Miami Spice: September event offers taste of Miami on a budget

Jessica Hodder//The Miami Hurricane

Miami is a great city for the culinary world. International cuisine reigns supreme, and there are amazing restaurants in every neighborhood. These restaurants, however, are usually out of reach for a college budget.

For the month of September, however, that is all going to change: Miami Spice restaurant month is here.

A city-wide event organized by the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, Miami Spice will host dining opportunities until Sept. 30. The event offers three-course fixed-price meals at some of Miami’s best restaurants. The Miami Spice menu is only $22 for lunch and $35 for dinner.

“I think its a great opportunity for restaurants,” said Diego Orlando, executive chef at the Chart House in Coconut Grove, one of the restaurants offering a Miami Spice prix fixe menu. “We are still here and [we]get a relationship with the guest again.”

The event has over 100 restaurants participating, so patrons are sure to find one that will please their culinary palette.

“Miami is so diverse and there is a lot going on every night,” sophomore Dhrushti Desai said. “It’ll be great to try new restaurants.”

Miami Spice restaurant month is not just a great opportunity for the restauranteurs; it is also a great way to try new places on a shoestring budget.

“Since I was a freshman at UM, I have wondered where the best local places to eat are,” junior Dan Schoch said. “Miami Spice gives you all that information in one place.”

The Miami Hurricane has compiled a list of a few of the restaurants participating that students might not have heard about, but should definitely consider.

Mr. Chow– Located in the W hotel on Miami Beach, this is the fourth location of Mr. Chow. This restaurant was most recently awarded the 5-Star Diamond Award by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences, so the food and service are excellent.

The Miami Spice menu is available Sunday through Thursday, and reservations are required. The three-course menu is served family style, with some of the selections being green prawns, steamed sea bass and Mr. Chow’s signature hand-pulled noodles.

Chart House– Located in the Coconut Grove Convention Center, the Chart House offers amazing views of the Dinner Key Marina and Biscayne Bay. This restaurant chain is located all over the United States and is known for its great seafood.

“Chart House really has everything I can ask for when going out for a nice meal,” senior Alex Fruin said. “The steaks are always cooked to perfection, the seafood is fresh. And the view, I don’t think you can find a better view than that. Not just in Miami, but anywhere.”

The Miami Spice menu is served for dinner Sunday through Thursday. The menu is filled with The Chart House’s biggest sellers, according to Orlando, and they will not disappoint. Try the Shrimp Fresca, Parmesan-crusted shrimp paired with angel hair pasta and lump crab meat, and then finish your meal with the Chart House’s famous mud pie. Reservations are required and can be made online.

La Palma Ristorante– If you are looking for a restaurant to host a perfect date night, then La Palma is the one for you. Housed in the historic La Palma building designed in 1924 by George Merrick, this Coral Gables restaurant has a tree-covered outdoor courtyard that would be perfect for that special anniversary dinner.

The Miami Spice menu is available for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner every night. The restaurant selected choices for everyone including NY strip steak, salmon and homemade pasta. Reservations are recommended and there is even local entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings.

“Make it a bargain,” said Laura Dutis, event coordinator for La Palma Ristorante. “That’s the deal for Miami Spice.”

Nancy Oben may be contacted at noben@themiamihurricane.com.

Info Box:

Mr. Chow: 2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-695-1695

Chart House: 51 Chart House Drive, Coconut Grove; 305-856-9741

La Palma Ristorante: 116 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables; 305-445-8777

Other restaurants participating: Anacapri on Ponce, Azul, B.E.D., Graziano’s, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Novecento, Red Fish Grill and The Rusty Pelican, among many others.

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September 11, 2010


Nancy Oben

Contributing Writer

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.