Weekly Nibble: Miami Spice Advice from Our Contributors

We are down to the last month of Miami Spice. Each year the list of Miami Spice participants grows, and this year's list tops 180 participating restaurants covering the beaches, the mainland and surrounding areas, which makes finding the best options even more difficult. Now in it's 14th year and running from August 1 to September 30th, that gives you basically 61 days to venture out for Spice lunch and dinner. While we haven't sampled any specific Miami Spice dishes yet, we’ve developed a set of guidelines for finding those diamonds in the rough and penciled in a few of our best bets.  Of course, like everything food related in Miami, this is very subjective and represents our own opinions and thoughts. 

SO, here is a little "Miami Spice Advice":

Guideline #1 Search for value. Let's face it…$39 per person isn't exactly a bargain. We all know plenty of great spots in Miami where $39 goes a long way. That’s not the "spice spirit" though. It's about finding a special spot where that $39 buys you much more during Miami Spice than it will any other day. We’re looking to Morimoto South Beach ( closing the end of September) and Palme d'Or at The Biltmore Hotel for value.

Guideline #2Find menus with unique dishes. Every year, restaurants saturate their Miami Spice menus with beet salad, skirt steak, chicken, salmon, and panna cotta. While we like those things in moderation, we want a spice menu with a fresher approach.  Check out the menus created to showcase their talented chefs for The Bazaar by José Andrés, Macchialina, MC Kitchen and Pubbelly, and you’ll discover "out of the box" options and real opportunities to experience those restaurants.

Guideline #3Read the fine print and pay attention to Participation Days. This years Miami Spice website has a simple chart to determine those days and meals a specific restaurant is not participating in. We love to support the restaurants that embrace Miami Spice even on Saturday night.  Plan a Saturday date night at The Dutch, HaVen, or Mignonette!

Guideline #4Seek out those new spots that everyone loves…and have the "buzz", but you haven't tried yet. How about trying The Vagabond, AlterMarket at EDITION, Quality Meats  or Corsair? Why not? It’s Spice!

Guideline #5Stick with what you know!  What do we know?  Every year we make a point to include at least one Miami Spice lunch option, the dim sum lunch at Hakkasan.  It never disappoints. When it comes to dinner, Bourbon Steak and Edge Steak and Bar always deliver great menus, service, and values.. 

With a little direction and a big appetite, Miami Spice can be a culinary adventure for those willing to do some research and seek out the best options. Let us know what spots you plan to check out this year and more importantly, which spots you enjoyed the most.

To make your own selections and peruse menus and restrictions visit the I Love Miami Spice website at http://www.miamiandbeaches.com/special-offers/monthly-deals/miami-spice-month

And enjoy this very special time of year in Miami!