August is almost here, and with that comes time to make your affordable fancy food adventures come to a reality. During the months of August and September over 200 restaurants throughout Miami participate in Miami Spice, featuring 3 course lunches for $23 and dinners for $39. It’s one of the best chances we have to get out there and try new hot spots and old favorites. Many restaurants have rotating menus, allowing for guests to come back multiple trips to experience something different each time.
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach has three restaurants taking part in this food affair and for the sake of our dedicated readers I “volunteered” as a guest to test out the menus at these amazing restaurants. All in ONE night. It was quite a sacrifice, but I did it for you loyal MIAbites readers.
Stop One: Scarpetta
Scarpetta is one of Scott Conant’s restaurants. This James Beard award recipient knows what he’s doing in the kitchen and is one of my personal favorite Chopped judges. While I love me some Scott Conant, I love his Spaghetti with Tomato and Basil even more. Lucky for me, it’s on the Miami Spice menu. So is the Creamy Polenta with truffled mushrooms, The Roasted Branzino is also a dish I’m willing to vouch for. Don’t skip the bread basket either – it’s bread filled with stromboli, plus butter and mascarpone, caponata, lemony olive oil. It’s heaven in a bread basket.
Miami Spice Dinner Menu
CREAMY POLENTA fricassée of truffled mushrooms
MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA stewed baby tomatoes
MEDITERRANEAN OCTOPUS potatoes, capers & olives
BEEF SHORT RIB AGNOLOTTI horseradish, bread crumbs and brown butter
ROASTED BRANZINO artichokes, olives, anchovy and tomato dressing
OVEN ROASTED CHICKEN herb spaetzle, broccoli & fegato sauce
SPAGHETTI tomato and basil
COCONUT PANNA COTTA caramelized pineapple & guava "soup"
WARM BERRY CROSTATA walnut ice cream
Stop Two: Hakkasan
I’ve always loved Dim Sum, but somehow hadn’t made my way to the Fontainebleau to eat at Hakkasan. Needless to say, it was so good that two days after my Miami Spice preview, I came back and did some Dim Sum damage – try saying that three times fast! This is one of those pre fixe menus you look at and think you may leave still hungry, but half-way through the appetizer you’re worried if you can make it all the way to dessert. Push through my friends, because dessert was my favorite part. Mango Custard. It’s mango season and no matter how many mangos I come across I’ll never be sick of them. But this custard, should be crowned king of all mango dishes.
Miami Spice Lunch Menu
DIM SUM BASKET lotus root with mushroom chicken shui mai, spinach scallops dumpling, black rice vegetable dumpling
· JASMINE TEA SMOKED CHICKEN WITH SOY SAUCE
STIR-FRIED BABY PAK CHOI WITH GARLIC
BEEF FRIED RICE WITH GINGER
MANGO CUSTARD grapefruit, calamansi, coconut sorbet
SELECTION OF HOMEMADE MACARONS
Stop Three: Stripsteak by Michael Mina
Michael Mina has more than one restaurant in the Fontainebleau – currently Stripsteak and a fun summer pop-up Pizza & Burger. Stripsteak is definitely the classy older sister. The décor is dark and romantic, the kind that makes you feel like a whiskey cocktail would be the perfect addition to your meal. Fortunately, Stripsteak also has a great cocktail program that can cater to those needs. As you can tell by the name – steak is the way to go here. The Wood Grilled Filet is a must have and is always cooked to perfection.
Miami Spice Dinner Menu
SPICY HAMACHI TARTAR avocado, green papaya, crispy nori
LACINTO KALE shaved parmesan, pickled tomato, anchovy dressing
RICOTTA CAVATELLI CARBONARA english peas, wilson farms bacon, poached hen egg
LOCAL MAHI MAHI FROM THE PLANCHA peas and carrots, ginger-carrot emulsion
WOOD GRILLED 6OZ FILET MIGNON jewel yam purée, charred rapini, port wine jus
PAN ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST maitake mushroom, confit fingerling potatoes, asparagus
CHOCOLATE GANACHE CAKE tahitian vanilla ice cream
KEY LIME PIE caramelized honey, lemongrass sherbet
No matter where you choose to celebrate (and yes I mean CELEBRATE) Miami Spice, you’re bound to get a great meal and an even better deal. I definitely recommend making your way to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach for dinner soon. If you do it in August, you could even take advantage of a Miami Spa Month deal and make a full day of it!
That’s my plan, maybe I’ll see you there.
For more info about Miami Spice including full listings and menus of all 240 participating restaurants visit I Love Miami Spice at http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month
4441 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL