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Happy Miami Spice 2010 (2 U) !!!

Any great shakes out there this year?

I'm perusing the menus now...wondering where I'll be lunching and dinner-ing.

A few places that I really want to try are:

Hakkasan
Red
BLT
Asia de Cuba
and ???

Any others that should be on my must hit list? Any of the above needn't be on my list?

Thanks for your input and Happy Miami Spice 2 U...

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Hakkasan
Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

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  1. I would definitely add Bourbon Steak to the must do list. They always do a great job for Miami Spice and this years menu looks even better. (Lobster stuffed squash blossoms and American Wagyu flatiron steak and don't forget the duck fat fries and foccacia)
    http://www.ilovemiamispice.com/menus%...

    Meat Market's menu looks very strong.
    http://www.ilovemiamispice.com/menus%...

    More recommendations here
    http://thechowfather.blogspot.com/201...

    -----
    Bourbon Steak
    19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Chowfather

      I neglected to mention that out of the places I recommended ONLY Bourbon Steak and Charlotte Bistro offer their dinner menu on the weekends. Bonus points for them!! Scarpetta and Sra. Martinez offer on Friday night but not Saturday so plan accordingly.

    2. I gave the full list of the menus that intrigued me here ->
      http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/20...

      Some that stood out ->
      - Azul - really an interesting menu. Haven't eaten there in years.
      - BLT Steak - esp. if you still get chicken liver mousse & popovers to start.
      - Bourbon Steak - I was there last night and tried a couple of the items that will be on the Spice menu - the corn soup w crab, and the American Wagyu flatiron ($10 supplement) - both were delicious.
      - Meat Market - some intriguing apps in particular.
      - Scarpetta - another place I don't get to often.
      - Sra. Martinez - maybe not a great value compared to the regular menu, but I like the structure where you can choose 1 cold + 2 warm + dessert for each person; between 2 people you can try a half-dozen things and a couple desserts.

      Hakkasan has great food but I have a sneaking suspicion you will go home hungry. They're offering 1 entrée and 1 side for every 2 people. The size of their normal entrées is pretty skimpy, barely enough to satisfy one person, and I'm dubious they're increasing the portion sizes for Spice.

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      Bourbon Steak
      19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

      Meat Market
      915 Lincoln road, Miami Beach, FL 33139

      Sra. Martinez
      4000 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33137

      Hakkasan
      Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

      Azul Restaurant
      500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami, FL 33131

      9 Replies
      1. re: Frodnesor

        Frod, what do you think about Bond St.'s menu from a value/hunger standpoint?

        1. re: The Chowfather

          If you go just by comparison to regular pricing and assume portion sizes stay the same, Bond St.'s Spice menu would actaully seem to be a good deal. Starters of miso soup / house salad / ceviche run $6/9/14. The second course options listed are regularly $12-17. "Chef's Selection" sushi platter includes 2 rolls ($11 each) and three pieces of nigiri (~$8-10?), plus dessert, so that would easily be $50+ if ordered from the regular menu (again, if portion sizes are the same).

          And also probably a decent amount of food.

        2. re: Frodnesor

          Frod, since you've been during normal business, what's your take on the Dim Sum brunch spice menu at Hakkasan?

          At a glance it seems like a better bang for your buck than the dinner, with the added bonus of a larger variety.

          -----
          Hakkasan
          Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

          1. re: talos126

            Here's my thoughts on the Hakkasan dim sum brunch ->
            http://www.foodforthoughtmiami.com/20...

            Quick summary: their dim sum is generally excellent. It is also about twice as expensive as anywhere else. Even so, it's probably less expensive than the dinner menu, and probably best covers what they do best.

            I did not see that they had a Spice menu other than for dinner.

            -----
            Hakkasan
            Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

            1. re: Frodnesor

              Its there, you just have to scroll down to page 2 of the "Dinner Menu" http://www.ilovemiamispice.com/menus%...

              $22 per guest / 2 guest minimum.

              Your review of the regular dim sum seemed generally positive, and I'm always up for a good xiao long bao.

              1. re: talos126

                Wow - that sounds like a decent amount of food, esp. for $22. If I understand it correctly, 2 people would get 5 rounds of dim sum, 1 bbq item, 1 veg, 1 noodle/rice/congee, and 2 desserts. I will admit I might do more damage than that at a usual dim sum lunch, but still that's pretty good especially compared to Hakkasan's usual prices.

                Note for others: xiao long bao (a/k/a soup dumplings) lurk stealthily on the Hakkasan dim sum menu as "siew long bun".

                If I weren't going out of town this weekend, I would almost certainly be there.

                -----
                Hakkasan
                Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  That's how I read it as well. Hope to give it a shot this weekend.

                  1. re: talos126

                    I gave it a shot on Sunday and it was a good deal. I thought there were choices to be made at each step of the posted menu, but instead everyone gets everything on that menu (except in one place there is a choice between won ton soup and noodles).

                    So everyone gets their own dumplings, congee (which to me is a little like eating school glue, but to each their own), etc., and then with respect to the meat items (crispy duck, bbq item, etc.) its family-style, portioned to the number of diners.

