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By: Shayne Benowitz

Greater Miami and Miami Beach's restaurant scene is abuzz these days, and there’s no better time to sample what’s new than during Miami Spice. Throughout August and September, enjoy special three-course prix fixe meals at popular restaurants across Greater Miami. Read on for our guide to some of the hottest new Miami Spice restaurants.

Below, we’ve given you a sampling of typical entrees at some of the new eateries. The prix-fixe menus for each location will be posted on the Miami Spice site as they become available.

Casa Mariano Squid Ink Seafood Risotto
Casa Mariano's Basque-style branzino

Casa Mariano

One of Doral’s most highly anticipated new restaurants, Casa Mariano is a Mediterranean concept by Buenos Aires-born chef Mariano Araya. After shuttering his longtime Argentinian restaurant during the pandemic, the beloved chef is back with this fresh new concept. With an emphasis on locally sourced, farm-fresh products, the wide-ranging menu features appetizers ranging from short rib empanadas and cacio e pepe flatbread to Greek mezze and corvina ceviche, as well as entrees including Basque-style branzino and pistachio-fennel crusted salmon.

Cerveceria La Tropical

The latest brewery to hit Wynwood is actually one of Cuba’s oldest. Set in a sprawling indoor/outdoor industrial setting with a tropical garden and neon blue chairs, Cerveceria La Tropical is the modern-day revival of a Cuban brewery established in 1888. At its current incarnation, cervezas include La Original, an amber lager, and Nativo Key, a suave IPA, among others. Also on the menu are tasty, Caribbean-inflected treats from beloved local chef Cindy Hutson, who was part of Miami’s trailblazing “mango gang” in the 1980s and ‘90s. She presents tapas-style plates that pair perfectly with suds, including tostones, curry jerk chicken wings and Cuban sandwich empanadas, as well as entrees such as whole fried fish and churrasco steak.

Chica Latin Fusion Restaurant
Chica, a splashy Latin fusion restaurant in Miami's MiMo district

Chica

From celebrity chef Lorena Garcia comes Chica, a splashy Latin fusion restaurant in the MiMo (Miami Modern) district. Live music, salsa dancers in headdresses and sequins, and fire dancers throughout the dining room and patio all make for a lively evening out. On the menu, enjoy the flavors of Peru, Brazil and Mexico in dishes such as corvina ceviche, chicken chicharrones and sea bass a la plancha with chimichurri.

La Giulietta

Set inside Miami Ironside – a hip, creative, mixed-use development filled with design showrooms, local boutiques and public art – La Giulietta is an offshoot of the longstanding Ironside Pizza. A destination for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this seasonal bakery and cafe specializes in pastries and wood-fired breads, as well as pastas and salads made from locally sourced ingredients and an onsite herb garden. For lunch, try dishes such as the smoked salmon sandwich with sour cream, fried capers and red onion. At dinnertime, the vegetable-forward menu highlights creative appetizers such as red beet carpaccio and delicate pastas like the ricotta cavatelli with arugula pesto and crispy parmesan.

PERL Grouper Carpaccio
Cured grouper carpaccio at PERL by Chef IP

Perl by Chef IP

After nearly a decade as a private chef in Miami, Chef Isaac Perlman (aka Chef IP) has opened his first restaurant, Perl by Chef IP in North Miami Beach. Out to redefine the “fine-casual” dining experience with cuisine inspired by both Mediterranean and Japanese traditions, Perl sports a sleek, modern dining room finished in grey terrazzo and concrete, as well as an outdoor patio and rooftop. Here, diners can choose from a robust crudo menu, including items such as Hawaiian kampachi, big-eye tuna tartare and cured grouper carpaccio, as well as entrees ranging from filet mignon au poivre to enoki mushroom lasagna with Parmigiano-Reggiano in an umami béchamel sauce.

Wayku

Drawing inspiration from South America, Wayku is one of Wynwood’s newest hotspots. Chef Matteo Gritti, a young rising talent from Milan who cut his teeth in Buenos Aires, describes Wayku’s concept as “modern and borderless, like today’s world.” The sleek dining room sets the scene for a fine dining experience where the menu is divided by natural elements (Inti for Sun, Pacha Mama for Earth). Creative preparations on the regular menu include octopus in a “coral reef” of eggplant, potatoes, kale and beets, and sea bass meticulously layered atop brown quinoa “tartare” and served with rainbow sauce.

Mayami Mexicantina & Bar
Mayami Mexicantina Bar in Wynwood offers indoor and outdoor dining

Mayami Mexicantina

For a Tulum-meets-Miami party vibe, head straight to the sprawling indoor/outdoor Mayami Mexicantina in Wynwood. A riff on “Maya” and the phonetic pronunciation of “Miami,” Mayami is a sometimes-raucous spot by the folks who brought us El Patio. Here, creative cocktails and dancing go hand-in-hand with tantalizing Mexican cuisine. On the cocktail side, go for the Black Warrior margarita or the Red Desert, made with mezcal, eucalyptus honey syrup, orange juice and red wine. Satisfy your Mexican food cravings with the wide-ranging taco menu, as well as ceviches, guacamole and corn esquites. Mayami is also popular at brunch, when pitchers of sangria flow.

Remember to check out all the wonderful restaurants participating in Miami Spice during August and September.

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