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Red Ginger bar
Red Ginger bar

For more on Caitlin’s Miami Beach wellness retreat and her stay at the Metropolitan by COMO Miami Beach, click here.

While visiting Miami Beach, I happened to be there just in time for , which allowed me to discover some tasty choices that showcase the diverse food options in the area. Miami Spice is a two-month period (August 1 – September 30) where the best area restaurants offer three-course meals for a great deal. It’s almost like a restaurant week but lasts much longer. Mark it down for next year!

Here are some of my favorite restaurants:

Bao buns and shima aji
Bao buns and shima aji

1. Red Ginger
Opened less than a year ago,  is now led by Chef Anderson. The Asian fusion restaurant uses a form of cooking called chifa, which is a blend of Chinese and Peruvian cooking. The restaurant has a great vibe whether you’re sitting at a table or at the bar. I had some amazing miso sea bass with coconut foam, bao buns with lomito and crispy burdock (the best item on the menu), fresh shima aji (striped jack) and hotate (live scallops).

Mizuna salad
Mizuna salad

I have to give a shout out to their mizuna salad, which used a nice ume shiso plum dressing. Ah, it’s the simple things.

Grilled octopus
Grilled octopus

2. Seagrape
 restaurant is located inside the newly remodeled Art Deco . I enjoyed the bright patio where I could have sat for hours chatting and people-watching. James Beard Foundation Award-winning Chef Michelle Bernstein gets her inspiration from the southern Florida coast as well as the Caribbean.

Seared Idaho trout
Seared Idaho trout

I had the Miami Spice three-course menu, which I started with the grilled octopus and zucchini puree as the appetizer. I also have to say the tuna and hamachi tartare was excellent since I couldn’t help but sample a friend’s dish. Then, I had the seared Idaho trout with cauliflower puree and potato salad and trout roe (arguably the best thing on the menu) and finally the key lime tart.

Oysters and crab
Oysters and crab

3. Lure Fishbar
The nautical-themed is located in the Loews Hotel. Our dinner there during Miami Spice started with an amuse bouche of conch salad (just as good as the Turks & Caicos conch I had the week before). Next, the raw bar. I had a selection of oysters and apparently the restaurant is known for its rotating oyster selection. The crab appetizer special came two ways: steamed and grilled. I preferred the grilled. The yellowtail snapper entree was light and fresh.

Surfcomber juice bar
Surfcomber juice bar

4. Surfcomber’s Social Club Juice Bar
At  boutique hotel, there’s now a morning juice bar. (Yes, this gets it’s own section because it was THAT good.)

During my hotel stay, I was relieved after my morning run to discover the juice bar in its Social Club (the restaurant turns into a cozy spot in the evenings for delicious comfort food).

The Social Club couches
The Social Club couches

I liked the “Betta Eat Yo Greens” juice (kale, apple, ginger, and carrots). I didn’t see the juice bar options in the room menu but then came to found out that they’d just launched it. The director of daylife (yep) also holds runs at 7 am if there’s interest (ask the front desk). Even though the location still turns out to be in the middle of the party scene, it’s close to all the action on Collins and the Lincoln Road area for more restaurants and shopping.

Thompson balcony view
Thompson balcony view

A place to stay: Thompson Miami Beach
Beauty and style made the  stand out to me. The hotel is situated mid-beach, with larger rooms than those further down on Collins Avenue. This bright, bohemian, chic hotel brings back the 1950s glamour of the beach town. I had a room with a balcony on the right side of one of the building, which faced the ocean. (I think I used the balcony most during my stay.) Even though it was a little further down from the action of Miami Beach, I liked it for that reason.

I’m glad I visited Miami Beach again because I’ll never think of it as only a party town anymore. And I plan to go back for more great food, beach and relaxation.

Photos credited to Caitlin Martin.

Caitlin Martin

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