There are plenty of new restaurants to try. But Miami Spice presents a great opportunity to revisit favorites — including places that might normally be out of one's price range.
Each of the five world-class restaurants listed below in alphabetical order is run by a master chef. And all of them provide some of the best values to be had during Miami Spice.
The Bazaar by José Andrés1701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
James Beard Award winner, humanitarian, and master chef José Andrés gives new meaning to generosity with his annual Miami Spice menu. Instead of a three-course dinner, the chef allows you to choose several smaller dishes. The best strategy for a Miami Spice dinner at the Bazaar is to bring a few friends and sample everything on the menu.
Diners each choose four dishes at the Bazaar — one each from snacks, verduras tradicionales, fruits and vegetables, and carnes y mariscos. Choices include a bao con lechón, tortilla de patatas, patatas bravas, watermelon and tomato skewers, Cuban coffee-rubbed churrasco, pollo al ajillo, and fish en papillote. End your meal with flan or key lime pie "José’s way." Miami Spice is offered for dinner Sunday through Thursday.
Bourbon Steak by Michael Mina19999 W. Country Club Dr., Aventura
Chef Michael Mina operates several restaurants in the Miami area, but it can be argued that Bourbon Steak is the jewel in his South Florida crown. The elegant dining room, located in the luxe environs of the Turnberry Isle Hotel, offers a precise menu of classic steakhouse cuisine that never disappoints.
Dinner is a straightforward menu of all the hits — a ceasar or wedge salad for starters (upgrade to seared Hudson Valley foie gras for an additional $24), followed by a choice of entrée and side dish. Items include a six-ounce filet mignon, herb roasted half chicken, or local snapper. Side choices include black truffle mac and cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, and creamed spinach. If you have room for dessert, there's Nutella cheesecake, chocolate molten lava cake, tropical key lime pie, and strawberry Greek yogurt panna cotta. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Boulud Sud255 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami
Chef Daniel Boulud celebrates the Mediterranean in his downtown Miami restaurant, Boulud Sud. Boulud's menu is influenced by the seaside towns of Spain. France, Italy, Greece, and farther south to Morocco, Tunisia, Israel, and Lebanon.
Dinner starts with an amuse-bouche of melon gazpacho and cod brandade, followed by a choice of eggplant fritters, vegetable stew with poached egg, or tahini pesto orzo salad. Diners choose between branzino flown in from the Mediterranean, frilled chicken, or Moroccan lamb for the main. For dessert, it's s'mores with cardamom ice cream or a mango pavlova. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Sunday through Thursday.
Estiatorio Milos730 First St., Miami Beach
Seafood lovers are well aware of Milos' dedication flying in fresh fish every day. Chef Costas Spiliadis opened the first Milos in Montreal, but the New York City location put the restaurant on the map as the place where power brokers made deals over seafood. (The restaurant was even featured on an episode of Sex and the City.)
Milos' generous Miami Spice offerings include seasonal oysters, a daily crudo, grilled octopus, or a Greek salad for the first course. Entrées include shrimp saganaki, wild-caught Faroe Island salmon, lamb chops, whole grilled dorade, or a grilled vegetable plate. Finish off your meal with a light ending of Greek yogurt with thyme honey, cheesecake, or fruits of the season. Miami Spice is offered for dinner Sunday through Friday.
Fiola1500 San Ignacio Ave., Coral Gables
The flagship Fiola, opened by Fabio and Maria Trabocchi in Washington, D.C., earned a Michelin star for its "pithy menu, complete with a sense of mystery, stunning ensembles, and playful twists." Fiola Miami in Coral Gables offers an elegant menu influenced by classic Italian cuisine.
Dinner highlights include a foie gras crema catalana or strawberry gazpacho for the appetizer, and entrées such as Wagyu short rib, yellowtail snapper, saffron risotto, and malfade verde pasta with Kurobuta pork ragù.
The standout value is to be found in the Miami Spice lunch, which offers a similar menu for less money. Start with seared rare wahoo, an heirloom tomato gazpacho, or polenta fried before choosing between Roman shell cacio e pepe, a wood oven-roasted flap steak, or chicken alla milanese.
Lunch or dinner ends with a cookie platter, fresh seasonal fruit, cannoli, key lime cheesecake, or a Valrhona chocolate terrine. Miami Spice is offered for lunch Tuesday through Friday and for dinner Sunday through Thursday.