                    When we sat down we were ONLY given the spice menu, which was an interesting change from the norm (where you have to ask for the spice specifically). Maybe the server could see "cheap" in my eyes or something, but he was totally unpretentious and down-to-earth, so that was another uncharacteristic element of the experience. All around thumbs up on both food and service.

          2. re: Frodnesor

            Hi,

            I recently went to Hakkasan. You can check out my review on Tripadvisor under Glee47, the latest review of that place with pics. By the way, thanks for your recommendation on NAOE. My husband and I went there for our anniversary and had a great time.

            Gina G

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            NAOE
            175 Sunny Isles Boulevard, Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160

            Hakkasan
            Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

          3. I perused the spice menu looking for a great must try lunch since I'll be in Miami this week for lunch. Not all restaurants are offering the spice menu for lunch...if you had to pick only one for lunch, where would you go?

            4 Replies
            1. re: zook

              I intended on doing a lunch list as well but nothing really jumped out at me. I never order dessert at lunch so the value isn't really there for me. Delano may work for lunch although parking will cost more...

              What part of Miami?

              @frodnesor, you could be right about Hakkasan. I initially had them "on the fence" for that reason. I'm sure someone will answer that question soon enough.

              ** LINK TO RESTAURANTS/MENUS
              http://www.ilovemiamispice.com/partic...

              -----
              Hakkasan
              Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

              1. re: zook

                I'm also not big on dessert at lunch so don't see the Spice lunch as a big draw, but from a quick look I'd be tempted by ->

                BLT Steak - heart of palm salad, burger, and pina colada sundae.
                Sugarcane - corn chowder, chirashi bowl and chocolate chip ice cream sandwich.
                Eos Bistro E - different menu every day + pint of beer (good for productivity).

                There's also a few places that don't have menus up yet that either consistently do a good job for Spice (Timo) or are otherwise intriguing (Zuma).

                1. re: Frodnesor

                  What about D. Rodriguez? We come down to Miami every year at this time. Last year we went to Scapetta and it was outstanding.

                  Wondering about D. Rodriguez or OLA (I know it's the same chef).

                  Andrea

                  1. re: andreama

                    No menus posted as of 8/1

              2. Went to Scarpetta last night. Pleased to say the Spice menu was actually attached to the inside of the regular menu - good on them. I had already seen the menu online and think it is one of the best ones out there.

                We got the mushroom polenta and risotto short ribs for our appetizers. Both winners, but the creamy, cheesy polenta was absolutely delicious.

                I got the spaghetti and was again (been there non-spice) underwhelmed. Its not that it isn't good, I just don't understand how it got the supposed reputation it has - it is not that great. It was a good size portion though. The Mrs. got the branzino - which they refused to switch out the shellfish sauce, so she had it without any sauce, and it was still good. Not sure if the refusal was because we were ordering off the Spice menu, as the waiter just said the chef wouldn't do it. Not a huge portion, but certainly enough to satisfy.

                Desserts were quite good, got the chocolate and pana cotta, but to be honest, we were quite full by then.

                Overall, this was an excellent Spice experience. Our waiter and support staff were excellent, and no indication at all of a grudge that we ordered off the Spice menu. Still, with drinks, tax, service etc the total did still come to around $120, so not cheap by any means, but certainly reasonable, and we left very satisfied.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mrmagee

                  Went to Scarpetta Friday night. Showed up on time for my reservation but was still sent to the bar for about 25 minutes until my table was ready. I wanted to try out some drinks from the bar anyway, but I feel this is a tacky move. When we were seated at the dining room, there was more than a handful of empty tables, so I feel this was just an attempt to squeeze a few more bucks out of the patrons. They did immediately validate my parking ticket which was appreciated.

                  The miami spice menu is prominently displayed. Got the same apps as mrmagee and agree that they were both winners. For entrees, we had the spaghetti and the prime filet of beef. The spaghetti was very good, perhaps the best I've ever had, but I felt a bit let down. Maybe it was built up to the point that I didn't appreciate it as much as I would have without the fanfare. The beef entree was very tasty, cooked perfectly medium rare. It was smaller than what I would consider an entree size, but somehow I was full before dessert came along.

                  For dessert, I had the ameidi chocolate cake which had good chocolate flavor, but the toasted almond gelato sitting on top of the chocolate crunchies (don't know the term for this item) stole the show. It seemed like an homage to a carvel ice cream cake. The mocha swirl cheesecake was very creamy and tasty, but I only had one bite of it as the wife scarfed it down in quick fashion.

                  The service was fantastic and if not for the banishment to the bar, it would have been one of the best restaurant experiences in the last couple years. I still would definitely go back during non-miami spice time.

                2. did the miami spice dinner at meat market.Had the lamb baby backs -delicious fall off the bones(3).Then had lamb 2 ways as entree(3 single chops and lamb stuffed in pastry).Tasted good ,but i would advise men who want these spice selections to eat first at home before so they will feel full.Anorexic models would be satisfied with the portions.

