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It is the dead of summer. The Sunshine State is outdoing itself (again). The heat is blazing and the tourists are scarce. This is a great time to go explore what I feel is an under-appreciated part of our city. The Miami River District.
This area does have a storied past. The 1980’s and early 90’s saw some interesting cargo. Tony Montana was there, or others of his type at least. But today you will find a network of calm waterfront eateries, where you can watch the boats pass as you luxuriate over a charcuterie board or whatever.
I really like the riverfront area of Miami because tourists haven’t caught on yet. There are some celebrity hotspots, yes. But this is largely a space for locals who want to be calm and by the water, completely unbothered.
This week we will go into the Miami Spice offerings of such restaurants… so here we go!
By clicking on the name of any of these restaurants, you will be directed to their Miami Spice page, which details their prix-fixe menu with options, prices, days available as well as their website and a link to their OpenTable account in order to make reservations.
Starting off, Seaspice (pictured above) is the most attention-grabbing restaurant for our list today. If you want to see a celebrity, Seaspice is a really good place to start. They arrive by yacht, and you can too. It is like you are in Ibiza except you didn’t have to update your passport. The Kardashians have been there, all of the Real Housewives, sports stars, you name it.
For Miami Spice, Seaspice has both lunch and dinner options. For me, the Watermelon Gazpacho is very refreshing and pairs well with the steak for the main course. If you are entertaining out-of-towners or just want a selfie-worthy night out, Seaspice will be your answer.
If you are a fan of history and perfectly-plated food, you will love Crust. The owners have repurposed a 1950’s-era Art Deco building and made it a welcoming spot for locals who love elegant plates with deep flavors.
For their Miami Spice menu, my favorite is the beet & goat cheese salad. The flavors go so well together, I may fight someone over it (light joke but the salad is something to write home about). For a main course, there are so many options. I’m looking at the lobster ravioli with peas and cream sauce. It seems decadent and fulfilling, especially with the atmosphere of the restaurant.
This is where you will go on your own or if you have company coming and you want to show them high-quality food and an “I’m in the know” vibe. Because you are in the know.
You don’t earn your Miami card until you have gone to Casablanca. This is a Miami staple.
Casablanca Miami is both a fish market and a restaurant. It’s a little bit fancy and a little bit casual, but it is necessary. If you are cooking fresh seafood dishes at home, Casablanca is the recommended getting spot over Publix and we love Publix. Today, let’s talk more about the restaurant.
The Miami Spice menu is offered from Monday – Friday with both lunch and dinner options. They do have meat dishes on the menu, but I go all-out seafood since fresh seafood is kind of their thing. The seafood ceviche is an amazing chilled starter, followed by a Corvina “Al Pescador”, which is a corvina fillet topped with shrimp, calamari, black mussels and octopus with aji amarillo sauce and this is something to write home about.
We spoke about Casablanca being a Miami staple for seafood, but The Capital Grille is also a staple. If you are a banker in Brickell, the international finance hub of the United States, and you have never been to the Capital Grille then you are not a banker at all. That’s just it.
You should also make it a point to visit this restaurant soon as it is in the throes of new development. The institution will continue, but we don’t know about the physical building. Related Group is currently building Baccarat Residences next door and some Tequesta artifacts were discovered during the construction process. The artifacts trouble could affect the building where The Capital Grille serves, but the institution remains.
When I eat at the Capital Grille, I tend for the wedge salad and a steak. If you are interested in a familiar, high-quality meal that never disappoints, The Capital Grille is where you go. The mystery of the artifacts is pretty cool too in my personal opinion.
American Social is just that. American and Social. This is where you go to see a person you met on Hinge or gather with your neighbors who all support the same soccer team. It is the neighborhood Brickell hangout. You can arrive by boat, or you can walk over.
Their Miami Spice menu is also varied so there is something for everyone. They do a brunch on the weekends and a special menu for dinner 7 days per week. My favorite for the starters fluctuates between the hummus or loaded guac, but I imagine the steamed clams with chorizo are also interesting.
For the main course, there are solid go-to’s that include fresh seabass or a steak, but also a more adventuresome cauliflower steak. This is intriguing to me but I haven’t mustered the aim to order it yet.
This is a solid choice if you want to walk over with friends and just hang out.
Miami Spice is one of the most anticipated Miami promotions of the year each year. It is something the locals look forward to and the restaurants depend upon in order to keep their staff happy and busy and the Miami economy turning during low season. We hope that you will make it out to try at least one of these options this year, we will certainly be there ad look forward to expanding our culinary horizons.
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