As college students, good food at a great price can be hard to come by. Thankfully, Miami Spice, a showcase of Miami’s top restaurants, is back and dishing out the best cuisine at student-friendly prices. From now through Sept. 30, more than 70 restaurants in the fine dining category will be offering fixed lunch and dinner menus at $19 and $33, respectively. Here is The Miami Hurricane’s guide to Miami Spice. For more information on participating restaurants, visit ilovemiamispice.com.
Red Koi Thai and Sushi Lounge
Located on Miracle Mile, the lounge is a trendy mix of Miami and Asian style. This is the perfect place to stop for lunch, especially when a quick visit to the food court or the vending machine down the hall isn’t going to cut it. Start off with the gyoza; these steamed or fried pork dumplings will make you forget about any work or class-related worries. Their chicken pad thai, which is drizzled with a tamarind sauce, makes a killer entree and exemplifies the restaurant’s Latin-Asian fusion. But just when you thought you couldn’t take another bite, it’s time for dessert. Make sure to save room for the Thai donuts. Their melt-in-your-mouth texture is sure to have you floating into satisfied bliss.
Red Koi Thai and Sushi Lounge is located at 317 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables. Call 305-446-2690 or visit redkoilounge.com.
If you think of Taco Bell eight out of the ten times you hear “Mexican food,” you’re really missing out. Make sure to stop by Rosa Mexicano right away. As an appetizer you can’t go wrong with either the falutas de pollo, which are crispy chicken tacos, or the house guacamole served with salsa and tortillas. Warning: Both will blow your mind and redefine any previous stereotypes you may have had concerning tacos or guacamole. If you’re feeling daring, try the Baja fish tacos or the chicken tortilla pie.
Wrap it all up with a slice of their delectable banana chocolate chip cake, which is filled with peanut butter mousse and topped with cinnamon ice cream.
Rosa Mexicano is located at Mary Brickell Village, 900 South Miami Ave., Miami. Call 786-425-1001 or visit rosamexicano.com.
If you’re looking for Argentinian basics with a European twist, Novecento is the place for you. Grabbing dinner here is a great way to start a night out. To start, try their empanadas – the ham and cheese ones are particularly delectable. Or try the Caprese Napoleon salad; it’s equally amazing and won’t leave you feeling guilty.
The beef tenderloin, served with herb mashed potatoes and shallot sauce takes the limelight on the menu if you’re a beef lover. If not, the linguini fruto di mar, which comes with shrimp, mussels, squid and clams, will satisfy any seafood cravings. End your feast with a flan de naranja or a chocolate mousse.
Novecento is located on 1414 Brickell Ave., Miami. Call 305-403-0900 or visit novecento.com. Note: Miami Spice’s dinner menu is not available Thursdays and Fridays.
After just a 10-minute drive off campus, you can try homemade pastas and salads at one of the best steakhouses in Miami. If you’re watching what you eat, the mixed green salad with sweet bread is a great place to start. If you want something with a bit more substance, kick off your meal with the neck clams with grilled chorizo.
As far as entrees are concerned, you can’t go wrong with the marinated baked chicken and roasted sweet potatoes. Or try the pappardelle with squash, muchrooms and spinach. Either way, you’ll end up licking your plate clean. And there’s no way you can leave Graziano’s without trying the flan. No, really … it’s amazing.
Graziano’s is located at 394 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables. Call 305-774-3599 or visit grazianosgroup.com.
Edge Steak and Bar
Located inside the swanky Four Seasons Hotel on Brickell Avenue, this place is a great dinner option, especially if you’re looking to impress a date.
To start things off with a unique twist, dive into their tomato and peach gazpacho. If adventure isn’t your thing, you can keep it more traditional with their entree choices, which range from Florida-caught snapper and a zucchini salad to mesquite smoked ribs and skillet potatoes.
Regardless of what you choose, you have to save room for their dessert options – think butterscotch custard bananas, hot chocolate mousse and peanut brownies.
Edge Steak and Bar is located in the Four Seasons Hotel Miami at 1435 Brickell Ave., Miami. Call 305-381-3190 or visit edgerestaurantmiami.com.