                  1. You should really try Tunas Raw Bar and Grille.They're new to the spice thing and we had dinner there the other night and it was fabulous.Portions are large and food was fantastic.They offer lunch during the week and dinner 7 nights.They said they have live music inside friday and saturday nights.Definately will be going back there.

                    1. Went for Bourbon, Blues, and Spice @ Bourbon Steak last night. Every Wednesday is 25% off bourbons. No blues but decent mellow jazz piano player and singer. Bourbon was flowing - Woodford Reserve & Elijah Craig 18yr - and the trio of duck fat fries got us off to a nice start. Damn do I love those fries. Spice menu had 3 options for apps, mains, and desserts. I went with the tempura squash blossoms stuffed w/ lobster and they were fantastic. For the main I chose the wagyu flatiron steak. It was served sliced into hunks, seasoned well, and tasted good but a few pieces were a little gristly which I found odd. Nevertheless, I powered through that course. I'm not a dessert guy so I went with the trio of sorbets which were good. Split the check 3 ways and came to $78 each which was pretty good for 3 courses, $10 for the wagyu upgrade, and 3 bourbons. Bourbon Steak really is a great restaurant. The bar is large and accommodating and the dining room and lounge has nice high ceilings and the perfect amount of space between tables. If I lived closer, I'd be there a lot more frequently.

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                      Bourbon Steak
                      19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Blind Mind

                        Flatiron is a cut from the shoulder and can sometimes have some connective tissue.

                        1. re: Blind Mind

                          Did Bourbon Steak on Saturday and also had the squash blossoms and wagyu. i'd say the meal was a good value. Steak was not phenomenal but was very good, and better than the steak dish I had at Scarpetta. Great service as always. The server actually encouraged the Miami Spice as their "special promotion." I don't know if their menu features the best food in town, but they are definitely the classiest act around. Good value, good food and good portions.

                          -----
                          Bourbon Steak
                          19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

                        2. went to Sra. Martinez last night. Our server was friendly and knowledgeable, but he was barely around.

                          As far as the food goes, everything we had was good, but we also had to order an item off the normal menu just to fill up. Though I knew the dishes would be tapas size, I was hoping they'd be a bit more filling. The standout was the roasted bone marrow. The bone marrow itself was good, but the slaw and brisket that came with it were outstanding. Another great dish was the tortilla espanola. The tortilla itself was good, but the aioli it came with was spectacular. My wife thoroughly enjoyed the mojo marinated wings, which I agree were very good. The only somewhat disappointing dish was the mussels which were good, but the broth was not worthy of being sopped up with bread.

                          -----
                          Sra. Martinez
                          4000 NE 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33137

                          1. Went to Palme D'Or last night. We ordered a bottle of wine, an extra glass of wine and an extra appetizer, so the bill would up a bit higher than the usual, but it was 100% worth it. Truly a great meal all around. in a rush, but HIGHLY encourage everyone to head over there... the amuse was delicious, the smoked salmon, halibut and chocolate dessert were the winning choices. Tuna app with lobster dumplings was unreal too.

                            1. Did up a nice spice lunch at china grill today...1st of the season. proximity and hours of accomadation were big in the decision making process.

                              4 of us shared:

                              3 apps (beef dumplings, pork belly, confucious chix salad )
                              3 entrees (PORK RRRIBS , Mushroom Pasta , Chcken )
                              2 sides (upgrade $4 duck fried rice and some wok veggies)
                              2 desserts (chefselection so-so. macademian tower of bananas ala sugar and an uninspired brownie triangle)

                              It's a lot of food! Apps and entrees were good...duck upgrade not worthy IMHO. the dessert was not the note you want to end on after what was otherwise a great gorge feast. Service was smooth and spice menus delivered along with the regular menus. Good to try and come to a consensus on your choices. Hi value component.

                              1. I'm heading down to Fort Lauderdale for a wedding and I have only one night free from wedding functions. Is it worth driving down to Miami for a dinner or should I just stay and explore Fort Lauderdale? Your conversation makes this pretty tempting. Thanks!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: funniduck

                                  It is worthy! Well worthy in fact. Especially if you have never been? Lauderdale is usually 45 minutes max to South Beach by car.

                                  1. re: netmover

                                    Nope never been. Thanks you confirmed what I hoped! Now I just have to decide! Thanks! :)

                                2. Did Scarpetta on Miami Spice. Please avoid this place. The server treated us like garbage from the get-go. Unfortunately, it was three of us, and each of us missed comments she made at one time or other. Had we all heard all her comments, we probably would have up and left and enjoyed ourselves elsewhere.

                                  The night started just fine. We walked up to the restaurant and the hostess gave us the usual it'll be a few minutes - please spend some nice money at the bar routine. No big deal. We actually had three great drinks at $15 or so each. $55 with tip and tax before we sit down, but seriously, kudos to the bartenders for knowing what the heck they're doing back there.

