By Joanna Citarella
If you’re planning on taking a Miami Vacation this summer, and if you are a food lover like me, you won’t want to miss the 9th annual Miami Spice restaurant celebration, August 1 – September 30. An epicurean’s dream come true, Miami Spice features over 100 restaurants– many of them Miami’s hottest venue’s — offering up signature dishes prepared by word class chefs. And the best part: all of it comes at a great price, with three-course lunches at $22 and dinners at $35.
The possibilities are endless as nearly every kind of cuisine is available, but here are a few suggestions:
The Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a must see. This oceanfront resort recently underwent a billion dollar transformation and has since become a favorite with celebrities. This year four of the resorts restaurants are participating in MiamiSpice. Scarpetta, offers an incredible Italian fine dining experience using locally sourced, organic produce. My favorite thing (aside from the food) is the stylish ultra-sleek design and the wrap around veranda overlooking the pool and the Atlantic Ocean.
Next on my list to try is Hakkasan at Fontainebleau, offering its Miami Spice menu for dinner Sunday – Thursday, and lunch on Saturday and Sunday. With an impressive selection of new world wines and sake, Hakkasan promises Chinese fare that is anything but conventional. Gotham Steak and Vida at Fontainebleau are also participating in Miami Spice this summer.
Asia de Cuba at Mondrian is being touted as one of the most exciting South Beach restaurants to open in recent years and after dining there during Miami Spice last year, I have to agree. The all white décor of the restaurant sets a stunning backdrop for the vibrant Asian and Latin food creations which literally jump off the plate. Plan to go with friends as the dishes here are perfect for sharing so that you can experience all the creativity offered up on the menu. The Miami Spice promotion is available for dinner at Asia de Cuba Sunday – Thursday and lunch Monday – Friday.
The Palms Hotel & Spa enjoys a prime location on Collins Avenue in the heart of Miami Beach. Essensia Restaurant & Lounge offers their Miami Spice menu every evening for dinner and Monday – Saturday for lunch. The menu includes dishes crafted from locally sourced and organic produce. I particularly like the wine list that is 100% sustainable, organic or biodynamic. The Palms hotel and Spa is also offering 25% off each night for hotel stays now through September 30th.
Several “off the beach” neighborhoods also offer up some great dining options during Miami Spice. The Design District, Downtown/Brickell, Coral Gables and Coconut Grove feature favorites such as Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Capital Grille and Morton’s as well as some great independent restaurants. Consider incorporating a dine-around component into your Miami Vacation and see and taste all that the city has to offer!
Reservations are may be required at some locations and some restrictions may apply. A full list of participating locations along with terms and conditions can be found on the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau website under Miami Spice.
Insider tip: Book your trip now and take advantage of the Orbitz 48-hour Miami sale! You’ll get a third night free or up to 30% off on select Miami vacations, including stays at the Angler’s Boutique Resort, the Grove Isle Hotel & Spa and the President Hotel.
Joanna Citarella is a market manager for Orbitz Worldwide. She grew up in England and moved to Naples, Florida 9 years ago, favoring perpetual sunshine over unpredictable British weather.