It's mid-August, and many restaurants are weathering the summer doldrums, so imagine how Wynwood restaurateurs feel with the additional strain of being in a Zika transmission zone.
Luckily, life is coming back to Wynwood. Last week, the Wynwood Yard reopened, and Art Walk was well attended. Today local radio hosts Paul Castronovo and Young Ron Brewer are taking listeners for a tour of Miami's most artistic neighborhood.
If you want to inject some dollars into Wynwood's economy, there's nothing better than enjoying a Miami Spice lunch or dinner in the area. After all, some of the Magic City's most innovative eateries call Wynwood home.
These five restaurants offer generous three-course meal deals for $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner. Remember to note the days Spice is offered and that tax, tip, and drinks are additional.
5. Plant Food + Wine
Matthew Kenney's food is so good you might not care that it's raw and vegan — but it is. If you have vegetarians in your life, this is the place to take them for a drop-dead gorgeous meal.
For lunch, try the fennel tostada with anise guacamole and black radish or cauliflower and huacaína. Then decide on the mushroom ropa vieja with heirloom tomato sofrito or the MK bowl. Finish with a papaya dessert.
Dinner offers a choice of green gazpacho or báhn mì rolls for starters. Then it's between achiote cauliflower tacos with culantro creme and chayote slaw or barbecued mamey with yellow corn cream, pickled ginger, and horseradish foam. Lucuma quinoa dessert tops off the evening.
The Miami Spice menu is offered for lunch and dinner Sunday through Thursday.
4. R House
With a working art gallery built into the restaurant, R House is truly an extension of the neighborhood in which it resides. You might recognize chef/owner Rocco Carulli from Bravo's Best New Restaurant, where his restaurant was featured.
R House's Spice menu offers much for fans of surf or turf. Start with lobster soup with roasted corn relish, avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, and cream or artisanal Italian sausage; for a $6 upcharge, choose yellowfin tuna tartare. A braised short rib, rubbed in coffee and chili and served with jalapeño scalloped potatoes, is offered as an entrée, but get Chef Carulli's Brazilian moqueca, a seafood stew made with wild local mahi-mahi, wild tiger shrimp, scallops, bell peppers, tomato, coconut milk, and basmati rice. For dessert, there's raspberry tres leches or truffle chocolate cake with a salted base.
The Miami Spice menu is offered for dinner Wednesday through Saturday.
3. Proof Pizza & Pasta
This casual neighborhood spot uses seasonal and local ingredients to create rotating classics. The Miami Spice menu here is the same for lunch and dinner, making your midday meal an exceptional value.
For starters, choose between chilled cobia with passionfruit, Calabrian chili, and herbs; squash blossom flatbread with shaved zucchini, and ricotta; and a fresh country ham and peach salad. Unfortunately, no pizza is offered, so opt for the tagliatelle with roasted lamb and mint pesto. Pork tenderloin with navy beans and braised collard greens or barbecued red prawns with farro and roasted corn are the other choices. If you need an afternoon pick-me-up, order the affogato, which dunks amaretti and vanilla bean ice cream into espresso.
The Miami Spice menu is offered for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
2. GK Bistronomie
At GK Bistronomie (GKB for short), chef Rafael Perez turns Peruvian dishes into works of art beautiful enough to grace some of Wynwood's galleries. After feasting your eyes, sate your stomach with his creative Miami Spice meals, offered for lunch and dinner daily.
For lunch, the classic Peruvian ceviche, made with local mahi-mahi, is a must. Then choose either shrimp sofrito, Peruvian yellow potato gnocchi with honshimenji mushrooms, or lomo saltado quesadilla. End your meal with Nutella mousse with dark-chocolate cremieux and cardamom-coffee meringue.
For dinner, appetizer choices become more difficult with the inclusion of lobster empanadas in addition to the ceviche. Entrées are crisp pork belly with sun-dried tomato stew, and seafood chupe with mussels, clams, shrimp, octopus, calamari, white corn, and yellow Peruvian potatoes. Vegetarians will enjoy the eggplant antichichos with ají panca, huancaína sauce, fingerling potatoes, piquillo peppers, and chimichurri. Nutella mousse seals the deal.
The Miami Spice menu is offered for lunch and dinner seven days a week.
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Sure, Alter offers a Miami Spice menu only for lunch, but in a city where the average afternoon burger can cost 20 bucks, it's a fine deal when you can snag a meal — any meal — from a chef as celebrated as Brad Kilgore. Take into consideration that for $23, you get three courses, making this the best Spice deal in Wynwood if not all of Miami.
Bay scallops, pan con tumaca, and a roasted vegetable salad are listed as Spice starters, but be a sport and pay the additional $5 for the soft egg with sea scallop espuma, chives, truffle pearls, and Gruyère cheese. Entrées include cavatelli with pecan-tonkotsu broth, pork ragu, green garlic, and toasted ginger, and potato purée with smoked codfish, local buratta, puffed potato, and onion jam. A sirloin steak with Peruvian panca chili, autumn squash, pomegranate, and shiso brings another $5 upcharge. For dessert, ponder whether to order the whipped malted chocolate, chevre panna cotta, or cheese plate. Better yet — bring a few friends and share everything.
The Miami Spice menu is offered for lunch Tuesday through Saturday.