                                  Hostess comes, takes us to our seats. We're introduced to the waitress "Jennifer". Jennifer will be mentioned frequently in my letter to the Fountainbleu and Scarpetta. Anyhow, Jennifer asks if we would like still or sparkling bottled water. We say neither, we'd like regular Miami water just fine, thank you. She snaps "Yeah, ok." serious attitude that cannot be conveyed here. Anyhow, I had my back to her for most of this, simply because the table of three really allows for no maneuverability of the servers or diners. Somehow I missed it, but she follows up with "You must be here for Miami Spice." WOW

                                  Time to order comes I asked for a bottle of Salviano 2005 Turlo, $45. Fantastic bottle, btw. She sneers but manages an "I will get that for you right away," I let the face go, she's trying to be amicable. Order time comes, and apparently I order the only appetizer of the 4 the other two in our group don't want to taste. Jennifer chimes in, "You could just get the burrata off the menu." I reply "I think that sounds like too much food" - "It's not" "No it probably is, just give me the burrata appetizer." Serving time comes they brought out the wrong app. The server apologizes and takes it away. Jennifer accompanies the server as he brings me the burrata and as he puts it down she says, "here's the burrata, and its ok"
                                  "Excuse me," I reply. "Yeah, it's ok. You ordered the fish but now you want the burrata. it's ok, just as long as you know I did not screw up your order, you did."

                                  Now, as reasonable adults, it was absolutely understandable from where the confusion came. It was a small, excusable confusion in a loud restaurant. I just looked at her and said, "Now that is a problem."

                                  The rest of the meal went more or less the same. We minimized our interaction with Jennifer, as the rest of the staff was polite and attentive. My wife's fish entree was close to inedible (poorly made, the fish seemed more or less fresh) and so she left it, no complaints. No questions were asked when they took back an untouched plate. Desserts were good but not fantastic. My sister had the spaghetti, which probably the best dish of the night, but I ABSOLUTELY cannot believe the amount of hype Scott Conant gets, nor the sort of superior attitude he often exudes when judging on various Food Network shows based on what we saw at Scarpetta. We could have had a very nice night out, and honestly, we spent about $260 by the time it was all done for 3 people. If you cannot find semi decent servers averaging that per cover, something is wrong.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Icantread

                                    Wow! What a letdown. I've been to Scarpetta many times, both on normal occassions and for Miami Spice and have never encountered anything near what you went through. It's a shame because that restaurant has some of the best service in the city. Hopefully that came across from the rest of the staff (including the bartenders, who make killer signature drinks). Seems like you had more patience than I. With the first "yeah, OK" I would've been outta there. I have a feeling they'll be responsive to your critique.

                                  2. Did the Spice menu at Hakkasan last night. Thumbs up!! Everything was perfect, our table of four all left satisfied despite the fact that the menu is set up to order in pairs. We ended up sharing most everything we got, so I got to try a decent amount of the menu. The Steamed Seabass with Crispy Soybean Sauce was the decided best entree, and we were all EXTREMELY pleasantly surprised by the dessert soup, which none of us were actually looking forward to until we tasted it.

                                    Overall was a great meal, service was a little slow and I felt like they may have neglected us a little because we were doing the Spice menu. overall, it is definitely worth a trip to try though

                                    -----
                                    Hakkasan
                                    Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

                                    Hakkasan - Fontainebleau Miami Beach
                                    4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33140

                                    1. I went to Smith & Wollensky for the Miami Spice on Saturday. We were seated upstairs, which was a first for us. All in all it was an unpleasant experience. One of the first things that left a bad taste in my mouth was the fact that we were left at our table unattended for 15 minutes before being approached by our server. When he finally made his way over to us for the first time, he literally dropped the menus at our table, asked if we knew what we wanted to drink (mind you, we didn't even have the wine list for 2 seconds to review), and walked away. I tried to stop him because he didn't even bother to give me his name and responded with a hand raise, as if saying "wait", and continued to run off. When he came back, he didn't bother to introduce himself, took our order and dashed off again. We didn't see our server again until it came time to drop off the check. Even then, we had to have another server contact him because he was no where to be seen. Not what you would expect from this caliber a restaurant.

                                      My husband ordered the watermelon salad and I the ceasar. Both were served on the warm to hot side, which was a bit of a turn off. It appeared as though they were sitting around for a while before they got to our table. Both of us also ordered the filet which was overcooked and appeared to also have been sitting under a heat lamp for some time. The steak was dry and while mine was under seasoned, my husbands was a bit on the salty side. My desert, the peach cobbler, was served cold... So much so, that the ice-cream did not melt. The only thing that we really enjoyed was the truffled mac n cheese (which we paid full price for), along with our split bottle of wine and cocktail.

                                      Our overall experience was a HUGE let down. However, I did write an email to the general manager expressing my discontent and he did invite my party back to dinner free of charge, so I guess that does make up for it a little.

                                      -----
                                      Smith & Wollensky
                                      1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: JFarah

                                        Interesting...emails go a long way these days!

