Miami Spice Cheat Sheet

By: Dana Rozansky

With August upon us, Miami is hotter than ever. And by hot, I mean temperatures pushing triple digits. But as they say, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.

No, literally. Get out of the kitchen. Drop the spatula and turn off the oven because this month, it’s time to rely upon the professionals.

August marks the beginning of Miami Spice, an annual restaurant promotion that encourages locals to break their same ole’ routine and play the culinary field.  From August 1 – September 30, Miami’s finest establishments pull out all the stops by curating special three-course lunch and dinner menus for a fraction of their typical price. With lunch costing $23 a pop and dinner going for just $39, you better believe you’re getting mega bang for your buck.

Spanning all parts of town and every cuisine imaginable, there are countless options for everyone. Now now, settle down. I thought you might get overwhelmed, so I took the liberty of preparing a little cheat sheet to help you navigate through this feeding frenzy.

So without further adieu…it’s time to spice it up!

If you swoon for steakhouses:

Red, The Steakhouse  

If you’ve never been to Red, Miami Spice is the perfect time to pop your Red cherry. It’s your quintessential steakhouse that has earned its keep on South Beach – and with good reason. From its perfectly seasoned steaks to its can’t miss truffle mac n’ cheese, Red offers up one bite of indulgence after the next. But what really makes Red stand out this season are its rotating spice menus. Chef Peter Vauthy figured, “Why create just one spice menu, when I can create four?” Needless to say, we like where his head’s at. Depending on what week you give Red a try, you can experience the Classic Steakhouse Spice menu, the Seafood Menu, Red Italian Style or Red’s Greatest Hits. Or my personal recommendation? Go four times and try ‘em all!

For more info on Red's Miami Spice menu, click here.

If you’re on that see food diet:

Bazaar Mar

About six months ago, this gem called Bazaar Mar opened in the SLS in Brickell. In that time, I’ve recommended it to more people than I can count. Why? Let’s see – its décor, impeccable service, incredibly fresh seafood, inventive dishes galore, and in a nutshell the fact that nothing like this exists in Miami. If you read my feature on Bazaar Mar, you’ll understand why I’m such a fanatic. But moving on to the matter at hand – Miami Spice. In true Jose Andres fashion, Bazaar Mar does Spice just a little bit differently. Rather than your usual three-courses, Bazaar Mar lets you sample five small plates so you can truly get the full experience. According to the number crunchers over at Thrillist, your $39 Spice dinner at Bazaar Mar would typically cost you $100 – so you’re saving quite a pretty penny.

For more info on Bazaar Mar's Miami Spice menu, click here.

If you’ve got your eyes on Italian:

Fi’lia

Right next door to Bazaar Mar you’ll find Fi’lia, another relatively new hot-spot to the Brickell restaurant scene. Fi’lia lives up to the Michael Schwartz name and has quickly become my go-to spot for Italian in the neighborhood. So naturally, I had to give its Miami Spice menu a whirl to see how it shaped up. The menu offers a nice mix of Italian classics (think: calzones and truffle pastas) along with lighter options (think: salads and grilled prawns). The takeaway: it’s impastable to be disappointed at Fi’lia.

For more info on Fi'lia's Miami Spice menu, click here.

If you’re proud to be an American:

The Restaurant at the Raleigh

Set at one of Miami’s most iconic art deco hotels, The Restaurant at the Raleigh offers top-notch modern American cuisine. Whether you opt to dine in the Raleigh’s swanky lobby while people watching or sit al fresco on its baroque pool deck, you just can’t go wrong. The Spice menu is filled with American classics with a bit of an upgrade. Take for example the Wagyu Burger Royale with foie gras mousse, port braised onions and truffle jus. If that doesn’t make you proud to be an American, I don’t know what will.

For more info on The Restaurant at the Raleigh's Miami Spice menu, click here.

If you can’t decide between Argentinian and Japanese (say what?!):

Leynia

leynia 2 edited.jpg

Located on the terrace of the Delano hotel, Leynia breaks the mold by offering up Argentinian cuisine with Japanese influences. You mean to tell me my boyfriend and I don’t have to fight over going out for steak or sushi because we can have BOTH at Leynia? Hell yes. With options ranging from chorizo to ceviche, you can enjoy a bold mix of cuisines like never before. There’s only one issue with Leynia’s Miami Spice menu – there are too many good options to choose from.

For more info on Leynia's Miami Spice menu, click here.

If you don't mind a little road trip:

Bourbon Steak

Turnberry Isle Hotel is home to more than just a couple hundred vacationers - it houses one of the best steak houses in the game. Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak is serving up a dinner-only Miami Spice menu with a slew of must haves. From duck fat fries, that take the place of your average bread bowl, to Kurabuta Pork Belly and Angus New York Strip, Bourbon Steak keeps raising the stakes. 

For more info on Bourbon Steak's Miami Spice menu, click here.