MIAMI SPICE 2016

PUBLIC FOODIE ANNOUNCEMENT:

After multiple requests for recommendations on where to eat, Gabzilla and I set out to present you the best of what Miami Spice has to offer.

On the days we couldn't make it out, we sent out our trustees in our place.

For those who don't know what Miami Spice Month is:

“Miami Spice is a mouth-watering restaurant promotion showcasing the best of Miami cuisine” (Greater Miami Convention). Every year, from August 1st to September 30th, we set off into our foodie-playground, where we have the opportunity to indulge from 200+ restaurants of Miami’s finest cuisine.

These restaurants offer a pre-selected three-course meal featuring signature dishes crafted by world-renowned chefs at the low price of $23 for lunch, and $39 for dinner.

Talk about foodie h-e-a-v-e-n. I know what you’re thinking, that it’s too good to be true. But it is true my friends – someone, somewhere was looking out for us when they created a two month long food happy hour.

With that being said...here's your go-to guide on what to eat, and where to eat it for each day of the week:

Monday: Pisco Y Nasca

Peruvian Cuisine - Experienced by Gaby Beyer

Who:

"Pisco y Nazca Ceviche Gastrobar adds a modern twist to traditional Peruvian cuisine. Inspired by Peru’s top ceviche eateries, this new Miami restaurant serves up bold-flavored dishes, unique cocktails and a vast selection of local and international beers."

Where:

8405 Mills Dr #206 Miami, FL 33183 (Kendall)

The restaurant possesses a modern/rustic ambiance, with a fish-scale like ceiling. A bravo is order for the interior design team because you can see the love and care behind each detail. The environment was filled with art and decorations that were chic and festive.

Now for what's important...

What:

Ceviche Cremoso - mahi mahi, shrimp, creamy leche de tigre, celery, habanero, and sweet potato.

Tallarin Saltado - stir friend tenderloin, soy, vinegar, onions, tomato, lo mein.

Budin de Pan - hazelnut ice cream, and a savory streusel.

Service: 10/10 & Recommendation: 10/10

Tuesday: Bulla Gastrobar

Spanish Cuisine - Experienced by Gaby Beyer during the Miami Magazines to Live & Dine Pop-Up Event.

Who:

"Bulla Gastrobar is a fun casual gathering place inspired by the most popular tapas restaurants in Spain.

Where:

2500 Ponce de Leon Boulevard Coral Gables, FL 33134

What:

Jamon Iberico & Machego Cheese with fruit jelly

Service:10/10 & Recommendation:10/10

Wednesday: La Palma

Italian Cuisine - Experienced by Andrea Rod

Who:

"Founded in 1996, located in the historic La Palma building, which originally opened as a hotel, has been uniquely restored to its present character, where guests can appreciate its architecture and enjoy an amazing dining experience with classic and original creations from the Italian cuisine."

Where:

116 Alhambra Circle Coral Gables, FL 33134

With both indoor and outdoor dining, La Palma exceeds all expectations. It's the perfect go-to romantic spot for date night. The tree covered courtyard is draped with lights and has a fountain in the center which accentuates the whimsical ambiance. The slow Latin music gives the restaurant a Miami twist during the Italian cuisine.

What:

Scallops Al Vino Blanco - jumbo scallops, salted with garlic and white wine

Prosciutto Di Parma Con Frutta Tropicale - Italian imported ham, mousse of parmesan cheese, with seasonal tropical fruit.

Risotto Con Gamberi & Asparagi - asparagus and shrimp risotto, accented with a touch of champagne.

SERVICE: 6/10 & Recommendation: 10/10

The only negative connotation on the experience as a whole was not being attended properly due to a packed house with

an event. The servers were preoccupied and it seemed as if they continuously forgot we were dining there.