                                        1. re: netmover

                                          Ok I have a Miami spice gripe. Went to Sugarcane raw bar and grill specifically for miami spice lunch and made reservations. When we got there we asked the hostess for the miami spice menu as she was gathering the menus to seat us. She promptly told us that we could have the miami spice only if the whole table ordered it. No off the menu if we ordered the miami spice menu. We asked why and she said it was because they are a tapas/family style restaurant and we would not benefit somehow from ordering off the menu if someone order ed the MS menu. I did not really understand her explanation but we sat down with 3 menus. The regular one which is very extensive, a "specials" list and the MS. We were a party of 3. Their MS offering was ok but they only offered 2 options for each course. That would mean one of us would be duplicating one course at the very least. That was not appealing to us. So basically we ordered off the regular menu. So I think everyone should be warned that unless you are a party of one or two this MS makes no sense especially for a tapas place where you want to share. I really feel that Sugarcane did not serve the spirit of MS very well. In my opinion they need not participate at all as they have a great reputation for good food so far. So it all left a bad taste in my mouth even though the food really was very good. We spent $50.00 per person (each person had one glass of wine) so that is a very pricey lunch. And another thing they do not offer MS lunch on Fridays or all weekend. So come here for really good food but do not follow the waiters suggestion of 3 dishes per person as it is too much food and it really does add up. BTW the sugarcane lobster roll was the only dud we ordered.

                                          1. re: mom2mateo

                                            That makes no sense - since margins are typically better on the regular menu, restaurants ought to be happy to have customers who order from the regular menu as well as those who don't. Indeed, most restaurants hope for this, using the Spice menu as a draw. I could perhaps understand at someplace like China Grill or Hakkasan that do their Spice menus share-style, where you have to have at least two people order it, but that is not the case with the Sugarcane Spice menus I've seen which are just straightforward 3-course menus.

                                      2. I had an amazing Spice lunch at Zuma. The salmon was absolutely delicious and a generous size piece. The sides were generous and good. Most importantly, they were happy to have you there, regardless of ordering off of the Spice menu.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: mikek

                                          I second Zuma... The sashimi lunch was delicious, fresh and a perfect portion. It came with tune, salmon, yellowtail, ikura and tamago (as well as some variety of veggies), topped over perfectly cooked sushi rice and a home made soy sauce... totally worth doing spice, as the regular menu prices for that amount of sushi or sashimi would have probably been a $40 lunch. I tried the salmon as well and been dreaming about it ever since!

                                        2. Three quick hits:

                                          - Spice dinner at Mercadito: was wary of how the menu is set up, having everything be shared and pretty much forcing the whole table to order it (so it works best if it's just a couple). Was a great way to try drinks, guacs, ceviches, tacos, etc. Not sure if it's a deal, but we left full.

                                          - Spice dinner at Solea: had a great time with this one as the waiter said that Solea was not just a Spanish restaurant, but a Catalan one. Thus the gazpacho Andaluz, paella Valenciana, etc. There were some Catalan dishes that I hadn't seen in a while like suquet, which was on the spice menu. All around great meal from apps to dessert. When entrees came out and the waiter explained how the cochinillo had crispy skin he noticed that when my fiancee cut into hers that the skin was a little limp. Immediately he asked if he could take her plate to correct the error. A few minutes later a new plate with extra crispy skin emerged along w/ an apology from the chef and waiter. They take their pork skin seriously in Spain and so did these guys!

                                          - Por Fin was a complete disappointment. Actually, it was a horrible experience all around as those that didn't order from Spice menu also had pretty bad dishes. Arroz caldozo (soupy rice with seafood) had no seafood flavor in the broth. Entrecot came with basic boiled potatoes and no garnish. This place has lost it's mojo since chef left.

                                          -----
                                          Por Fin
                                          2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33134

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: lax2mia

                                            Surprised to hear that about Por Fin. I've been there several times for lunch since Marc Vidal left and did not notice any huge drop-off. They've got possibly the best pa amb tomaquet I've had in Miami (though I recall it was equally as good at Solea on our visit) - and it's a very substantial appetizer at lunch, when it comes with serrano ham and manchego cheese - the jamon croquetas are great, the buñuelos de bacalao are pretty good (a little dry for me, but they were done the same way when Vidal was in the kitchen). I also like the cochinillo sandwich, the arroz negro w calamari, the Carlos salad (w shrimp, bacon, avocado and potato sticks), the canelones (though they're mighty rich).

                                            But I've not been for dinner in ages and it may be that things the new chef has added to the menu are not as good as the ones inherited from Vidal.

                                            -----
                                            Por Fin
                                            2500 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, FL 33134

                                            1. re: Frodnesor

                                              Bunuelos were the only vestige from the Vidal era that we had and they were as good as we recalled. Desserts were OK. Service passable. Everything else was pretty bad.

                                              1. re: lax2mia

                                                Spice dinner at Solea was great. I ordered the atun coca and gazpacho for app, for entree I got the sucking pig and my GF swordfish both dishes was delicious. Dessert was amazing, spectacular presentation. Tres leche cake with basil ice cream was to die for it and the turron panna cotta was yummy as well. Very good service and great wine list. The restaurant is pretty and the W South Beach is the place to be.

