Miami Spice – now through Sept. 31 – includes more than 200 Miami area restaurants, offering every cuisine you can think of and then some.
So where to begin a Miami Spice journey? Latin, steak, seafood?
Good choices, but I’m starting with Chef Jose Icardi’s Mexican cuisine at Diez y Seis at The Shore Club South Beach. There’s no fresher Mexican flavors anywhere in Miami than at Diez y Seis. And there is no better time to sample Icardi’s dishes than during Miami Spice, with lunch beginning at $23 per person and $39 per person for dinner.
“We elevate everything that we do to the standards of Miami,’’ said Icardi, who was born in Argentina but fell in love with Mexican culture and cuisine more than 15 years ago.
No doubt you’ll fall in love the cuisine at Diez y Seis (Sept. 16), which is named to honor Mexican Independence Day. Unlike Spice menus at other restaurants, Icardi is offering the entire lunch and dinner menus during Spice – three courses each. The hard parts for guests will be deciding on what dishes to try.
I suggest beginning with the Smoked Elote Guacamole, which bursts with the flavors of fresh guacamole, sweet corn, serrano chile and micro cilantro; then move to the Tuna Tostadas with chipotle aioli, red onion and cilantro.
Want tacos? Icardi makes his own tortillas, so you can’t miss on the Cuban tacos that feature black bean tortillas, roasted mojo pork and shaved chicharron. On the seafood side, go with the Fish taco with a cilantro tortilla and pickled red cabbage. Even for those who don’t like fish tacos, this dish is worth the effort.
The menu also features items such as Chicken Tamales, Bronzino A La Talla (with smoked pineapple salsa), and an assortment of steaks. For dessert, the Red Velvet Churros are a “must have.’’
Diez y Seis also has an outstanding Sunday, buffet-style brunc, which features a taco cart, guacamole cart and a dessert bar. At $35 per person (adults), it’s one of the top brunch values on South Beach
But whatever you order and whenever you go, make sure to include one of Icardi’s five house made salsas, each with amazing fresh flavors. My favorites? The Chiles and Mestiza salsas.
“A lot of (Mexican) restaurants do the same thing,’’ Icardi said. “We want to create dishes that are more memorable and upscale. Every dish has a different appeal.’’
Feature Photo: Cuban Tacos