Miami Spice 2015 Preview

That sound you hear is the rumbling of excitement as Miami once again prepares for another year of Miami Spice…or maybe it’s just our stomachs. The mouth-watering, annual restaurant promotion is back to once again to showcase the very best of Miami cuisine. For those of you who aren’t familiar, during the months of August and September, the price spice is right as local restaurants offer three-course meals featuring signature dishes at reduced prices. $23 for lunch and $39 for dinner.

We recently kicked off the Miami Spice season with an intimate preview of the dinner menu at Toro Toro, presented by chef Richard Sandoval himself. First, it’s worth noting that the Miami Spice dinner menu at Toro Toro is available seven days a week; no weekend blackouts here!

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Second, let us tell you that this is one of the best Miami Spice menus we have ever experienced, and we only sampled a selection of the five appetizer, entree, and side choices and three dessert options. Below is a quick look at what we ate:

Appetizers

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Smoked Swordfish Dip: with pickled chiles, aioli, tomato, and plantain chips.

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Chicharrón de Camarones: crispy shrimp, aji amarillo, avocado, and rocoto mint salsa.

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Ceviche Nikkei: tuna, avocado, ponzu, leche de tigre, cucumber, and quinoa.

Entrees

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Chipotle Miso Seabass (+$5 upcharge): with baby carrots, baby bok choy, kabayaki, and togarashi aioli.

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Churrasco Platter (+$10 upcharge): with picanha steak, prime ribeye, lamb chop, chorizo sausage, and achiote chicken.

Sides

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Mojo Brussels Sprouts: with mojo, bacon, and parmesan.

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Truffle Fries: with parmesan, truffle, and smoked ketchup.

Desserts

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La Bomba (+$5 upcharge): chocolate shell, dulce de leche mousse, strawberry ice cream, almond cookie crumbles, and berries.

Finally – because #1 we felt like it was OK to splurge after saving on the menu, and #2 we like to drink –  we went ahead and ordered a few signature cocktails from the Toro Toro bar menu. Behold the Ahumado and the Lavendar Hemingway.

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Ahumado: Mezcal Vida, Solerno Blood Orange, bell pepper, lime, agave, jalapeño-blood orange ice cube.

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Lavender Hemingway: Bacardi Superior, lime, lavender simple syrup, grapefruit, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.

In addition to Toro Toro, here are some of the other Miami Spice menus that we’re most looking forward to this year:

Mitch

  • Beaches: Every year my friends tell me that their favorite Spice meal comes at Milos by Costas Spiliadis, but for some reason I’ve never actually made it over to its SoFi location. Well, this year, the upscale Greek restaurant’s lunch menu is calling my name with appetizer options like Bigeye Tuna Tartare and Charcoal Grilled Octopus; entree choices of Nova Scotia Deep Sea Lobster Pasta and Shrimp Saganaki; and the lighter “Real Greek Yogurt” and Seasonal Fruit Platter for dessert because it is lunch after all.
  • Mainland South: As you all know, I love me some Spanish food and Coral Gables’ Bulla Gastrobar’s dinner menu’s got me like joder, tío! The Huevos Rotos con Costilla (jumbo egg, homemade potato chips, braised short ribs, potato foam), Mero con Quinoa (black grouper, lemon caper butter, quinoa soy salad), and Torrija (caramelized brioche, turrón ice cream, local honey) are all giving me a serious case of the feels.
  • Mainland North: Both the lunch and dinner menus at CORSAIR by Scott Conant in Aventura are very similary and very delicious looking. Think Heirloom Tomatoes & Burrata, Eggplant Parmigiano, Fritto Misto, Milk Chocolate Budino, and Honey-Pine Nut Semifreddo. But, if I had to pick just one, the Squid Ink Farfalle with baby clams, mussels, and calamari is pushing me towards the dinner side.
  • Bonus Pick: Miami Spice is the perfect opportunity to check out new restaurants because it offers multiple dishes at a low price. So, when it was recently announced that Tongue & Cheek’s kid sister-restaurant Izzy’s would be open and participating, I knew I had to make it my bonus pick.

Mel

  • Beaches: Recently opened Byblos (at the The James Royal Palm) has caught my eye this year. It’s the first American outpost of this celebrated Canadian restaurant and it’s been highly anticipated for quite a while now. Not only am I huge fan of Mediterranean cuisine, but this menu is said to have inspiration from North African and I salivate with curiosity.  I’m also already drooling over the decor – think Eastern Mediterranean colors and high ceilings.
  • Mainland South: I’m all about girl power and Chef Adrianne brings ‘girl power’ to new levels in the culinary scene in Miami. I’m excited to check out her menu that’s so well reviewed by foodies just like you and me. It’s a bit of a drive but the impressive selection of wine and small plates will be worth the trip down south.
  • Mainland North: A long-time fan of Chef Michelle Bernstein, I’m ready to try the Chef’s flagship restaurant in the MiMo District that recently re-opened as Cena by Michy. It’s very rare the Chef Michy’s award-winning cuisine leaves me disappointed so I might be playing it safe, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  • Bonus Pick: Ditto to Mitch on Izzy. As big fans of Tongue and Cheek this is the perfect time to show our love to Chef Jamie DeRosa.

 

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