                                          2. Solea- W South Beach- We went on Saturday 08/21/2010 as part of the Miami Spice promotion. Food and service were outstanding. Every single detail was well though. The Miami Spice offers an excellent value when the food is paired with some decent Spanish wines that are also part of the promotion. No small portions or tired farmed Salmon for the Miami Spice here. We tried three different appetizers, entrees and desserts. Everything was really good.

                                            1. We did spice at 660 at anglers sat night. It was an interesting experience. Tiny dining room but charming. I was dissapointed to learn that the seafood risotto offered on the online spice menu was not on the menu when we arrived. Consequently, I did not order off the spice menu (as the prices made no difference). I ordered cheese croquettas and spaghetti vongole. The spaghetti was really really rich and delicious. It was alittle spicy and salty but i truly enjoyed it. My friends did spice and we found it to be a great value. They had a huge skirt steak (it was bigger than my foot)... and perfectly cooked. We had also ordered peking duck wings off the reg menu (not on spice) that were rich and delicious. The desert that came with spice was a waffle bread pudding that was outrageous!! Service was soooo nice but painfully slow. They have a cool beer selection and knowledgeable servers. I have to say there is some good cooking going on back in that kitchen, but would maybe go back for a couple apps and drinks in the cool lounge next time. Side note: the lounge was really lovely and they have hookah's to smoke outside!

                                              1. Had dinner at Solea on Friday night! We order the the braised veal cheeks and the suckling pig terrine. The veal was soft as butter and the pork skin was perfectly crispy. We shared the appetizers: The Judías Verdes Con Jamón Ibérico Y Foie (salad) was great, the cod fritters were just ok. Our hands down favorite was the clams with the garlic parsley oil. We also ordered the from the pica pica: the assorted meats (very good as well) and the langostines. I was told the langostines were excellent (allergy). We were able to share all 3 desserts, all really good, but the favorite was the tres leches. What a great dinner!

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: funniduck

                                                  Really nice to see that Spice seems to be getting people out to Solea. We had a nice meal there a month or so ago (and had several very good ones when Chef Vidal was at Por Fin) but it was very quiet during our visit.

                                                  1. re: Frodnesor

                                                    We did the Miami Spice menu at Solea last Wed night. The food was great - especially the gazpacho, veal cheeks and the suckling pig terrine. Service was really nice as well. The restaurant was EMPTY. 3 tables only the entire time we were there.

                                                    We went to The Restaurant at the Setai on Saturday night. The food was not as wonderful as the last time we did Miami Spice. It certainly wasn't bad, but last year it wowed us and this year it just didn't. Sorry I can't outline it, but I really don't remember all of it and it was not the menu posted online. The best appetizer was a thai beef salad, and the best entree was the vegetarian entree, which was Indian and had epplant in it and was served over basmati rice with almonds. Delish. The atmosphere and the service were amazing, though. Our server brought us the 4th appetizer, because she heard us trying to decide which 3 out of the 4 appetizers we wanted to order. She also brought us the 4th dessert because it was her favorite, AND, when we told her we were disappointed that the menu online didn't match the in-restaurant Spice menu because we had really wanted to try the black sesame ice cream, she brought us out 3 scoops of that as well. Honestly, they were all truly gracious, despite the fact that I didn't see any other table around us order from the Spice Menu.

                                                    We went to brunch at Hakkasan and it was wonderful. We really enjoyed it. Every course was really tasty, especially the turnip cake, the duck and the congee. We certainly didn't need to order any extra courses, but we did order two orders of the soup dumplings - omg - they were so good that we nearly scalded ourselves on the 2nd order, because we didn't wait long enough to eat them. Again, the Spice menu was offered immediately and the service was wonderful. We may go back and do that one again before the end of the promotion.

                                                    The only disappointing spice experience we had was at Bourbon Steak - which really bummed me out because I love that place. Cocktails at the bar first were wonderful as usual. The Bees Knees is really a great drink and the bar staff is great. Once we got to the table and we asked the waiter about the spice menu, we could see his face drop and that was the beginning of his disappearing act. I guess he decided he had bigger fish to fry at other tables. It's really too bad, because with our bar tab at the table, we ended up spending $650 for the 5 of us, so he probably could have gotten a better tip if he hadn't been so rude and unhelpful. The food was ok - nothing really stood out. The crab/corn soup was very good, but the squash blossoms were completely hidden under a thick tempura batter. The snapper and chicken entrees were fine, but really unremarkable and the beef was only disappointing because of all the other great steaks we've had there. What can I say? Thank goodness for duck fat fries! We'll go back, but probably have burgers and fries at the bar.

                                                    We'd still like to get to Michy's. Has anyone been?

                                                    -----
                                                    Michy's
                                                    6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33138

                                                    Setai
                                                    101 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                                                    Bourbon Steak
                                                    19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

                                                    Hakkasan
                                                    Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

                                                    1. re: tlubow

                                                      I think Jonathan Wright is now out as chef at Setai and they may be going through some transition in the kitchen - though even a few months ago I was underwhelmed by my experience there.

