Most cities track the passing of time with calendars. In Miami, we keep track by the theme of the month, which in August and September means Miami Spice Month. In past years, we have researched the entire list of participating restaurants (a record 194 this year!!) and released a list of our top choices. This year we're shaking things up by pointing you instead to the top pick lists of our go-to Miami food resources and sharing which of their recommendations we're most excited to try. Make sure to search each one on the official Miami Spice Month page for the full details of their participation, including available days and menu options. Bon appetit!
1. Evan Benn, Miami Herald Food Editor
Evan broke down his "Best of Spice" picks into four categories: Newcomers, New chefs, High-end, and Off the beaten path. We've been dying to try all three Newcomers since they opened (and we probably will at a $23 prix-fixe price tag for lunch and $39 for dinner) but, after our recent experience at Chef Bernstein's Sra. Martinez pop-up at 1930s House, Cena by Michy is priority number one. Spanish food is our default comfort food so, where New chefs are concerned, you will find us eating our feelings about Chef Julie Frans' departure from Essensia at Piripi. As far as Evan's High-end and Off the beaten path suggestions, we're still undecided. We agree that we should use Miami Spice as our excuse to shoot for the stars and venture beyond our usual haunts, but we're looking at our other foodie friends to recommend options already on our Miami food bucket list.
2. Mitch Nover and Mel Garcia, Mitch and Mel Take Miami
They may not know this yet, but Mitch and Mel are our food soul mates. Everything they eat, we have eaten, are eating or may eat in the near future so it made perfect sense to peruse their blog for Miami Spice inspiration. We were not disappointed. We found a "Miami Spice 2015 Preview" that starts with a ton of Toro Toro food porn and delves into their individual restaurant picks. Reasons why we love Mitch? He offers two suggestions, Milos by Costas Spiliadis and Izzy's Fish and Oyster, in our neighborhood (and you know how much we hate leaving South of Fifth...) so we'll definitely be trying both. Mel also caters to us by making her four picks restaurants already on our aforementioned Miami food bucket list: Byblos, Chef Adrianne's, Cena by Michy, and Izzy's.
3. Dianne Rubin and Geoffrey Anderson, Miami Food Pug
Dianne and Geoffrey are onto something. After all, they gained over 10,000 followers in only their first year as Miami food bloggers. In their "Miami Spice 2015: Our Top Picks", they list over 25 options on the Beaches and the Mainland. They took the time to breakdown what is offered, what sounds delish, and a special tidbit for each. We were happy to see them include a couple of our Miami culinary favorites like Dolce Italian, STK Miami, Bocce, The Federal, Ortanique On The Mile, The River Seafood and Oyster Bar, and Sugarcane. We also spotted restaurants from our Miami food bucket list that have not been previously mentioned including Michael Mina 74, Red The Steakhouse, Fooq's, and Mignonette.
Which Miami Spice participating restaurant(s) do you have on your must-visit list for this year? Will you be visiting them for the first time? Will you be going for lunch or dinner? What are you most excited to try from their Miami Spice menu? Which of the restaurants above did you just add to your list? Are there any that we missed? Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami!