Sunday, July 1, 2012

I don't care if Monday's blue ...

Miami is not exactly at its most charming in the summmer: the constant 90°+ heat and sweltering humidity can wear just about anyone down. But for those of us who stick it out year round here, there are at least a few good things about summer. There's mango season, for one. And there are the dining specials, designed to bring the locals out from their air-conditioned caves until the tourists come back in the fall.

We're still a month away from Miami Spice season, but there are already enough restaurant specials to fill out nearly the full week of dining. Consider:

Monday - It's not quite every week, but Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill has been using Monday nights to host a "Dinner with Friends" series of guest chef events. Chef Timon Balloo has already teamed up with Jamie DeRosa (Tudor House), Paula DaSilva (1500°), Lee Schrager (SoBeWFF), David Bracha (River Oyster Bar), Dean Max (3030 Ocean), and Dena Marino (MC Kitchen). Coming up next: Cesar Zapata (The Federal) on Monday July 23, and Clay Conley (Buccan) on Monday August 27. Reservations open up on the 10th of each month, priced at $110 including beverage pairings. For more info, email Sugarcane.

Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill
3252 N.E. 1st Ave., Miami

Tuesday - Every Tuesday through the summer, it's "Bourbon, Beer and Q" night at The Dutch. Each week they will be featuring a different genre of BBQ, with a spread of several mains and sides for a fixed price of $30 (excl. tax, tip and beverages), plus $3 PBR tallboys and $22 pitchers of cocktails. This coming Tuesday, July 3, is Memphis-style, with dry-rubbed baby-back ribs, whole roasted and smoked BBQ turkey breast, and BBQ spaghetti with pork shoulder,[1] plus fried pickles, corn on the cob, and brown sugar sweet potatoes. Every week will bring a different style, with St. Louis, Carolinas, and Korean in the pipeline.

The Dutch
2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach

(continued ...)

Wednesday - Now going on its fourth year, the Endless Fried Chicken night at Michy's is back. On Wednesdays, $38 will buy you as much fried chicken as you can eat, plus sides, coleslaw, biscuits, and dessert. It's well on its way to becoming one of the great Miami summer traditions.

6927 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami

Thursday - They're actually available Sunday through Thursday, but since those other days are filled, use Thursday to check out the summer dinner specials at Sardinia. $36 (before tax and tip) will get you a 3-course meal: for instance, sweetbreads with pancetta, sage and brussels sprouts, followed by rigatoni with hot and sweet sausages and fresh peas and a tiramisu for dessert; or maybe baby octopus with celery, black olives and tomatoes, followed by guanciale-wrapped diver scallops and a panna cotta. Possibly an even better dollar-for-dollar value are the $70, seven-course "Terre" or "Mare" tasting menus they've put together, which feature several of their best dishes.

Sardinia Ristorante
1801 Purdy Avenue, Miami Beach

Friday - Midnights on Friday nights, Yardbird is doing a "Midnight Chef's Table Series," with a different guest chef each week helping put together a family style service for a small group of diners for $40pp (excl. tax and tip). In store over the next several weeks are Howie Kleinberg (Bulldog BBQ), John Suley (Celebrity Cruises), Michael Reidt (Area 31), Jason Smith (Steak 954) and Andrew Balick (DiLido Beach Club).

1600 Lenox Ave., Miami Beach

Saturday - I've got nothing.

Sunday - Sunday nights, The Federal is also firing up the smoker, doing "Federal Q" with a selection of different BBQ items all under $20 with a choice of "mops," $6 "fixins" and $15 for a "bucket o' brews" or a "pitcher o' punch."

The Federal
5132 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Play me off, Robert Smith.

[1] Having recently passed briefly through Memphis while traveling, I can vouch for this being a local specialty.

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