Miami Spice Photo Diaries 2015

September 12th, 2015

IMG_4884Macchialina
820 Alton Road
Miami Beach, Fl 33139

 

 

 

 

HIT: Cavatelli Macchialina

MISS: Location. I kid. This is me, just a bit bitter because I live in Broward and can’t come as often as I would like. Everything rocked!

IMG_4889IMG_4890IMG_4891IMG_4892IMG_4893IMG_4895

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Always a Macchialina fan, Miami Spice or not. While I prefer restaurants to be innovative during Spice season, Macchialina can get away with not doing so. Every single dish listed on the Spice menu comes directly off their regular menu. The portions are different, but still perfect for a three-course menu. Had I not given the Cavatelli the HIT award, it would have easily gone to the Burrata Tomato Salad. I will now and forever compare every other one I order to this one. In fact, just this past weekend I had one at NYC’s Nomad Restaurant that wishes it was even half as good as Macchialina’s, but I digress. Go. Enjoy. Repeat. Hurry. Clock is ticking!

September 11th, 2015

IMG_4874

Pied a Terre
1702 James Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139

 

 

 

 

HIT: Mushroom risotto

MISS: Raspberry Cracked Profiteroles

IMG_4838IMG_4839IMG_4840IMG_4844IMG_4845IMG_4849IMG_4852IMG_4851

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to have seen Pied à Terre include the usual amuse-bouche to the Miami Spice lineup as many other restaurants have done this season. Why should it be excluded just because one orders off the spice menu? The Mushroom Risotto was delicate, yet firm and bold on flavor. Just give me a bowl of that risotto and color me happy! The Raspberry Profiteroles seemed to have an unexpected heavy dose of basil; I did not enjoy them as much as the Deconstructed Log. Still, Pied à Terre delivered a seamless experience from beginning to end. The other items on the menu (Scallop Carpaccio, Terrine of Foie Gras, Ahi Tuna Tournedos, Beef Filet, and the Red Pepper Duck) could have all been listed under the HIT category. Hidden inside the Cadet Hotel, this is another restaurant you must visit.

September 5th, 2015

IMG_4634IMG_4635Piripi
320 San Lorenzo Ave. #1315
Coral Gables, FL 33146

 

 

 

 

 

HIT: Cumin Spiced Lamb Shank

MISS: Service

IMG_4622IMG_4624IMG_4627IMG_4629IMG_4633

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granted, earth-toned dishes never photograph very well. I assure you the ones listed above (Baby Carrot Salad, Crispy Chicken, and Lamb Shank) were bursting with flavor: not a dull dish in sight. The lamb stood out from the rest and I actually chose to take it home instead of eating it there. Given its richness, I felt it needed to accompany a nice bowl of rice. The chef did offer to make me some, but I didn’t want to wait for it. Service was off during my visit. After an initial twenty minutes or so when no one had come by for our order, we started flagging down staff. Four tries later, our assigned waiter finally made his way to us. The staff seemed very nice, just not organized. You know, another day in Miami dining. I first visited Piripi last May. The restaurant has been through some changes since chef Kaanache’s departure earlier this summer. Judging by the full house of diners last weekend, they seem to be staying afloat. Once the restaurant is equally filled with an army of knowledgeable, professional, and dedicated staff, Piripi will solidify their spot on South Florida’s every-changing diningscape.

September 3rd, 2015

IMG_4549

The Cypress Room
3620 Northeast 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33137

 

 

 

 

 

HIT The Pork Chop 

MISS Desserts. Maybe.

IMG_4554IMG_4555IMG_4556IMG_4563IMG_4566IMG_4570IMG_4574IMG_4575

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s something special about The Cypress Room; Small and elegant, casual and grand, all at the same time. Service, as usual, was outstanding. Not one mistep. The generously portioned Pork Chop with beluga lentils, Thai curry, and spinach impressed me the most: cooked evenly to perfection and seasoned just enough to highlight its natural flavors. In fact, (including desserts) every single dish showcased a meticulous restraint of sorts. Not one thing tasted over or under seasoned and everything was plated with great care. If a Chocolate Caramel Tart or Semifreddo with Summer Fruit is your thing, then you are in luck. I appreciate the refined qualities in each. For me, the two dessert options were not any I would willingly choose off a regular dessert menu and that’s why they were a miss. Enter Cypress Room’s (complimentary-end-of-dinner) macarons. Oh how I love thee. Just bring me several of those and we can call it a day. The flavors are ever changing and I’ve never met one I did not like. This time? White chocolate. The Miami Spice menu will keep changing weekly until the end of September. Hurry in! This one is a keeper, Miami Spice or not! There is a reason every single table was full on a weekday night.

August 26th, 2015

IMG_4208IMG_4212The Gang Miami Restaurant & Lounge
3500 North Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33127

 

 

 

HIT Tie between the Green Tea Crab Rangoon and the Malaysian Lamb Chops

MISS The Thai Wok Chicken and  the “wall tile”

IMG_4219IMG_4217

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_4225IMG_4229IMG_4231IMG_4233

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loved the crab rangoons. I mmm-d my way through them. Sadly, there was not a single mmm to be had for the tough and inedible Thai Wok Chicken. Don’t get me wrong, the homemade egg noodles, vegetables, and lemongrass all worked nicely together (just not the chicken). Thankfully, the roasted Malaysian Lamb Chops took center stage and saved the day. Smaller than usual, but big on flavor. Overall, I would say SKIP The Gang Miami during Miami Spice. The same dishes can be had off the main menu for nearly the same cost as the Spice offer.