                                                      Glad to hear the Hakkasan brunch was good, I really want to check that out.

                                                      I'm not questioning your account, but I'm just very surprised to hear about your Bourbon Steak experience. They're typically pretty good about being committed to the Spice program. I do find that folks often over-batter squash blossoms: they're such delicate things, they can get lost under a heavy crust. We did try some of what ended up on the Spice menu the week before they rolled it out, and I thought that corn soup was excellent and also really enjoyed the flatiron steak.

                                                      -----
                                                      Setai
                                                      101 20th St, Miami Beach, FL 33139

                                                      Bourbon Steak
                                                      19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

                                                      Hakkasan
                                                      Miami Beach, FL, Miami Beach, FL

                                                      1. re: Frodnesor

                                                        We have been to Bourbon Steak several times, including another Miami Spice experience, and this was an anomaly, but nevertheless, it made the experience unpleasant, and the food didn't help. The corn crab soup was undoubtedly the best item on the entire spice menu that night, including the desserts. Oh well, they can't all be wonderful, and as I said, I LOVE eating burgers at the bar there, so we'll definitely be back.

                                                        -----
                                                        Bourbon Steak
                                                        19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

                                                        1. re: tlubow

                                                          Enjoyed an excellent birthday spice menu at Bourbon Steak last week. The flatiron steak entree is the standout, but for a $10 premium it should be. But was it ever - whoo!

                                                          Corn soup app was great (tableside presentation poured over crab). Coconut rice pudding got the votes for best dessert.

                                                          Corkage of $25 makes this my go-to place to crack a good bottle for a special occasion (one that you would pay this restaurant hundreds for). I was surprised to see that on Mondays they now have half-price bottles (which, given their 400% markup would bring them in line with most other restaurants at just 200%). I kid you Bourbon Steak, because I love you!

                                                          On a Tuesday night it was pretty quiet from 6-7:30, so we had an attentive server and the spice menu without asking. Could also order happy hour priced cocktail since we had a booth in the bar area (by choice).

                                                          -----
                                                          Bourbon Steak
                                                          19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

                                                      2. re: tlubow

                                                        I have been to Bourbon Steak a few times during the Miami Spice event. This last time, the menu was not offered to us and I had to ask. I agree with Frod that usually they don't just have it, they proffer it as their special promotion and a great value. In truth, the service in Bourbon Steak for me is a top down experience, with the GM, assistant GM and sommelier (John, Francisco, and Matthew) being very active in promoting an excellent dining experience. While I do find issues with the service, their involvement usually leads to quick correction in the staff from one visit to the next.

                                                        -----
                                                        Bourbon Steak
                                                        19999 West Country Club Drive, Aventura, FL 33180

                                                  2. has anyone tried the spice menu at Timo yet? my family is coming saturday for lunch and it looks good!

                                                    -----
                                                    Timo
                                                    Collins Ave, FL, USA, Collins Ave, FL

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                                      I went for lunch in August (they change the menu at the half-way point), and it was great. Between my wife and I we ordered each of the options (there are 2 choices in each course). The standout was the wahoo (a fish I love but don't see a lot of).

                                                      The server was well informed, didn't hide the spice menu and was very attentive. Then again, we were one of 3 tables in the 2 hours we were there.

                                                      I'd also recommend the 3-course wine flight from the regular menu, which I think was $15 and generously poured (available in "whites" and "reds").

                                                    2. I had a delicious spice lunch at Asia De Cuba yesterday. They offer a nice sized bento box. The box comes with a fried calamari salad on top of a tropical radicchio salad containing fruit, hearts of palms, and cashews. It was different and delicious.
                                                      Then you have a choice of a soup. I chose a black bean with pork belly. I thought I was being indulgent but when it came I was pleasantly surprised at how light and tasty it was. It was not too thick but had ample chunks of tender pork belly. Very good! My girlfriend chose the gazpacho soup. Im not such a gazpacho lover but my friend truly enjoyed it.
                                                      You also have your choice of an appetizer type course (I believe there are 4 options). We both chose the “tunapica.” It was tuna picadillo with shreds of coconut on top of a crisp wonton. It was very tropical and light. Im not sure everyone would enjoy this combo but I found it very appealing and surprising.
                                                      The box also comes with your choice of an entrée style piece of meat. I ordered the salmon. It came with Asian mushrooms which are my fave. It included oyster mushrooms and enoki mushrooms which you don’t commonly find in a restaurant. It was delightful and perfectly cooked. My friend got skirt steak. It wasn’t as well done as she had ordered it, but she loved the taste and found it to be excellently flavored.
                                                      The box also comes with rice wrapped in a banana leaf.
                                                      As a desert, you get a five spice citrus flan. Im not a flan lover, but again, I found it to be a very different with unexpected tastes.
                                                      I really enjoyed that we were given a huge portion bento box. I was also very happy to get some exciting and unusual flavor combinations.
                                                      The only negative aspect was that we ordered iced tea, and discovered later that each cost $5. I think that’s a little outrageous for iced tea. Although, I suppose that it is indicative of the normal menu prices. I would recommend trying the restaurant during spice, as it seemed to be a good value compared to the normal restaurant prices and will surely provide for a unique meal.

