#MiamiSpiceMonday – Novecento

By Caitlin Marino

This week’s edition of #MiamiSpiceMonday brings MMTM to one of my favorite Miami establishments – Novecento. Known for its family-friendly environment, Novecento has maintained a great relationship with Miami locals and has expanded its South Florida presence to four locations over the past decade. The original Brickell location opened in 2004 and has been delighting patrons ever since with a charming ambiance both inside and outside on a quaint patio, tempting taste buds with exquisite Argentine, Mediterranean, and Pan-Latin flavored signature dishes.

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The great thing about the Miami Spice menu at Novecento is that it highlights some of the best plates the restaurant offers – and for a cool $23 you can enjoy an amazing lunch. Note: Miami Spice is not available at Novecento on Tuesdays for lunch or dinner nor on Fridays for lunch due to other specials featured those days (i.e. 50% off bottles of wine and happy hour starting at 12 p.m. which still sounds like a total win.)

Appetizer Chosen

Ceviche con Sandía – fish marinated in lime juice with jalapeño peppers, watermelon & fresh basil

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This is the perfect dish to help you celebrate summer; it’s an enjoyable, non-traditional ceviche recipe. The watermelon and basil add a light, refreshing spin of flavor to the lime-soaked white fish. Also, for those of you who are not really into spicy, it doesn’t really bring too much jalapeño, making it a pleasant dish for all palates.

Empanadas – choice of spinach and cheese, chicken, hand carved beef, or ham and cheese

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Miami, with its melting pot mixture of Latin cultures, has set a very high standard for its quality of empanadas. Whether Cuban, Colombian, or Argentine, you better bring your ‘A’ game if offering empanadas on your menu. Without a doubt, Novecento falls on my Top 5 picks in the empanada game around town. The puff pastry crust is filled with flavorful meat and baked to absolute perfection. I would have gladly ordered another one, or two, or ten of these. Request the Sriracha sauce for a boost in spice (can you tell I love all things spicy?)

Entrees Chosen

Pollo Saludable – natural chicken, quinoa, arugula, tomatoes, avocado, eggs

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This is a perfect option for a healthy, yet fulfilling lunch. It’s a simple salad that offers lots of protein and a variety of flavor and texture. We suggest requesting a citrus vinaigrette or oil & vinegar for another layer of flavor without compromising the saludable aspect.

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Carne del Día – churrasco with chimichurri sauce and a side of French gries, salad, or mashed potatoes ($5 upgrade)

Everyone knows that the Argentines know a thing or two about a good piece of meat. As so, the Carne del Día isn’t anything short of a masterpiece. What surprisingly stood out on this plate were the mashed potatoes. Holy goodness. Perfectly whipped, and full of a creamy, buttery flavor, we won’t be forgetting about this side dish any time soon.

Desserts Chosen

Mousse de Maracuyá – passion fruit mousse

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I am currently having a total love affair with, and am always on the look out for, maracuyá. Thus, I was over the moon to see a maracuyá inclusion on the Miami Spice lunch menu. Novecento knocks it out of the park with this rendition. If you order the mousse dessert, you’ll enjoy a smooth, fluffy, sweet treat that’s topped with fresh strawberries, raspberry and chocolate sauce, and of course chocolate sticks. This was undoubtedly the perfect finish to a very memorable lunch meal.

Flan Mixto – creme caramel, whipped cream, dulce de leche

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I am very particular about my flan. While this rendition isn’t at the level of the version I never fail to order at Versailles (ultimate flan in my humble opinion), this is still a very good hybrid of caramel and dulce de leche flavors for the win.

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Caitlin’s take:  Novecento’s wide variety of stellar appetizers, entrees, and dessert options for under $30 are a no brainer to enjoy during Miami Spice. This is why I love this culinary program in our city. At Novecento you’re enjoying a top-quality meal for an incredibly affordable price. While there are a few blackout dates, they are limited. You can also enjoy the Miami Spice menu on weekends which makes this not only a great option for a quick lunch during the week for those who work in the area, but also for a fam jam or Girls Night Out dinner on the weekends.

Standout dish: The Carne del Día was superb and complemented perfectly with the rich mashed potatoes. Totally worth the additional $5 upgrade charge from the traditional Miami Spice lunch menu price. This is your go-to dish.

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