Thursday: E11even Rooftop

"Italian Fare" - Experienced by Ivy A Bernardo

Who:

"Sleek bar with city views & fire pits, plus a cozy dining room offering Italian-fare"

Where:

15 NE 11th Street Miami, FL 33132

Located in the heart of Downtown Miami, E11even Rooftop was an utter disappointment. Having previously attended the luxurious nightclub just under the dining room, my expectations were at an all time high, all to come tumbling down by dinner time.

What:

(The photos will not be listed due to unappetizing presentations)

Caprese Salad - mozzarella, tomato, and basil.

Shrimp Ceviche - served with pecorino crusted bread crisps

Fillet Mignon Medallions - served with mushroom demi glaze reduction and truffle mashed potatoes.

Mandarin Spare Ribs - served with Peruvian shrimp fried rice.

Sweet Shotz - shot glass serving of chef-created cookie cream dessert.

Chocolate Mousse Cake -served with strawberries and whipped cream.

Let me begin by saying that I will always give recognition where it's due. However, in this case, I feel it's my job as a food blogger to unveil the truth. E11even Rooftop Restaurant served a sad excuse for a "Caprese Salad" with two slices of mozzarella, two slices of tomatoes, and a single basil leaf. The Fillet Mignon Medallions came off as mouth-watering, that is, until they reached the table; the entree was presented with thin and overcooked slices of steak and bland mashed potatoes. The Mandarin Spare Ribs were the most appetizing thing on the menu, as it was the only entree that possessed any actual flavor. The Cookies & Cream Sweet Shotz should be renamed to "Sweet Shot" as they only served one shot glass filled with a chopped up Oreo cookie and whipped cream. And the Chocolate Mousse cake was too sweet to get through.

Regardless of the unpleasant experience with the cuisine; the restaurant had a beautiful candle-lit environment and provided excellent service from the entire staff.

Service: 8/10 & Recommendation: 3/10

Friday: The Forge

American Cuisine - Experienced by Elsie Bertini

Who:

"Reimagined local landmark with upscale farm-to-table fare, extravagant decor, and a high-tech wine bar."

Where:

432 W 41st Street Miami Beach, FL 33140

Upon walking in the front doors, you are taken a back by the environment as it is nothing like anything you have seen before. The exclusivity offered is pronounced with extravagant decor, elegant seating, and just enough lighting to admire. Starting off with a "Summer" themed cocktail which was delightful in taste as well as being very refreshing.

What:

Kale Salad - dried currents, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, and lemon vinaigrette.

Petit Filet Mignon - roasted red bliss tomatoes, bell peppers, and chimichurri.

Blood Orange Meringue Tart - served with house made torched meringue frosting.

Service: 10/10 & Recommendation: 9/10

Saturday: Katsuya

Japanese Cuisine - Experienced by Gaby Beyer during the Miami Magazines to Live & Dine Pop-Up Event.

Who:

"Stylish choice for acclaimed sushi in a colorful, butterfly-covered backdrop at the SLS Hotel."

Where:

1701 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, FL 33139

It was the bite of the night! Everyone was talking about it.

What:

Salmon Tartare Cones - chopped up fresh salmon served in bite sized cones topped with wasabi aoli sauce and garnished with masago.

Service: 9/10 & Recommendation: 10/10

Sunday: Sawa

Mediterranean Cuisine - Experienced by Ivy A Bernardo

Who:

"Sawa Restaurant eatery dishing Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Japanese fare"

Where:

360 San Lorenzo Avenue #1500 Coral Gables, FL 33149

Sawa's outdoor experience is extremely delightful under the umbrella's shade and summer breeze. The ambiance can be calm or festive, depending on your company. The restaurant offers hookah's as a social partaking in smoking natural flavored tobacco from the hose of a large water pipe. I would recommend this restaurant for a casual lunch or an exciting night out.

What:

Chilled Mushroom Salad - portobello mushrooms, arugula, toasted almonds, and lemon oil dressing.

Pork Pao Buns - two sticky pao buns with pulled pork ribs, and sweet chili glaze.

Key Lime Pie - served with whipped cream and garnished with a thinly sliced lime.

Service: 8/10 & Recommendation: 8/10
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