Our top picks to try this Miami Spice

174 Miami Spice restaurants, 61 calendar days. What’s a foodie to do?

You could partake in one dinner and one lunch at a different eatery each day, but that would still leave 52 places untouched and is bound to cause some hard feelings.

We polled our crew here at Schwartz Media Strategies – asking for everyone’s Miami Spice top pick. There were some duplicate selections – Toro Toro, Khong River House and Pubbelly ranked high on numerous lists – but we have curated the list to make sure each choice is one of a kind.

Here it goes…

img_4268 (1)Aaron Gordon: I’m going to go against the CW here by picking a lunch spot. For my money, I’m making my way over to the Design District and sidling up to the bar at The Cypress Room. You can have your choice of appetizer and dessert, but those amount to afterthoughts. There’s really only one reason to make the trek: The Cypress Burger. It’s everything a burger should be: equal parts tender, juicy and fatty; presented on a perfect bun with perfect thrice-cooked fries. That’s right, Soundbyters: not once, not twice, but thrice-cooked fries (because everyone knows that a single plunge into the deep-fryer is a major let-down). The damage for all of this Cypressy goodness: $23. See you there.

Allie Schwartz-Grant: Hands down, one of the best restaurants in Miami is Macchialina Taverna Rustica in South Beach. I literally have dreams about the creamy polenta with sausage ragu and cipollini… it’s to die for. Chef/owner Michael Pirolo (formerly of Scarpetta), along with his longtime partner, Jen Chaefsky, completely redefine the concept of Italian comfort food with a seasonally-inspired menu boasting authentic dishes with a creative flair. The hip, cozy, tavern-esque Italian spot in South Beach has an NYC feel with antique brick walls, dark leather banquettes and an eclectic musical playlist that creates the amazing vibe at this neighborhood spot. Everything on the menu is beyond delicious and the service is fantastic… a MUST-TRY this Miami Spice.

Daniela Vieira: Being new to the city, and being a major foodie, I can’t wait to take advantage of Miami Spice to try out some new spots. I’m looking forward to the Italian Terrazza at Shore Club, with its locally grown ingredients. The food looks fantastic, as does the indoor/outdoor ambiance. Can’t wait to give it a try… I’ll let you know the verdict!

Jami Baker: Forget heat and humidity, Miami’s summer always has one great thing to offer: Miami Spice. When given the chance to try so many restaurants at discounted prices, it’s almost impossible to choose just one. This summer I know my number one Miami Spice menu will be Il Mulino NY – Southbeach, the hipper younger sister of my all-time favorite restaurant Il Gabbiano. Their menu options are mouth-watering, offering classics like fresh caprese or mussels posillipo to start, followed by their famous truffle mushroom ravioli al porcini – a pasta I literally dream about! I usually reserve dining like this for a special occasion and this month that occasion is Miami Spice.

Jennifer Scorpo: My pick for Miami Spice is Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse on Miami Beach. I love the endless salad bar and fresh vegetables, cheeses and meats. In the traditional Brazilian style, meats are brought to your table and you chose what you want—picanha is my favorite! Make sure your hungry when you go, and don’t forget to order the key lime pie!

Jessica Forres: I recently relocated from Washington, D.C., and I’m definitely enjoying all of the amazing , if very dangerous, pastelitos – probably a little too much.  Since I’m still exploring the city, I don’t have a favorite restaurant yet, but I’m excited to try all the new places this Miami Spice. Here are the top four picks: City Hall, The Restaurant at The Setai, Jaguar, and Bocce Bar. Know a dish I must try? Let me know in the comments!

toro-toro-restaurantJulia Bennett: For a unique twist on Miami Spice, try Toro Toro in downtown Miami (yes, I broke the rules, but I had to keep it!). This delicious pan Latin steakhouse joint has one of the most extensive Miami Spice menus around, with exclusive menu items created just for the Miami Spice menu such as the succulent chipotle miso Chilean sea bass served with bok choy,  and the tender prime rib eye served with asparagus & broccolini.

To finish out the meal, it’s an absolute MUST that you splurge and order the La Bomba, Toro Toro’s signature dessert. First, a plastic sheet is placed over the table and then a ‘chocolate bomb’ filled with dulce de leche & strawberry ice cream, cream cheese mousse, almond cookie crumbs and caramel-vanilla-berry-sauce is dropped onto the table and ‘explodes’ for all to enjoy! While it is a $20 upgrade, this is a decadent dessert experience not to be missed.

Kelly Penton: My Miami Spice pick is definitely PM Fish & Steakhouse. When you walk into this place, the smoky aroma of all kinds of grilled meats and vegetables consumes your senses! Known as a hot spot for the business community, I’ve been there numerous times for events and meetings with everyone from Cervera Real Estate, to Sakor Development, to the Rilea Group and the Melo Group. The wine selection is excellent, the provoleta (traditional Argentinean grilled provolone cheese) is to die for, and they have a great selection of meat and fish. If you haven’t been there, Miami Spice is a great opportunity to check it out!

Laura Juncadella: When the temperatures park at about 90 degrees, I know the only thing I want to eat is as light and refreshing as possible. And as a love of all things seafood, I’m going to have to pick Lure Fishbar as my Miami Spice top choice.

This New York import has made a home in South Beach, and brought with it a raw bar and full dinner menu that makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Start off with some oysters or sushi that’s so fresh you can taste the salt water, and move on to the Nori Crusted Tuna – or anything, really. Guaranteed you’ll love it. Surrounded by the classic décor of this restaurant, you’re guaranteed to have a night and a meal to remember.

453391471-700x479Samantha Ryan: One of my favorite Miami Spice restaurants has to be Cecconi’s at Soho Beach House. They always prepare an unforgettable menu with a modern take on Italian food, with each dish cooked to perfection and bursting with flavor that will make your stomach very happy. The ambiance, the indoor setup and the beautiful rustic outdoor garden setting lined with trees and twinkle lights, the wine list, the quality of the food, the service…every detail is amazing.

Yudi Fernandez: Coral Gables is always a classic pick for fine dining. I recommend taking advantage of Miami Spice’s specials at Anacapri on Ponce. The restaurant, specializing in Italian cuisine, not only serves up a delicious menu, but patrons enjoy a very personalized, attentive service that adds to the superior dining experience. Be sure to savor one of their pasta selections when you go. Buon appetite!

Do you have your own Miami Spice picks? Let us know in the comments — we’ll be sure to check them out!