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Miami Spice 2017: The Ten Best Brunches to Try

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Miami Spice will return August 1, when more than 200 restaurants will offer discounted lunch and dinner menus through the end of September.

This year, for the first time, Spice also offers brunch menus at select restaurants, including Essensia, Bakehouse Brasserie, Fooq's, and Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market. Participating spots will serve three-course meals Saturdays and/or Sundays for $23 (tax, tip, and beverages not included).

Spice offers a dizzying number of choices in restaurants and menus. To narrow it down, here are this year's ten must-visit brunches:
1. Fooq's Miami. The downtown Miami restaurant known for its eclectic menu of French, Italian, and Persian cuisine offers brunch appetizers such as bacon, egg, and cheese on a kaiser roll; a Persian salad mixed with beets, fennel, marbled potatoes, and olives; and a hummus and challah plate. The first course is followed by a choice of either bucatini carbonara topped with Parmigiano-Reggiano, black pepper, and an egg yolk; or the same bacon, egg, and cheese from the appetizer list. For dessert, select baked French toast loaded with berries, pistachio, crema, and maple syrup, or a date cake with caramel toffee and pistachio gelato. All guests at the table must opt for Fooq's Spice brunch in order to receive the discount. 1035 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 786-536-2749; fooqsmiami.com. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

Okonomiyaki (pancake)
Okonomiyaki (pancake)

2. Dragonfly Izakaya & Fish Market. On Sundays, Dragonfly in Doral hosts an Asian-inspired brunch brimming with choices. For appetizers, expect clam miso, robata-grilled corn, ginger salad, butter edamame, and chicken karaange, where pieces of chicken are deep-fried and flavored with Japanese mayo. Entrées include Zak the Baker French toast with toasted coconut, peanut, and sesame; a chicken and rice omelet; a pork belly Benedict on steamed bao buns; a grilled fish sandwich on Zak the Baker bread with avocado and tomatoes; and smoked salmon, seafood, or vegetable okonomiyaki, a savory pancake. For dessert, try a scoop of vanilla, green tea, or red bean ice cream or a black sesame-seed pavlova. 5241 NW 87th Ave., Doral; 305-222-7447; dragonflyrestaurants.com. 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
3. Essensia. Inside the Palms Hotel in Miami Beach, Essensia offers a breakfast-driven Spice brunch. Find three options for each course. For appetizers, consider a Greek yogurt parfait; avocado toast topped with baby arugula, olive oil, sea salt, and ground pepper; or a basket of fresh-baked breads. Entrées include sausage, egg, and cheese muffins; lemon poppyseed quinoa pancakes; and fish tacos packed with avocado, chayote squash, jícama slaw, chipotle crema, and jalapeño-cilantro charred corn, which are among the restaurant's best-selling items. For dessert, try a fruit plate, a mango frangipane, or a selection of homemade ice creams and sorbets. 3025 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-908-5458; thepalmshotel.com. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Miami Spice 2017: The Ten Best Brunches to TryEXPAND
Courtesy of Bakehouse Brasserie

4. Bakehouse Brasserie. Located in Miami Beach's South of Fifth neighborhood, this French-inspired marketplace/café will serve some of its most popular breakfast and lunch dishes during brunch. Appetizers include a quiche of the day, roasted beet hummus tartine, and a mixed berry parfait topped with wildflower honey. For entrées, opt for a bacon, cheddar, and egg croissant; smoked salmon toast; croissant French toast; or a country Benedict with sausage and mushroom gravy. Close out the meal with key lime pie or flourless chocolate cake. 808 First St., Miami Beach; 305-434-8249; bakehousesouthbeach.com. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Order a plate of avocado dippers at the Redlander.
Order a plate of avocado dippers at the Redlander.
Courtesy of Redlander Restaurant

5. Redlander Restaurant. Take a trip to Homestead on a Sunday afternoon for a hearty brunch. Appetizers include chorizo gravy biscuits, bacon and vegetable miniquiches, and avocado dippers. For entrées, consider an eggs Benedict made with sour-orange-infused pork loin; a hash brown chorizo burger; or beer-infused sweet beans with toast, smoked pork belly, and eggs. All guests receive challah French toast with citrus syrup and smoky bacon for dessert. 30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead; 305-242-1224; schneblywinery.com. 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sundays.

6. Bird & Bone. Though Bird & Bone doesn't offer a Spice brunch menu, its lunch menu, which is available Saturdays and Sundays, offers many plates that are available during the restaurant's daily breakfast. Begin your meal with Florida cheddar and chive biscuits, followed by the hot chicken sandwich on Zak the Baker bread. For dessert, opt for fried apple hand pies coated in cinnamon sugar and served with salted caramel. 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-424-1234; birdandbone.com. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Sundays.

Miami Spice 2017: The Ten Best Brunches to TryEXPAND
Courtesy of Peacock Garden

7. Peacock Garden Bistro. This Coconut Grove garden restaurant starts every Spice brunch with a basket of fresh homemade bakery treats, including banana and fig bread with a side of mixed berry compote. Then comes a choice among three main plates: a lobster omelet, short-rib eggs Benedict, or a spicy egg casserole. For dessert, opt for the Greek yogurt, coconut milk, and fruit cloud, where mixed berries and coconut flakes are topped with yogurt foam. 2889 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove; 305-774-3332; peacockspot.com. Begins at 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

8. Forte Dei Marmi. This Tuscan-inspired South Beach spot's Spice brunch is straightforward. For the appetizer, expect aubergine parmigiana in a slow-cooked creamy egg and cheese fondue, followed by spaghetti chitarra with eggplant, cheese, and beef. Dessert is baba au rum with pistachio crème brûlée. 150 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 786-276-3095; fdmmiami.com. 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.

9. Mariposa. At the Shops at Merrick Park, take a break from retail therapy by having brunch at Mariposa inside Neiman Marcus. The restaurant offers substantial choices for its Spice brunch: five dishes each for the first and second courses and four for the third course. Decide among a berry and granola parfait, ahi tuna ceviche, grilled avocado, sweet potato tater tots, or gazpacho. Then choose either steak and eggs, quiche, French toast bread pudding, a croque-madame, or pan-roasted salmon. Dessert options are vanilla bean crème brûlée, affogato with a shot of espresso, chocolate chip cookies, and a slice of the restaurant's cake of the day. 390 San Lorenzo Ave., Coral Gables; 786-999-1018; neimanmarcus.com. Begins at noon Sundays.

10. Anacapri Italian Kitchen. Begin brunch with a choice of salmon carpaccio, spicy poached eggs in tomato sauce, or peach and ricotta bruschetta. Continue with a broccoli and egg frittata; orzo milanese; brunch risotto with turkey sausage and diced tomato; or sirloin steak topped with a poached egg. Dessert includes a chocolate chip cookie cannoli or limoncello sorbet. 6125 Miami Lakes Dr., Miami Lakes; 786-420-2897; anacaprifood.com. Brunch is served Sundays.

If you choose to make your Spice brunch boozy and need a designated driver, take advantage of 20 percent off two Lyft rides by using the code MIAMISPICE17.

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