Miami Spice Kicks Off Next Week

The sixth annual Miami Spice restaurant promotion deal kicks in on August 1st and continues through September. This season brings more than eighty participants, each of which will be offering special three-course prixe fixe lunch menus for $22, dinners for $35. Be discriminating with your selections -- my guess is that $35 will represent more of a bargain at David Bouley Evolution than at the moderately priced Oriente at Cardozo. Two other tips: Call in advance to see what kind of menu is being offered. Some high-end establishments put out a choice of salmon, chicken breast, or pasta as the entrees, or other dishes that don’t utilize the lofty ingredients of the regular bill of fare. Others are surprisingly generous. And expect to pay more than the advertised set price -- beverages, wine, coffee, tax, and tip are not included.

That said, there are plenty of bargains to be found. These would be some of my picks, not based on their Spice menu (call!), but on their reputation as fine restaurants that for many might normally be a bit pricey to try:

Acqua at the Four Seasons; either Chispa; Azul at the Mandarin; Chef Allen’s; David Bouley Evolution; Doraku Sushi; Emeril’s; Escopazzo; Karu & Y; La Cofradia; La Marea at The Tides; Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink; North One 10; OLA at The Sanctuary; Ortanique on the Mile; Palme d’Or; Pascal’s on Ponce; Prime Blue Grill; Social Miami; SushiSamba Dromo; Table 8; Talula Restaurant; The Grill at the Setai; The Lido at The Standard; The Oceanaire Seafood Room; Timó Restaurant; Tuscan Steak; and Wish.

For a start, anyway. --Lee Klein

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