner, $39.)
Executive chef Andrew Carmellini's classic New York bistro gets a lighter touch for the South Beach crowd. Spice offerings are plentiful, but watch out for up-charges on offerings such as king crab and New York strip. Be sure to try one of the special cocktails created exclusively for Miami Spice (Lunch, $23; dinner, $39.)
Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam Grill
Jaguar continues to
be one of the liveliest and friendliest spots in tree-lined Coconut
Grove. The restaurant is filled with both artsy locals and chic Latin
Americans who flock to Miami on vacation this time of year. This confluence makes
the scene continental and colorful, and Jaguar a fantastic spot for a lunch-and-shopping date with friends. (Lunch, $19; dinner, $33.)
Any menu that offers us a margarita and guacamole as part of dinner
automatically scores in our book. Spice meals are served family-style, with
your choice of beverage (margarita, wine, beer, or soft drink), guacamole, ceviche, and tacos for the table. Perfect if you
like a more casual vibe. (Dinner only, $33.)
When was the last time you were at the iconic Palm?
If you're a New Yorker, you know it as the place where masters of
the universe make deals while masticating cow flesh on sawdust-encrusted
floors. There's not much difference in this Bay Harbor Islands outpost, where you'll
find old-school waiters, walls filled with cartoons of local politicians
and regulars, and solid steak-house fare. (Dinner only, $39.)
Red Fish Grill
Even though we live in one of he most beautiful waterfront cities in the world, there are few eateries directly on the beach. Red Fish Grill is one of the few. This über-romantic restaurant is located at the very tip of Matheson Hammock Park in Coral Gables. It's one of the last true Old Florida experiences left in Miami. (Dinner only, $39.)
Red the Steakhouse
Behold! A steak house that offers steak on the weekends for Miami Spice! Though the menu is filled with upgrades such as Kobe-style beef from Snake River Farms, if you stick with the basic Spice, you'll still feast like a king or queen. Specially priced wine bottles start at $49, adding to the value. (Dinner only, $39.)
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The Royal at the Raleigh
Even though Michael Schwartz hasn't taken over the space yet, chef Daniel Ganem is doing a fine job in the kitchen, delivering a decadent six-ounce filet mignon for dinner or a delectable piece of fish for lunch. Plus, the indoor/outdoor setting continues to be one of the most beautiful and sophisticated in Miami Beach. Want to turn dinner into an affair (in more ways than one)? The Raleigh Hotel is offering a special Miami Spice package that includes a discounted overnight stay, valet parking, and lunch for two. (Lunch, $23; dinner, $39.)