Of South Beach's seemingly countless restaurants, an impressive 74 are participating in Miami Spice, with many serving up generous menus filled with succulent steaks and fresh seafood in elegant settings.
Most restaurants have upped their game this year, with eateries like Red the Steakhouse hosting weekly themes and Jaya at the Setai offering well-priced bottles of sake, making most restaurants a good reason to head to the beach for a meal at the reduced price of $23 for lunch and brunch and $39 for dinner.
The two-month promotion, which lasts until the end of September, offers three-course menus at the reduced price of $23 for lunch and brunch, and $39 for dinner. Here are the five most interesting choices in South Beach.
1. Stubborn Seed. Chef Jeremy Ford created a menu of dishes blending comfort food flavors with refined elegance. Start with warm celery root with crackling maitake and creamy mushrooms before tucking into an organic chicken with truffle butter, Brussels sprouts, charred turnips, and gnocchi. End the meal with pastry chef Dallas Wynne's whiskey cake with brown butter toffee and smoked banana ice cream. Chef Wynne takes the reins at Sunday brunch with her 18-minute biscuits, served with onion jam, buttermilk pancakes, chai waffles, and doughnuts. Offered for dinner Tuesday through Friday and Sunday; brunch on Sunday. 101 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 786-322-5211; stubbornseed.com.
2. Estiatorio Milos by Costas Spiliadis. One of the few restaurants where you can dine on Miami Spice for lunch or dinner any day of the week also happens to be one of Miami Beach's finest restaurants. Take advantage of the eatery's reputation of having pristine seafood by starting with the charcoal grilled octopus or salmon tartare. Follow with the dorado royale or Faroe Islands organic salmon and finish with a dollop of "real Greek" yogurt. Offered for lunch and dinner daily. 730 First St., Miami Beach; 305-604-6800; milos.ca/restaurants/miami.
3. Prime Fish. The seafood-centric sibling of famed Prime 112 offers plenty of indulgent choices on its Miami Spice menu. Start with a classic lobster bisque with dry sack sherry or Hawaiian big eye tuna "little poke" before deciding on a host of entrees including crispy curried branzino, Alaskan king crab lasagna, swordfish schnitzel, or wok charred wild king salmon. Though Prime 112 doesn't participate in Spice, get a taste with the filet mignon option (add a butter poached Maine lobster tail for $20). Vegetarians can opt for grilled vegetables with quinoa and shitake vinaigrette. Finish with the restaurant group's famed fried Oreos. Wine pairings are available for an additional charge. Offered for dinner daily. 100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-532-4550; mylesrestaurantgroup.com.
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4. Planta. Sure, celebrities might be dining at the table next to you at David Grutman's plant-based Toronto transplant, but human star power is eclipsed by the plate of food in front of you. For dinner, options include steamed dumplings filled with shiitake mushrooms, a clever ceviche made with coconuts and pickled cucumber, and bucatini with zucchini cream. Finish with the soft-serve of the day. Weekend brunch offerings include avocado toast or freshly baked banana bread for starters, followed by falafel tacos, tofu scramble, or banana pancakes. Finish with the chef's daily soft serve flavor. Offered for dinner Sunday through Friday and brunch Saturday and Sunday. 850 Commerce St., Miami Beach; 305-397-8513; plantarestaurants.com.
5. Gianni's at the Villa. Admit it. After seeing the Versace miniseries, you've been secretly wanting to check out the former Versace mansion. Miami Spice gives you the opportunity to eat in the fashion designer's former dining room and experience the opulence for yourself. Start your dinner with the grilled Spanish octopus with baby heirloom tomatoes, chorizo, and basil chimichurri. For entrees, choose between risotto ai funghi di bosco or spaghetti alla chitarra and finish with chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream. If the weather permits, opt for a table poolside and listen for faint ghost-whisper of parties past before tragedy struck the designer. Offered for dinner Tuesday to Sunday. 1116 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-485-2200; vmmiamibeach.com/restaurant.