Tonight, the Miami Heat heads to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year and is just four wins shy of a three-peat. Ever wonder where the term "three-peat" came from? It was coined by Byron Scott in 1988 and trademarked by none other than Pat Riley, who hopefully soon enough will own it. A three-peat is no easy feat, and few teams have made history in the 68 years of the NBA. They are the Celtics, Bulls, and Lakers (L.A and Minneapolis). We didn't know who the Minneapolis Lakers were either. This is a food blog after all.
But because sports and food go hand in hand, Miami restaurants are celebrating the White Hot Heat by offering specials during game time. So tonight, put on your game face and support the players as they attempt to make history as back-to-back-to-back champs. Game on.
Watch the game on one of Monty's fifteen 90-inch TV screens and knock back a 12-piece order of wings and a pitcher of domestic draft beer for just $20. The catch: It's inside only.
E11even's rooftop bar isn't running a food or drink special per se, but the club is doing a pregame unlike any other -- free. That's right, for an hour before every NBA Finals game, E11even will offer the best open-air seating downtown to watch the game on a jumbo projector screen and enjoy free drinks. And if you get hungry? Well, Carla Pellegrino's restaurant Touché is just feet away so you can go snack on some of her delicious offerings during halftime.
Giorgio Rapicavoli and Alex Casanova are big Heat fans, so they're hosting viewing parties throughout the finals at their new tapas joint in MiMo (except Sunday night and Monday, when the restaurant is closed). TV sets and a large high-def projection screen will broadcast the game, and game specials will be sizzle in the kitchen. Choose from sweet-and-sour shishito-glazed D-Wade Duck Wings; King J croquetas with truffle, Manchego, arroz Valencia, and aioli; 3-peat pinchos; the Big 3 (a variety plate of four pinchos, four duck wings, and four croquetas); and the B.O.S.H. burger (a beef patty topped with blue cheese, onion jam, Serrano ham, and heirloom tomato). Wash it all down with $15 Pat Riley pitchers of Mahou or Fat Tire. What's a Spanish place without sangria, though? White Hot or Red Hot sangria pitchers are also available for $25. Now that's a slam drunk.
If you think PB Steak isn't a place to watch the game, think again. They're extending their happy hour through game time on game nights, and you can catch it on their TV set at the bar. Happy hour includes chef Jose Mendin's delectable raw bar offerings and small plates priced from $4 to $8. Japanese hamachi ceviche taquitos, steak tartare sliders, Korean-style chicken wings, PB Brussels sprouts, crispy pig ears with spicy ranch, short-rib grilled cheese, barbecue house fries, and chorizo dates are just some of the options. There are also one-dollar oysters. Oh, and half off spirits, craft beers, and wine by the glass. Losing is simply not an option.
Cesar Zapata is bringing a bit of brunch to the NBA Finals with a bottomless bar for $20. This just isn't limited to mimosas, though; it also includes house white, red, rosé, and bubbly or Abita beer on draft and 16-ounce PBR tallboys. Drink as you watch the game on a giant projector screen. While you're at it, get some duck in a jar.
No viewing party is complete without popcorn, and Radio has lots of it -- eight flavors, and they're complimentary. Choose from bacon cheddar, Buffalo wing, caramel kettle corn, and cheesy jalapeño. The game will play on Radio's multiple flat-screen TV sets throughout the bar, as well as its custom 100-inch projector screen -- so everyone can have arena-like view during each dunk, free throw, and steal. Miller Lite and Yeungling drafts are two-for-one, and Absolut cocktails just $6. If you happen to be hungry for more than popcorn, Pizza Bar's extra-large pies are available for delivery.
Oak Tavern has one of the best happy hours in town, with half-price East and West Coast oysters and daily drink specials from 4:30 to 7 p.m. It might be worth just hanging out in the amazing courtyard all afternoon. At tip-off, a Heat playoff menu featuring smoked duck nachos with black beans and cheese sauce ($10), Vietnamese chicken wings ($9), and duck sliders stuffed with foie gras, Dijon aioli, Fontina, and roasted tomato ($14) will be available as you watch the game on an 80-inch projector screen. And get this: For every three-pointer the Heat (mostly Ray Allen) makes, Tibo's pick of whiskey shots are just $3. Let the shots begin.
There's no real reason not to watch the game at Haven, specials or not. It's better than having nose-bleed-section tickets, because you feel you're practically there thanks to the lounge's projector walls. Todd Erickson is giving more incentives, though, in the form of white fire rolls, white Heat sliders, gourmet hot wings, and sriracha hot tots. All for just $7 each.
Rok:Brgr has a burger named to honor your pick of Heat player. The best part: They're all $10 apiece. Chow down on a "King James" -- a burger topped with creamy Brie, Duroc pork belly, red onion marmalade, and truffle aioli -- as you watch the King rule the court. Rok:Brgr also offers the (slightly) leaner Birdman sandwich -- a grilled chicken breast covered with chipotle Gouda cheese, smoked bacon, and roasted corn and black bean salsa. With more than 20 HD TV sets and an HD projection screen showing the game -- in addition to $5 Absoluts, $3 Wynwood Brewing drafts, and $3 Fireballs -- there's no excuse not to bite into one of the Heat players.
No other restaurant is offering a full meal during game time, except Toscana Divino in Mary Brickell Village. For just $25, a Heat-inspired menu features a spicy Calabrian sausage pasta dish with cavatelli and ricotta created specifically for game time, as well as a vanilla panna cotta with strawberry and a glass of Chianti to accompany it all. The game will be aired on big-screen TV sets on Toscana Divino's patio and in the dining room so you don't miss a moment of the action while you're slurping your pasta.
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From 8 p.m. to close on game days, cocktails at Lorenzo are just $10. Sip the Heat Street, made with Patrón Silver, Campari, grapefruit juice, fresh limes, and mint leaves. Is cold beer more your thing for a basketball game? Peronis are just $2. Nothing goes better with Peroni than pizza. Order a traditional margherita pizzette with tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella di bufala for just $5. For 50 cents more, you can get a Power Pizza served with spinach, garlic, lemon, mozzarella, and Pecorino Romano.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha