Today, I am presenting Miami Spice, an annual event that we really enjoy here. It starts on August the 1st until September the 30th (next edition is starting soon!). The goal is to attract people to go to restaurants during a time of the year that is not very suitable for this activity (humidity+ rain).
So, how does it work? The idea is to offer a full menu (starter/main dish/dessert) at a fix rate (23 $ for the lunch/39 $ for the dinner + taxes and tips). It is a very attractive offer as restaurants are quite expensive here.
A hundred restaurants are participating, so the selection is large! I already had the opportunity to participate to this event in the past, but I was a particularly great participant this year as I went to 9 restaurants!
In this first part, I will give you my point of view about 6 restaurants, and in the next chapter, I will share my top3 for 2015.
Let’s start the reviews then:
∼ Villa Azur ∼
Villa Azur is a French restaurant located in South Beach. I had the opportunity to go there once for a drink, but this was the first time that I stayed for dinner. Its patio is a very charming place to be. When we came, it was a bit rainy, so they had installed their glass roof with cute curtains. Their Miami Spice menu changes on a regular basis which we did not know! We were going to get a menu that we first saw on line, and it was completely different(but very tasty too!): We had a nice appetizer, then meat for one of us, and some fish with vegetables for the other. Dessert was delicious! I loved the size of the dishes, but it was certainly a bit small for Americans and, generally, for people who like eating a lot. We enjoyed very much the general experience but we already know that we won’t get back there soon because regular prices are very high. Conclusion: This is an outstanding place to go for a special occasion.
Villa Azur, in the patio.
∼ Deck Sixteen ∼
Deck Sixteen is a restaurant located in Hyatt Centric South Beach, a very recent hotel of South Beach, closed to the beach. You can easily miss the entrance as it is not clearly indicated. Also, the lobby is empty, so you will need to take an elevator to go to the first floor where they actually have the lobby plus the restaurant. It was really weird, but why not! The place is modern and uncluttered. Its terrace is very cool to have a drink watching at their swimming pool and at all the nice buildings around. Regarding the food, we found the quality of the dishes very unequal and it was far too much ! First, we ordered some salad. I was supposed to have some anchovy in mine, and I clearly found one, but only one (the salad was OK), and the other one was too spicy for my friend who could not actually eat it… Then, we had a Cuban sandwich (good, but without any side dish) and some fish with vegetables (again good, but too salty). To finish, we ate a huge dessert: A lemon pie with some heavy cream… it was really too much! Conclusion: The food was unequal and we will not go back there. However, prices are fair for the classic menu, so it might be a good option for those who would like a quick break before going to the beach 😉
Deck Sixteen, view over the swimming pool and the buildings in Sobe.
∼ Sugarcane ∼
Sugarcane is a restaurant located in Midtown Miami. The restaurant looks good and has a very nice decoration. We started with a slice of bread of guacamole and shrimps with lemon (very tasty) and we had then 3 different pieces of raw fishes with some rice and mango (amazingly well prepared). To finish, we ate a great dessert: Some Nutella ice cream with a homemade brownie. Popcorn was added to the dessert which was really too much! Conclusion: Food was excellent, but not the service. It was too speed for us, very american style… Also, AC was on all the time and it was too cold inside, at the point that we did not enjoy very much our time there. Too bad!
Sugarcane, raw bar grill.
∼ 1 Hotel South Beach ∼
1Hotel South Beach was one of our best discovery: This is a classy hotel located in South Beach, in front of the ocean. Inside, the decoration is made of wood and modern stuff, very cute. I had the opportunity to go there twice in a year. The first time was to try their menu Miami Spice. We went to their rooftop where one of the restaurants of the hotel is located. The views over the ocean are outstanding! For our lunch, we started with a very fresh gazpacho with strawberries, and then I chose their farmer chicken accompanied with organic quinoa, beans and artichokes (it was really great). The dessert was original with two churros filled with green lemon jam. Conclusion: This restaurant offers very delicate and tasty food prepared with local and /or organic ingredients which is a good thing in the USA. We went back to this hotel a few weeks ago for a dinner in their second restaurant: food was again very tasty, so this is really a good tip for those who would like to eat in a great restaurant in Miami Beach, but, for your information, this is an expensive place too.
1HotelSouthBeach : Views from the rooftop.
∼ Sardinia ∼
Sardinia is an Italian restaurant located in South Beach, on Purdy Avenue, which was our favorite borough when we lived there (there are several good restaurants there). For this lunch, we were 4 and I was the only one who did not take a Miami Spice menu (I was not very hungry that day). The three others like their menus but we all were very fond of their profiteroles that were well cooked and so tasty! Conclusion: The food was good but not original with an exception for the dessert. I did not have my camera with me so that day so I took this picture directly from their website. Tip: After eating there, I would suggest that you have a walk along the bay which is 2 min walking distance from the restaurant 😉
Source : www. Sardinia-restaurante.com
∼ Wine depot ∼
Wine Depot is a French restaurant located in South Beach. A very cool thing to do there is spending some time in its cellar with their sommelier. The terrace is great but, unfortunately, some mosquitoes were invited too this evening, so we had to deal with them. We already knew the restaurant before coming, but it was the first time that we tried their menu Miami Spice. We were not convinced by their offer. So, we all chose something else in their regular menu. I had some pasta: ravioles de Royan that were great. Conclusion: The meals were well prepared but there were quite expensive, as well as their wine. Service was disappointing: too familiar for the suggested standing. I do not think that we will ever go back there as we have a great selection of restaurants in the area. Note: This restaurant closed a few time ago which confirms quite well my review…
Wine Depot, another evening
∼ Short summary ∼
- Where? In more than a hundred restaurants in Miami.
- When? From August, 1st to September, 30th.
- How much ? 23 $ for lunch /39 $ for dinner (+ taxes and tips).
Did you already know one of these restaurants (or more)? If so, what was your own experience there? If not, would you like to go to one of the restaurants mentioned here?
∼ To come : My top3 Miami Spice 2015 ∼