By: Melanie Galarce
It’s August 1st, and that means the official start of the ever-popular culinary program: Miami Spice. For those of you who have recently settled into Miami as home, Miami Spice is sort of like the Mecca for foodies in the 305. The concept is simple; some of the most established restaurants in Miami offer pre-set lunch and dinner menus giving you a sneak peek into establishments that may have otherwise been out of your reach. Mitch and I love everything about Miami Spice, and the opportunity it lends foodies to discover our city. As such, MMTM is bringing back our summer series, #MiamiSpiceMonday. Every Monday from now until the end of September (to coincide with the end of the program,) we will share a Miami Spice experience in hopes that it will help you navigate the culinary tour de force that takes over our city.
Our first stop? BLT Prime. The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with panoramic views of the iconic Blue Monster course at the Trump Hotel (let’s attempt to ignore that the hotel unfortunately carries such a controversial name, and we should note that the restaurant is in no way affiliated with said name, family, political views, etc.) This modern American steakhouse serves the finest cuts of USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef available, fresh seafood, satisfying sides, and indulgent desserts.
We kicked off our first official Miami Spice menu with some refreshing cocktails overlooking the picturesque golf course as the sun began to set. I couldn’t have planned a more perfect kick-off, foreshadowing the meal that was to come.
Before we even had a chance to discover the Miami Spice menu, we were treated to a true carbohydrate delicacy: the famous Steakhouse Popovers. These airy, golden crisp puffs would put any French bakery to shame. Also, along with the popovers, the restaurant gives you the recipe with the dish as it comes out. In my state of carb delirium, I took it home with me. I know I’m being incredibly ambitious, but just knowing the recipe is near gives me hope.
The following is a brief recap of the BLT Prime Miami Spice Dinner Menu ($39 pp):
Appetizer (you can select from one of the following):
ROCK SHRIMP RISOTTO – Parmesan Foam, English Peas, Artichokes
I love the ingenious nature of this dish. Usually, you’ll have rock shrimp on its own but not at BLT Prime. Here, the shrimp dances playfully on a bed of warm risotto surrounded by Parmesan foam to give it just the perfect finish.
PRINCE EDWARD MUSSELS – Garlic, White Wine, Chorizo
I won’t pretend to be a mussel expert, but what made these particularly good was how sweet and tender they were, which was just exalted by the white wine that they were bathed in. Also, that chorizo was the perfect contrast with its bold and forthcoming flavor.
Entrée (you can select from one of the following):
1855 GRAND ISLAND ANGUS FLAT IRON – Oyster Mushrooms, Maple Bourbon Demi
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to try the 1855 Grand Island Angus, but we’ve heard nothing but amazing things and after our overall experience, we have no doubt that it’s top notch. If you came to BLT for a prime piece of meat, this will be the dish you order.
PAN SEARED SKATE – Smoked Chili Butter, Capers, Tarragon & Tomato Salad
Quite frankly, I very seldom see skate on menus and it’s a fish I don’t know much about, but this dish was very good. I had no expectation of the fish, but this mild fish dish really took on the smoked chili butter, capers, and tarragon, making an untraditional home run.
Sides (you can select from one of the following):
ROASTED HEIRLOOM CARROTS
These savory carrots will not disappoint the crowd that might have come in for the meat, but will leave pleasantly surprised by the veggies.
Innovation at its best. While we in Miami are used to ham croquettes, this rendition was pretty amazing. With a crisp golden coat, these round, geometrically perfect potatoes were delicious pieces of heaven.
Dessert (you can select from one of the following):
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE – Strawberry Sorbet, Creme Fraiche Sauce
Although strawberry is not usually my go-to flavor in ice cream, this sorbet rendition with shortcake and creme fraiche sauce gave it a thick and velvety texture that made it wonderfully rich as any dessert done right should be.
PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY – Peanut Butter Truffles, Yuzu Pate de Fruit, Grape Pate de Fruit
What’s better than truffle? Peanut truffle, of course. And then to top it off, BLT Prime makes us salivate with yuzu and grape pate to make this a less rich and rather fruity dessert – if that’s more your thing.
Mel’s take: If you have a steak lover in your life, this is the place to visit during Miami Spice. You’ll enjoy award-winning dishes with prime beef and delicious sides that will aptly let the meat take center stage. The entire meal felt like a perfectly orchestrated parade of stellar dishes, each with enough character and bold flavors to play a leading role in any meal.
Standout dish: To be fair, everything on the menu was superb. I want to have a more thoughtful answer than the Popovers, but these were honestly my highlight. I could easily eat a laundry basket of these and justify the gluttony. It’s only fair to say that the Risotto was also superb and the desserts were equally memorable. The Croquettes are also a dish I could eat as a side with every meal of the day. I can keep going, but I’ll spare you the extra adjectives.