Where to go for top lunch specials in Miami at quality places? No matter where you live or your favorite neighborhood for a lunchtime meal, this list may very well cover it. We searched around all corners of Miami-Dade to find these well-priced options. Here’s Part 1, picks in Coral Gables and Brickell Avenue. (Note: I didn’t include well known solid specials like the ones at Milos, Novikov and La Petite Maison which I’ve written about before).
At the elegant Fiola Miami be wowed by the lovely chandeliers, stylish interior and impressive wine display along with always handsome plate presentations, often with edible flowers. You’ll see this is a favorite spot for the ladies who lunch from the Gables and Pinecrest, joined by some men doing business lunches. But equally impressive is the “Maria Menu” their $28 lunch special available Monday through Friday that includes choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert. Tomato gazpacho, baby kale salad or crispy calamari with romesco sauce and fine herbs are some of the appetizers available while potato gnocchi, fire roasted octopus or fisherman’s style yellow tail snapper are entrée selections. Choose from chocolate layer cake, coppetta homemade seasonal sorbet or dragon fruit budino for dessert. Fiola Miami, 1500 San Ignacio Ave, Coral Gables, T.305-912-2639.
A picky reader gave me this tip, giving Sea Grill high marks on the food (especially the fish), atmosphere and service.The Mediterranean-inspired prix fixe menu is a wonderful way to enjoy a three-course menu for $24.95. Choose from eight appetizers to start your meal followed by six entrée selections and a choice of six desserts. Tuna tartar, grilled octopus, crab cake and calamari are great starters then try either the Australian lamb chops, lobster pasta or organic salmon for the main followed by either baklava or karidopita a walnut based cake with ice cream for dessert. Sea Grill, Village of Merrick Park, 4250 Salzedo St #1425. Phone: +1 305-447-3990
Located in the Hotel Place St. Michel, a landmark building, the stylish and buzz worthy Zucca is serving a “greatest hits” Italian menu as part of their Saturday Friends lunch. At $50 per person (there is a four-guest minimum), it’s a great opportunity to try a variety of appetizers and entrees with friends. A classic antipasto, fresh burrata with cherry tomatoes and black olives, fried zucchini flowers or crispy arancini are great to share for starters. Risotto, ravioli, a variety of pastas, grilled prawns, osso bucco, veal chop or Mediterranean Sea bass. Dessert is a surprise chef’s selection. Zucca, 162 Alcazar Ave, Coral Gables (T.786-580-3731).
Happy day, one of my favorite new restaurants now offers a lunch special. Brickell’s newest exciting hot spot boasts a stunning decor, the setting for Northern Chinese fare. Try their Lite Lunch menu served weekdays between noon and 3 p.m. The $39 three-course menu includes specialties like calamari flowers, a couple of choices of spring rolls, Kung Po prawns (a standout), pan-seared beef tenderloin, Chef’s fried rice and vegetarian fried noodles. Hutong, 600 Brickell Avenue, (T.786-388-0805).
Venezuelan Chef Carlos Garcia and his staff are creating something special at this popular, casual Brickell restaurant with an open kitchen that features stool seating for a close-up look at the culinary magic. The $23 prix fixe lunch menu includes the soup of the day, choice of five proteins – pork loin and pineapple sauce, burger sliders, grilled red snapper, cazon cauldron or chicken Milanese. Side choices include cole slaw and summer truffles, fried yuca, tomato and grilled onion tart, jasmine rice, roasted ripe plantain or crispy Brussels sprouts. Everything is sure to be delicious. Obra Kitchen Table, 1331 Brickell Bay Dr, Miami, (T.305-846-9363).