Jose Mendin and Brad Kilgore Mash-Up: Six-Course Sneak-Peek Dinner Before Miami Spice

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Photo by Hector Torres
Chef Jose Mendin
Miami Spice may not officially kick off till August 1, but six selected chefs are giving diners a preview of what's to come for the two-month-long restaurant promotion throughout June, July, and September in a collaborative series.

In anticipation of Aaron Brooks and Todd Erickson's battle at Iron Fork (the preview event to Miami Spice fused with chef competition) July 31, the Miami Spice mash-up dinners will preview dishes from the upcoming Spice menus. The first one takes Jose Mendin to J&G Grill, where he will share Brad Kilgore's kitchen and together the duo will cook a six-course meal. The other two dinners will happen in July and September, and Short Order got the scoop on which pair of chefs will cook next and what to expect from Mendin and Kilgore.

See also: Iron Fork & Miami Spice Kickoff Returns: Pre-Sale Starts Today

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Miami Spice Last Call: Five Restaurants Not to Miss

Categories: Miami Spice

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Laine Doss
Pizza with a view at Alba Seaside Italian for Miami Spice.
Hard to believe, but Miami Spice is nearly over. The two-month-long dining event ends Monday, September 30, taking with it well-priced three-course lunches and dinners.

The good news: You still have a few days to get your Spice fix. We've made it easy for you by offering five restaurants you simply cannot miss (and why).

See also: Miami Spice -- The Ten Best Weekend Deals

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Estiatorio Milos for Miami Spice: Just a Week Left, So Hurry Over

Categories: Miami Spice

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Photos by Carla Torres
King crab is in season, but only for four to six weeks. After that, gotta wait till next year. Milos doesn't freeze.
Time is an interesting concept. It seems as we get older, times goes by faster, or maybe it's the technological advances that are speeding up the way the world works. Though two months once seemed like a lifetime, August and September have gone by in a blip, and fall is here. You know what that means? You have one week left to experience Miami Spice, and if that means going to only one restaurant, we recommend Estiatorio Milos. As former New Times food critic Lee Klein mentioned in his review when the SoFi establishment opened, the eye-poppingly high checks are avoidable only during the two-month restaurant promotion.

See also: Estiatorio Milos: Exquisite Greek Seafood for Eye-Poppingly High Checks

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Gotham for Miami Spice: House-Made Short-Rib Tagliatelle and Girls, Girls, Girls

Categories: Miami Spice

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Photos by Carla Torres
At Gotham Steak, your amuse-bouche is a lobster salad.
Miami is a city of appearances. OK, fine, South Beach is a city of appearances. Go to Prime One Twelve any given night and there will be a wait, guaranteed. Never mind the steak house's extravagant prices for a piece of meat and extra dime for a side dish. People are dying to pay that kind of cash.

And Gotham, the Fontainebleau's chic and trendy American steak house, is packed during the slow season while mom-and-pop restaurants struggle to stay afloat. In the Magic City, the economic "recession" is nonexistent, or at least we drink, eat, and party as if it were. And why wouldn't we? Miami Spice hasn't ended yet, and though we love cozy, intimate places for the uniqueness factor and homey taste of the food, we go to places like Gotham just to say we did. And now you can, for $39, perhaps the cheapest bragging rights you might ever find.

See also: Taste of the Nation Thursday: Gotham Steak's Prime Beef Tartare (Recipe)

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Morton's the Steakhouse for Miami Spice: Great Service, Serviceble Food

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All photos by Laine Doss
It's all about the meat and potatoes.
With nearly 200 restaurants offering Miami Spice, "where do you want to go for dinner" takes on an entirely new level of stress.

It may seem surprising that we chose Morton's the Steakhouse out of all the participating local restaurants, but we were curious to see how they handle Spice. We were also in the mood for steak.

There's a reason why high-end chains like Morton's, Capital Grille, and Houston's have staying power. There's consistency at these places. That's important for weary business travelers who are simply too tired to "explore" new dining experiences and simply want a well-cooked dinner and a dry martini.

