By Jennifer Agress and Yours Truly
Here’s your chance to try the priciest restaurants in town for a lot less, the newest hot spots with great food and other top places. Miami Spice 2018 is back this month and next with a three course lunch for $23 and dinner, $39. We purposely picked the brand new and others that deserve to be checked out because their Spice menu was too good of a deal to pass up. Enjoy! Love to hear what you think.
Forte dei Marmi
Helmed by two-Michelin-star chef Antonio Mellino and his son Raffaele, Forte dei Marmi is an Italian fine dining restaurant, right on Ocean Drive, that fuses a haute Italian cooking style with the principles of the “slow food” movement. Head to this cozy, 1938 Mediterranean-revival building for dinner, and indulge in appetizers like Burrata and Arugula Salad or Gazpacho Soup with Fish Croquette, entrees like Spaghetti Chitarra with Pesto Genovese or Cavatelli with Cherry Tomatoes and Eggplant, and desserts like Creme Catalan or Fior di Latte with Cherry Ice Cream. Buon appetito! Forte dei Marmi is located at 150 Ocean Drive. Valet is available. Miami Spice is offered for dinner only, every night of the week.
This French-inspired restaurant and lounge is both an exquisite dining experience and a sexy see-and-be-seen hangout. During Miami Spice, go to Villa Azur for Executive Chef Philippe Ruiz’ take on French nouvelle-style cuisine: like Wild Mushroom and Truffle Tartelettes with fresh truffle, Soft Organic Egg with Seared Foie Gras and Truffle Pecorino Cheese, Octopus Carpaccio, Crisp Short Rib “Bonbon” with cauliflower purée, and Villa Azur’s signature Nutella Mousse. Villa Azur is located at 309 23rd Street. Public lots and valet are available. Miami Spice is offered for dinner only, every night except Thursday.
Il Mulino NY
Located in the Acqualina Resort & Spa, Il Mulino NY is a haute restaurant where the menu and welcoming ambiance is inspired by the coastal region of Abruzzi, Italy. During lunch, choose plates like Grilled Octopus with fresh frisée and fennel, Mussels Posillipo with either white wine or spicy red marinara sauce, Penne Arrabbiata covered in spicy marinara, Poached Salmon in white mustard and white wine sauce, Veal Limone in a white wine lemon sauce, and sweet endings like Homemade Italian Cheesecake or Panna Cotta. If you go for dinner, your Miami Spice meal can include anything from Arugula Salad with lemon dressing and shaved parmesan and Beef Carpaccio with Ricotta Meatballs, to Langostino served in shell with sautéed spinach, Ravioli Ai Porcini with the restaurant’s signature champagne truffle cream sauce, Jumbo Crab Cakes with a spicy pineapple sauce, Salmone Alla Griglia and broccoli rabe, Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes and a Barolo sauce, and an Italian delicacy: Tiramisu. Il Mulino NY is located at 17875 Collins Avenue. Valet is available. Miami Spice is offered for lunch, Monday through Saturday, and for dinner, every night except Saturday.
AZABU Miami Beach
This is the first Miami Spice season since AZABU Miami Beach opened, and the high-end sushi den and Michelin-star concept is pulling out all the stops for its Spice debut. The menu includes appetizers like Japanese Wagyu Tataki Truffle Ponzu and Grilled Octopus with Coriander Mayo, and entrees include Branzino with Umami Butter and the Chirashi Sushi Bowl. You can finish with sweet desserts like Matcha Cheesecake or Yuzu Key Lime Pie. On top of all of that, for an added perk, diners will get to start their three-course meal with a free chef’s choice starter of the day! AZABU Miami Beach is located at 161 Ocean Drive. Valet is available. Miami Spice is offered for dinner only, every night of the week.
Planta South Beach
The newest dining project by David Grutman, Toronto original Planta South Beach serves global, plant-based fare that’s so good, you barely notice you’re only eating plants. Do Miami Spice brunch there, and feast on Chia Pudding with oats and pineapple, Banana Bread with cinnamon cashew nut butter and berry jam, Falafel Tacos with pico de gallo and tahini sauce, Chef’s Selection Soft Serve and more. For dinner, try Planta’s Maui Roll with spicy mayo and avocado, Coconut Ceviche with date guajillo and tortilla chips, the Planta Burger with chipotle aïoli and tajin fries, and Young Thai Coconut with coconut basil and chia seed pudding, passion fruit sorbet and coconut chips. Planta South Beach is located at 850 Commerce Street. Valet is available. Miami Spice is offered for weekend brunch, as well as dinner on Sundays and Monday through Thursday.
