Wednesday, September 13, 2017

#ThankYouMiami for Miami Spice (Part 2)

First and foremost, I hope that you all stayed dry and safe during Hurricane Irma earlier this week. It was a helluva storm but we were lucky that, save for most of our tree canopy and our power lines, we were spared of her worst. On my end, I was lucky to have found shelter with a friend in Brickell, whose apartment lost water for two hours and A/C toward the end. My apartment is perfectly okay and finally had its electricity restored as a birthday present to me today.

I am sure like me you are itching to get back to normalcy. If you still don't have A/C or, like me, have an empty fridge after having to throw everything away, going out to dinner is the best way to get back into your daily routine. Plus, the circumstances basically beg for it. Lucky for you, Celeste and I continued making our rounds of the Miami Spice participating restaurants and found four more menus for your consideration. (In case you missed it, here are our first four Miami Spice recommendations.) This is why you need to prioritize them before September ends:

1601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

If you're a seafood lover, as the name suggests, Lure Fishbar at the Loews Hotel is a restaurant you'll want to visit. Celeste did and found that Executive Sushi Chef Kiichi Okabe and Executive Chef Nicolas Cabrera's extensive resumes bring mounting years of culinary wisdom from around the world right to our hungry bellies. From seared miso buttered Bavette steak to a straight out of the ocean sushi platter, their surf and turf—okay, mostly surf—Miami Spice menu is packed with plenty of mouth-watering treats. Every course on the menu is such an explosive, climactic experience. Even the unassuming asparagus salad is served with a "perfect egg" (the proper name for an egg that took 6 hours to make), heirloom cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of Bonito flakes. Needless to say, she's already got plans to go back for seconds.

3025 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

I stopped by The Palms Hotel & Spa last month for a double hitter of Miami Spa Month and Miami Spice Month with my friend Lynn. (Lynn is the queen of luxury leisure so what do you expect?) We started with a dip in the pool, followed by brunch and massages. Because I decided to be extra and get the 90-minute massage special, I was looking for a light meal that wouldn't hit me like a rock mid-treatment. The Essensia menu didn't disappoint. I enjoyed avocado toast, fish tacos and a mango tart, all guilt-free. And, while they've since changed their menu, the new options look just as fresh, wholesome and light—perfect for lounging around the pool in your bikini satisfied and still feeling sexy.

1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

This is my third year enjoying Smith & Wollensky's Miami Spice menu. It was Amber's first so clearly it was my responsibility to show her the ropes. We started things off with a glass of wine—a red for me, white for her. (Did you know you can get a free glass of house wine if you stop by for Miami Spice on Monday or Tuesday? All you have to do is mention the secret promotion to your server.) For dinner, I went for the mini iceberg wedge and petit filet, which is my go-to Smith & Wollensky meal but smaller, less than half the price, and with a slice of cake. We also tried the angry shrimp appetizer at our server's recommendation and it was well-worth it. If you feel like an upgrade, it is well-worth the $16 upcharge.

1784 West Avenue, Miami Beach

My friends Shayne, Betsy and I went to Sushi Garage last month for a girls night out dinner. Betsy and I decided to walk because, after all, we're part of the "Sunset Harbour-Belle Isle-West Avenue" neighborhood and ended up getting soaked in one of those impromptu summer deluges. (If you watch the @thankyoumiami InstaStories you may have caught me huddling under a random awning singing about wanting to "eat my damn sushi".) Soaking wet and in desperation, we rushed first to the bar for drinks and shishito peppers. Once at our booth, I ordered the edamame, the roll combo, and the chocolate tart, which I washed down with the complimentary half carafe of sake that came with our order. I loved this menu for the free sake and because it came with so much food that I had leftover sushi for lunch the next day. It's like the menu that keeps on giving.


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