                                                      1. had a good Spice lunch at Emeril's Miami Beach last weekend!

                                                        I started off with the ceviche with essence tortilla chips and avocado cream. it was a great start to the meal. My family had the Watermelon and goat cheese salad, along with the Kicked up Caesar (not on the spice menu... dad had to be difficult).

                                                        for the entree I had the fresh catch with a kimchi and quinoa salad topped with a pepper aioli. it was VERY good! sweet and spicy all wrapped up in one. Mom had the Torchio Pasta, with rock shrimp and vegetables, and Dad had blackened mahi.

                                                        the dessert was definitely the best part. Peanut butter chocolate mousse cake. who doesnt love chocolate and peanut butter together???? it was perfect. also, they brought a lemon meringue tart for my dad (on the house!) EVEN THOUGH HE DIDNT ORDER OFF THE SPICE MENU. i was very impressed with that. the meringue on it was delicious.

                                                        overall a very good meal. good service and good food!

                                                        1. Well well well...Spice is almost over and I must confess I have not been an all too active participant this year.

                                                          Here are my latest conquests:

                                                          BLT Dinner - finally tried this place last night. Excellent sums it up! We were torn between Red and BLT, upon perusing their menus BLT won out since my companion had Salmon the night B4 and that was the only fish offered by Red. Service at BLT was super spot on. The ambiance is nice too, love those retro rock photos. The food is the true star here though. LT has concocted a very nice spice menu (which WAS delivered with the main menus). They started us off with a Chicken Pate amuse along with some pickeled vegies that were both delightful. Then they brought us out some cheese topped Popovers which were a "huge" hit too. We then ordered the Ceviche and Steak Tartar for apps which were both very flavorful and well presented. Entrees consisted of a nice Sirloin topped with a Tomato Romesco Sauce and a Branzino both were stellar. The sides we chose were sensational, Jalapeno Mash and a Corn with Bacon. Desserts were Bread Pudding with a phenomenal Chocolate Sorbet and a Key Lime Pie with an insane Citrus Sorbet. It is no wonder this chef is considered to be one of the best in NYC. Well done LT, well done!

                                                          Morton's Lunch - got off to a very rocky start! This was not on my wish list, but since I had not done much Spice to speak of this season and their Brickell Store was convenient that day we went for it. No host at the door when we walked in. The guy quickly came over and appologized then sat us without menus. My M.O. is to sit, order then wash up. Nobody came by for what seemed like an eternity, finally I told my companion to let them know that I was NOT impressed and went to the RR aka WC. When I got back there were menus on the table, but NO Spice menus! I called our Host over and asked what the hell was going on? He told me he shouldn't have sat us just yet and should've put me on a waiting list? To which my eyes damn near rolled right out of my head! There were tables open and nobody waiting! B4 we knew it an amazingly large Shrimp Cocktail and another Crab Cocktail were sent over on the house with him saying and I quote, " I know we got off to a Rocky start but I hope this will make things right". From that point forward things improved drastically...that is everything but what's supposed to be the star of the show! Their Spice menu is not all that inspired, in fact after looking at their main menu, we probably would've been better off just going with their standard prix fix lunch for $25. Anyway, they offered two salads which were nothing special, a "Petit Rib Eye" which seemed like they just sliced the regular one in half which came with a side of some uninspired mashed potatoes followed by a mousse de chocolate. Had they not made things right by comping us $35 bux in apps I probably would've never returned to this steakhouse chain, but they did and then they poured on the charm as well. So kudos for that! I noticed they do a Happy Hour $5 small plate menu and wonder if any of you have tried them and how they are?

                                                          Just two days left...Happy Miami Spice 2010 (2 U 2)!!!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: netmover

                                                            Due to the very large spice menu at Tuna's Raw Bar and Grille they decided to continue it through the end of October.

                                                          2. STK - To finish up the Spice Season last night. Very chic place! "Rock and Roll and Steak what could be better" to quote their new Executive Chef Ralph Pagano formerly of World Pie on South Beach & the Hamptons., Hell's Kitchen Runner Up Season One and Iron Chef.

                                                            3 courses turned into six and I'm still stuffed the next day! We were started off with a nice Oysters Rockefeller, followed by Shrimp Rice Krispies Bisque, followed by Foie Gras, followed by two Little Big Macs of Wagyu, followed by the following entrees (Short Ribs & Red Snapper) and then a psychotic dessert plate of Cheesecake Lollipops. Just reliving it this morning is making me hungry and I'm still packed from last nights feast.

                                                            This place is cool...really cool! The food, service, ambiance and yes the music are all a very welcome change to the typical SOBE scene. The thing that really caught my eye on the menu was the Small, Medium and Large Beef options. Very Fem friendly portions in the Small category which work their way up to the heartiest appetite. Yes, I will return Lord willing!