The Biscayne Times

May 19th
Some Spice and the Latest at Summer’s End PDF Print E-mail
Written by Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin, BT Contributors   
September 2017

Food news we know you can use

WPix_Dish_9-17e’re past the halfway mark with Miami Spice. How many restaurants have you crossed off your list? If you’ve been sitting on certain deals, keep in mind that you only have a few more weeks to take advantage of the discounts. Once October 1 comes around, it’s back to your standard à la carte offerings.

In the past weeks, we’ve had our fair share of good, bad, and just-all-right Miami Spice experiences. Our favorite thus far: Bourbon Steak (19999 W. Country Club Dr., 786-279-6600). The Michael Mina steakhouse is serving up delicious items like pepper glazed pork belly, Angus New York strip, and white chocolate crémeux to the masses. This menu is one that we can’t recommend enough.

For an excellent Miami Spice dinner with a view, La Mar (500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358) is tough to beat. A tasty menu of Peruvian and Japanese fusion awaits; it includes such selections as seafood stew, veal cheeks, and lucuma ice cream. Enjoying all these delights with the Brickell skyline as your backdrop makes for a memorable meal.

One of the benefits of Miami Spice is that we can eat at places that are typically beyond our price range. Case in point: Zuma (270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, 305-577-0277). The downtown Miami landmark doesn’t skimp on its Miami Spice offerings. The $23 three-course lunch, for example, lets you pick from two appetizers, four entrées (tip: order the wagyu), and either a piña colada mitsumame or chocolate caramel crémeux for dessert. Separately, you’re looking at spending a lot more than $23.

With Miami Spice being the talk of the town for another month, it’s easy to forget about coming attractions. While this summer has proved to be unusually busy in terms of restaurant openings, the remaining seasons are no slouches. All that money you’re saving with Miami Spice is going to be put to good use.

One of the biggest restaurant announcements comes from local superstar Michael Schwartz. Chef Schwartz has been in talks to open an Edgewater restaurant since 2014. But since that original announcement, there’s been barely any news. That’s all changed: He recently broke the silence and revealed that Amara at Paraiso (3101 NE 7th Ave.) is set to open before year’s end. Guests will be treated to Latin American flavors inside the humongous space, which features indoor seating for 150 and an additional 70 seats on the deck.

A few months back, we mentioned the imminent arrival of La Centrale (701 S. Miami Ave.). More details have since emerged. The Italian food hall inside Brickell City Centre now has a firm opening date: December. Once it is open, visitors will have the opportunity to roam the hall’s 14 different dining spaces, which total 40,000 square feet.

Some of the food hall’s new concepts include Pesce (a fish-focused Mediterranean restaurant), Enoteca (an Italian wine cellar), and Carne (an ode to wood-fired grilled meats). An all-day café, cocktail, and aperitivo bar, and a dedicated kitchen event space are also in the works. Like we said, start saving up.



In the meantime, there are plenty of notable restaurants to tide you over.

Earlier this year, Bay Harbor Islands welcomed Paon Eatery (1076 Kane Concourse, 786-348-0672) to the neighborhood. Here you’ll find influences from all over the globe, particularly Latin American and Europe. Although there are sandwiches and regular-size entrées, the bulk of the menu is made up of tapas like warm brie, steamed shrimp buns, and grilled octopus -- bring a group and dig in.

A hummus-only restaurant seems like a strange choice for Wynwood, but Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov makes it work. Dizengoff (250 NW 24th St., 305-573-9292), which is now open next to his Federal Donuts concept, is as simple as it gets. The hummus shop is all about the dip with just a little room on the menu for a couple of salads and the Sunday-only shakshuka. Judging by the crowds we’ve seen, Miami really likes hummus.



Restaurants can breathe a sigh of relief now that summer’s almost over; high season will soon be back.

Surprisingly, casualties on the mainland were slim last month. There was one surprise closure, though: Gigi Miami. The Midtown Miami establishment shuttered unexpectedly after workers walked out over back-pay disputes. We’ll sure miss those pork buns.


Geoffrey Anderson Jr. and Dianne Rubin are co-founders of Miami Food Pug, an award-winning South Florida food blog that fuses the couple’s love of dogs and food.


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