The spice of life
Miami Spice, the annual culinary event, wraps up at the end of the month
Here’s your last chance to get a taste of the region’s richest dishes at bargain prices. South Florida’s popular annual culinary event, Miami Spice, closes its two-month run Sept. 30. Participating restaurants feature specialty dishes by renowned chefs at a special rate: Lunch and brunch offers are $23 per person, and dinners are $39. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Menus are subject to change. Here’s a look at what some restaurants are serving up.
Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar and LatAM Grill
3067 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove
Executive chef Oscar del Rivero offers a menu full of Latin American flavor. Appetizers for lunch include arrumadinho du Brazil (black bean vinaigrette, pickled red onions, tomatoes and hearts of palm, with mixed watercress and pea shoots salad, topped with pan-roasted pork and farofa) and shrimp nuevo ceviche (shrimp with yellow pepper sauce). Entrees include lomo saltado (beef tenderloin strips, potatoes, red onions, tomatoes, soy-yellow pepper sauce and quail egg served with white rice) and moqueca de camarao (sautéed shrimp with tomatoes, onion, garlic, coconut milk, malgueta peppers, dende oil and chocolate flakes). Dessert of choice is flan de queso, served with almond-raisin Florentine.
4019 Le Jeune Road, Coral Gables
For 18 years, the Italian fusion dishes here have left guests hungry for more. Dinner appetizers include polenta meatballs (Buffalo meatballs with ricotta cheese, tomato ragout and cheese polenta) and duck confit tacos (Asian-style shredded duck confit, caramelized onion, pineapple, cilantro with sriracha mayonnaise and wontons). Larger plates include risotto oreganato with langostino (arborio rice, oregano, tomato, mozzarella and prawn) and chicken Parmesan (lightly breaded chicken, tomato sauce, provolone cheese and Champagne risotto). Desserts include Nutella pana cotta and coconut flan.
2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables
Lunch at this casual and fun establishment features tapas—small plates including buñuelos de bacalao (codfish fritters with homemade tartar sauce) and chilled vegetable soup. Entrees include ensalada de lenteja y queso de cabra, (beluga lentils, beets, shaved celery, pomegranate and Leonara cheese); jamon serrano, with ham, tomatoes, stracciatella, basil and patatas bravas; and pescado a la vasca, seared fish served with asparagus and roasted potatoes. Churros, a traditional fried dough served with chocolate and dulce de leche sauces, are for dessert.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio
Mandarin Oriental, 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami; 305.913.8358; mandarinoriental.com/miami
Enjoy Peruvian flavors at three bars and indoor and outdoor seating overlooking Biscayne Bay. Starters for dinner include the tiradito bachiche (sea urchin, oysters and scallops in an avocado leche de tigre). Lunch brings la casera (potato causa, shredded chicken, avocado, tomato and hardboiled egg with a huancaína sauce. Lunch options include cachetes de ternere (veal cheeks in a chicha morada sauce, with lima beans, mushrooms and roasted cipollini onions) and hummus salad (mixed peppers, heirloom cherry tomatoes, red onion, Peruvian botija olives, feta cheese, fava bean hummus and pita bread with a Greek yogurt-yellow pepper vinaigrette. Finish your dinner with coconut ice cream topped with dulce de leche foam, ginger jelly and orange sauce.
Le Bouchon du Grove
3430 Main Highway, Miami
French flavors and fresh ingredients reign supreme. Lunch starters include Bouchon salad (with warm goat cheese and red wine dressing) and beef oxtail pate. Entrees include seared salmon escalope (with ravioles du royan and white vermouth sauce) and roasted organic chicken breast (served with snow peas and black truffle butter in a light tarragon gravy). The dessert menu includes tarte tatin (a caramelized, warm apple pie) and chocolate terrine with pomelo confit and crème anglaise.
River Yacht Club
401 SW Third Ave., Miami
Innovative cuisine is served with a waterfront view. At dinner, begin with an appetizer of salmon crudo (with orange dressing, horseradish cream and seaweed) or kalua pork belly (with pineapple, radish salad and microherbs). Entrees include pan-seared snapper (with black lentils, a tomato-onion relish and crunchy plantain chips), skirt steak (with caramelized shallots, mashed potatoes and shishito peppers) and risotto (with summer vegetables, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese). Finish with a selection of pastries.
309 23rd St., Miami Beach
French Mediterranean dishes with Italian twists are found here. Starters include smoked scallops carpaccio in a shell served with apple wood, green apple dressing, lime zest and crispy iberico lomo. Entrees include surf and turf for two (with prime beef tenderloin and four tiger prawns with béarnaise sauce, sweet potato fries and roasted jumbo asparagus) and roasted seabass (with fingerling potatoes and green asparagus). End with something sweet, such as Caramelia chocolate and pineapple panna cotta or a strawberry and basil salad with watermelon dressing.