See also: Red The Steakhouse Offers Big Choices For Miami Spice

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The Forge's Miami Spice Dinner Menu: Best Bargain?

Categories: Miami Spice

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The Forge's cucumber martini.
It is not unheard of to spend $100 to $200 (or more) per person on dinner at the Forge, which makes the restaurant's Miami Spice menu that much more appealing.

The place has been around since 1969 -- much longer than the term foodie has been part of our vernacular. It is an iconic piece of Miami history, and as Lee Klein once said, "The Forge is as famous as any South Florida restaurant not named Joe's Stone Crab."

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Miami Spice at One Bistro LR: Ritzy Spanish Flavors on South Beach

Categories: Miami Spice

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Photos by Carla Torres
Jorge Ramos likes to start you off with an amuse-bouche -- an avocado globe stuffed with grouper ceviche in this case.
Summer might be over, but Miami Spice is not. You still have 20 days to venture out into three-course offerings for a set price of $39. Our advice is to take full advantage. You'll miss it when it's gone.

Can't decide where to go? Just check out our selection of the good, the best, and the misses. Been to all of those already, even the misses? That's what we're here for. We recently ventured out to the ritzy One Bistro LR at the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach. Though the words "Ritz-Carlton" and "South Beach" together might make locals cringe, it was a surprising escape from the madness of South Beach right on South Beach.

See also: Miami Spice: The Top Ten Boozy Deals

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Il Mulino for Miami Spice: Pure Elegance and Veal Rigatoni

Categories: Miami Spice

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all photos by Carla Torres
What's cooking for Miami Spice? Il Mulino
We are past the halfway point of Miami Spice. You know what that means? You only have a short time left to have a three-course feast. Not sure where to go? Take a drive to Sunny Isles beach for some scenery and an exquisite Miami Spice dinner that would otherwise never be possible at $39.

Il Mulino has history, New York kind of history. Located at the Aqualina towers, the place looks like a Rolls Royce dealership. The restaurant is as fancy as it gets. A Maitre'd welcomes you, while a captain (server) guides you through culinary wonderland.

See also: Miami Spice at J&G Grill: Just Grand

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Miami Spice at Scarpetta: Full of Pleasant Surprises

Categories: Miami Spice

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All photos by Carla Torres
Scott Conant still continues to surprise guests
In 2008 something happened at Miami's most iconic resort property. LIV opened its doors at the Fontainebleau, changing the club scene in Miami forever. Girls in stiletto heels and spaghetti straps began to flood the lobby multiple times a week, making the ancient hotel coveted for many reasons. Beyond the superficial though, and through the corridor at the other end, one could find a different form of spaghetti. One with substance, and a whole lotta fat -- the good kind.

Scott Conant opened two Scarpetta's - New York and Miami - in 2008. Both achieved equally outstanding reviews. Five years later, the restaurant in the subtropics remains strong, with many of the traditional staples and classic Italian dishes still predominant on the menu. And what's impressive to us is that most of these dishes are on to the restaurant's Miami Spice menu and on our list as well. Haven't been to Scarpetta before? You might not want to see the pictures that follow then, at least until you make a reservation.

See also: Italian Soul Food Simmers at Scarpetta

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Miami Spice at J&G Grill: Just Grand

Categories: Miami Spice

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Carina Ost
PB & J has gone gourmet.
Crossing over the threshold of blue marble and mirrored walls of the St. Regis leads you to the J&G Grill dining room so rich and decadent that you can't believe that you get to dine there for a mere $39 per person. Thanks Miami Spice. This is what it's all about.

Where other restaurants may way want to skimp out on the discounted menu, the St. Regis does not: foie sauce, the best octupus, decadent desserts, steak and more all make cameos on this special menu. The view of the pool, the cabanas and the ocean add to the richness of this extraordinary meal.

See also: Our entire Miami Spice coverage

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