Date night takes on a whole new meaning during Miami Spice.
Instead of painfully reaching for the check with a brave “I got this,” you can breathe a sigh of relief and nonchalantly grab the bill knowing that if you ordered off the set menu you most probably got a great deal.
Herewith, five restaurants (some even offer specially-priced cocktails!) that will impress your date and leave your wallet intact.
Partners chef Michael Beltran and Jason Odio are paying homage to their roots through this carefully crafted menu, offering a three-course meal inspired by dishes that their grandparents prepared in Cuba. Appetizers include a choice of avocado and cassava (Beltran’s bacon, frisee and green goddess), yucca in vinaigrette (colatura and crème fraiche) or burrata (with mamey, olive oil and herbs). Entree options include Oxtail Borgignon (bone marrow potatoes, grilled mushroom), local fish (guiso de garbanzo and sour orange burre blanc), Arroz Con Pollo and Ariete’s coveted fritas (chorizo patty, ketchup and papitas.) On the sweet side, patrons can enjoy decadent desserts by esteemed pastry chef Dallas Wynn such as tres leches, coconut cake and Dulce de Coco with pickled cherries. Additionally, wine, beer and cocktails will be priced between $6-$10.
One of the most seductive spots in South Beach is stepping up its Miami Spice game, offering guests the best of what the Eastern Mediterranean eatery has to offer with a biweekly menu rotation. Diners can choose two items from the mezze selections such as shakshouka with spicy tomato or lamb ribs with carob molasses and red chili schug. Next select one delectable main course such as spinach ricotta gnudi, Middle Eastern fried chicken and short rib kebab. Plus select one side, including sweet jeweled rice and mejadra rice. For dessert, select between pizzelle with pistachio ice cream, strawberry cheesecake qatayef and sorbet with fresh pomegranate.
Miami Spice is only offered at lunch, but we can’t think of a better excuse to sit al fresco on the beach and bask in the St. Tropez vibes of this storied beach club. Portions are generous and include classics such as the Sexy Salad made with lobster, shrimp, crab meat and avocado and the chicken satay with peanut sauce. Mains include a Mediterranean branzino and the Koh Samui beef salad.
Scott Conant’s fine Italian restaurant in the Fontainebleau is still one of the best date spots on the beach and (joy!) that life-changing spaghetti pomodoro is on the Spice menu. Additional choices include the creamy polenta with truffled mushrooms, octopus with capers and olives and for mains: roasted branzino, short rib agnolotti or oven roasted chicken.
Executive chef Sunny Oh of Sushi Garage has combined the best dishes, such as the Garage Seaweed Salad, sashimi or sushi combo, Tuna Chicharron Roll or the jumbo white prawn teriyaki. For dessert try the lychee rice pudding or strawberry soy milk custard. Bonus: Each meal comes with a 1/2 carafe of sake, edamame and miso soup for each person in addition to the three courses — a nice touch.