IMG_4216One more bone to pick. There’s no way the “dirt” is an aging treatment to go with the shoulder-shrug-not-trying-hard-but-still-cool-look-at-me decor. And if it is, it’s an awful one. Stop it. Wipe them. Once I noticed it over my husband’s shoulder, I couldn’t stop looking at it all night.

 

 

August 21st, 2015

IMG_3967db Bistro Moderne Miami
Inside the JW Marriott Marquis Miami
255 Biscayne Boulevard Way
Miami, FL 33131

 

 

 

HIT Tie between the Spiny Lobster Thermidor ($15 supplement) and the Cheesecake Sundae

MISS As expected, db Bistro Moderne is a class act. Nothing but HITS here! IMG_3934IMG_3944

IMG_3936IMG_3938IMG_3945IMG_3948IMG_3949IMG_3959IMG_3962IMG_3963IMG_3964IMG_3957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Miami Spice choices:

Roasted Fig Tart, House-Made Cavatelli, Pan Roasted Cod, Duck Confit, Flat Iron Steak, Spiny Lobster Thermidor, Chocolate Ganache Triangle, Cheesecake Sundae, and the Assorted Cheese Plate

Not surprised to experience yet another memorable dinner at db Bistro Miami. Started the night with a warm and enthusiastic welcome by the staff highlighting everything on the menu (INCLUDING the Miami Spice specials- hear that, Seaspice?), and ended with a lovely basket of Madeleines (à la carte $8.00) and complimentary macarons. Everything in between was truly delightful. Sharpie this one on your calendar now!

August 20th, 2015

Seaspice Restaurant
422 NW North River Drive
Miami, FL 33128

 

 

 

 

 

HIT Tie between the Salmon Rosette and the Orange Almond Butter Cake

MISS Don’t let Seaspice fool you, the Miami Spice lunch menu DOES exist! Why not have it readily available for diners? Upselling regular menu items repeatedly before and after presenting the Miami Spice menu is a turn-off.

IMG_3881IMG_3882IMG_3886IMG_3892IMG_3894

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Miami Spice choices:

Faroe Island Salmon Rosette, Yellowtail Snapper, Tres Leches, and an Orange Almond Butter Cake. 

I won’t be rushing back. I loved the salmon rosettes and butter cake, but the spotty service, small portions (appetizer and cake), and underwhelming yellowtail snapper just aren’t worth my long drive (from Broward). Next!

 

August 6th, 2015

IMG_3177

Bourbon Steak
Inside Turnberry Isle
19999 W Country Club Dr.
Aventura, FL 33180

 

 

 

 

HIT The Maine Lobster Risotto with the yellow sweet corn and serrano chile

MISS Nada. It’s all good! Really!

IMG_4684IMG_4685

IMG_3157IMG_3163IMG_3160IMG_3171IMG_3168IMG_3364

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Miami Spice choices:

Maine Lobster Risotto, BBQ Glazed Angus Rib Eye, Scottish Salmon “Pastrami,” Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Trio Sorbet Mini Pops (Guava, Coconut, and Mango), and Cracker Jack Sundae. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Bourbon Steak is one of my all time favorites. There’s a very simple reason Bourbon Steak’s Miami Spice menu reigns as one of the most talked about every year; they make it special. Most restaurants just add existing menu items to the Spice menu, make the portions smaller, and call it a day. Not here. Chef Gabe Fenton creates new menu items each year (and I then spend all year begging him to add my favorites to the regular menu, but I digress). You cannot miss this it! Did I mention the stunning interiors and impeccable service?

August 2nd, 2015

IMG_3047IMG_3046IMG_3030

 

 

 

 

 

 

Il Mulino New York Miami

17875 Sunny Isles Ave
Sunny Isles, FL 33160

HIT The Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops topped with balsamic and served with truffle glazed mashed potatoes

MISS The desserts

IMG_3021IMG_3022IMG_3023

 

 

 

Freshly carved parmesan, bruschetta, salami, zucchini, and several different types of bread magically appeared all within five minutes of our arrival. Oh, hi there Mr. Waiter. We are done. Check, please! OK, not really, but you get the picture. We hadn’t even checked out the menu yet!

IMG_3036IMG_3037

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3039IMG_3040

IMG_3042IMG_3043

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Miami Spice choices:

Mussels Posilipo, Caprese, Lamb Chops (additional $10), Ravioli ai Porcini, Tiramisu, and Homemade Italian Cheesecake.

While the desserts did not impress me, I did find the beautiful restaurant and its top-notch service intriguing enough to return for a (non-Miami Spice) second visit soon. I loved my lamb chops and the attention to detail throughout dinner. The staff went out of their way to make our party feel like long-time patrons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Miami Spice Photo Diaries 2015

  1. Megan M

    Love this!

    I thought Seaspice was a disappointment overall for Spice lunch. Service was terrible. I enjoyed the appetizers (we tried the vichyssoise and the salad) and the tres leches (it was bigger than the cake!). Our snapper was not good, and my avocado was rock hard.

    I’m eager to try again somewhere else for Spice!

Comments are closed