This haute seafood staple is offering a selection of mouthwatering items this Miami Spice, including Lobster Bisque with dry sack sherry, Ceviche Misto with sweet chilies, Wok Charred Wild King Salmon, Filet Mignon with aji amarillo mash and black truffle bearnaise, Swordfish Schnitzel with a fried farm egg and crispy capers, Chocolate Pudding S’mores with a bourbon popcorn brittle, and Prime Fish’s famous Fried Oreos with vanilla ice cream. Prime Fish is located at 100 Collins Avenue. Valet is available. Miami Spice is offered for dinner only, every night of the week.
At Colombian-inspired El Cielo, you get more than a meal; you get a dinner that’s both a molecular science experiment and a work of art. During Miami Spice, your three-course meal will include restaurant favorites from El Cielo’s popular 12- or 15-course menus, like Potato Milhoja, Catch of the Day Tiradito, Farmer’s Chicken and Colombian Atollado Rice, Grilled Salmon, the vegan Creamy Coconut Rice, a Colombian Dulce de Leche, Compressed Mango with Chocolate Hazelnut Ganache and more. El Cielo is located at 31 SE 5th Street. Valet is available. Miami Spice is offered for dinner only, Monday through Friday.
Coming to Miami from London, Novikov Miami’s unique Chinese-Japanese menu has long made it a celebrity favorite for A-listers around the world. During Spice, you’re in for a treat. Go for lunch and start with appetizers like Saffron Sweet Corn Dumplings, Mixed Vegetable Tempura with Novikov-style Tenshuyo and Pork Skewers, and move on to entrées like Wok Salmon with Black Bean Sauce, Marinated Grilled Hanger Steak with chili, garlic and yuzu, a Chirashi Donburi bowl with fresh fish and salmon roe, or Crispy Peking Duck with Novikov’s homemade hoisin sauce and pancakes. For a decadent ending to an already-delicious day, choose from desserts like Key Lime Tapioca or Umeshu Black Forest Cake. Novikov Miami is located at 300 South Biscayne Boulevard. Miami Spice is offered for lunch only, Monday through Friday.
Master Sushi Chef Katsuya Uechi unleashed the second installment of his namesake sushi restaurant, Katsuya, in the SLS Brickell just this summer. At this upscale spot, expect creative sushi and robata grill dishes with distinct Miami influences, from Miso Soup with Katsuya Asian Slaw and Baked Crab Hand Rolls, to Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna, Cedar Salmon with Brussels sprouts, Garlic Chili Miso Chicken with roasted kabocha squash, Kakuni Tonkatsu with kurobuta pork belly and carrot purée, Jidori Chicken with a garlic-chili miso marinade and crispy kale, and desserts like Salty Samurai with salted caramel ice cream, warm caramelia foam, candied popcorn and shoyu gelée. Katsuya is located at 805 South Miami Avenue. Valet is available. Miami Spice is offered for lunch every day of the week, as well as dinner, Sunday through Thursday.
Sitting on the bottom floor of the iconic Hotel St. Michel, Zucca fuses creative, upscale Italian cuisine with some of the best service and cocktails in town. Go for lunch or dinner, and fill your prix-fixe meal with Insalata di Farro with barley grain and baby artichokes, baby burrata served over a marinated tomato carpaccio, a macaroni dish with Italian sausage and saffron sauce, raw fish of the day, pistachio- and grissini-crusted mahi-mahi filet with sautéed asparagus and a lemon sauce, ravioli stuffed with ricotta and salmon, or breaded New Zealand lamb chops with an arugula and cherry tomato salad. For dessert, treat yourself. The Tiramisu, wild berry tart and housemade ice cream of the day will all tingle your taste buds. Zucca is located at 162 Alcazar Avenue. Street parking is available and public parking garages and lots are just a short walk away. Miami Spice is offered for lunch every day of the week, as well as dinner, every night except Friday and Saturday.
Amara at Paraiso
Amara at Paraiso is Michael Schwartz’ latest project in Miami, and it’s a great one. Sitting on Biscayne Bay, this restaurant embodies all that is Miami, from its beautiful waterfront views to its creative Latin American cuisine. During Miami Spice, get it all. Start with appetizers like Charred Carrot and Avocado Salad or Chochoyotes (a masa dumpling with tomatillo soup), and move on to exquisite mains like Crispy Flounder Milanesa with jalapeño and butter, Arroz Verde with a poached egg and romesco, Chile-Rubbed Pork Chop with ash-roasted leeks and fennel pollen, and Mango Paletas with white chocolate and raspberry. Amara at Paraiso is located at 3101 NE 7th Avenue. Valet is available. Miami Spice is offered for dinner every night except Friday and Saturday.