The pressure to work on your summer body is felt year-round in Miami, so we welcome a reason to indulge in something more than a salad every now and then. This month brings several opportunities to dine out and pig out. From food truck parties to budget prix-fixe dinners, here are three Miami food events to take advantage of in May.
Brickell Restaurant Week (May 12–19)
Ahead of Miami Spice this summer, Brickell is hosting its first-ever restaurant week, featuring prix-fixe dining specials at 24 of Brickell and downtown Miami’s most popular eateries. Lunch and dinner is priced at $20 and $35 per person, respectively, exclusive of tax and gratuity. The weeklong event kicks off May 12 with an outdoor food festival at Brickell World Plaza, from which a portion of the proceeds benefit the Irie Foundation. Tickets for the kickoff event are available through Eventbrite.
Must-try during Brickell Restaurant Week: Chef Cindy Hutson’s Cuisine of the Sun at Zest Miami (200 Biscayne Blvd, 305-374-9378), where the $35 prix-fixe menu includes a fresh fruit-and-nut salad starter, pan-roasted cobia and a tropical take on the classic napoleon dessert made with coconut mousse. It’s a bargain for a meal valued at nearly double the set-menu price.
Estrella Damm Chef’s Choice (May 14–29)
Barcelona beer company Estrella Damm and 46 Miami restaurants are teaming up for the second-annual Chef’s Choice dinner series. Miami is the only North American city to participate in the international event, which is structured as a tapas journey in other parts of the world. Locally, chefs are asked to create a three-course menu with rice as the main ingredient. The rest, including cooking methods and pricing, is left up to the participating restaurant, with dinners ranging from $30 to $70 inclusive of one Estrella Damm beer.
Must-try Estrella Damm Chef's Choice dinner: Chef Timon Balloo’s menu at SUGARCANE raw bar grill (3252 NE 1st Ave, 786-369-0353) is at once bold and comforting, featuring various incarnations of rice in all three dishes. The appetizer is a light, Indian puffed rice salad, followed by creamy bone marrow duck rice, which uses bone marrow butter rather than dairy as an emulsifier and, finally, a coconut rice pudding with macerated strawberries. Dinner is priced at $38 per person.
Trucks and Tunes on the Lawn (through June 9)
Every Thursday from 5–8pm, Brickell City Centre puts on a fun, food and music series called Trucks and Tunes on the Lawn (700 Brickell Ave at SW 8th St). The lineup of food trucks expected includes local favorites such as Ms. Cheezious and Wynwood Yard staple Myumi, serving up sushi hand rolls. While the roster of DJs slated to spin brings out regulars from the Miami nightlife circuit, starting with DZA of Soho Beach House. The event is free but RSVP is suggested.
Must-try food truck: Mr. Bing Miami is an ice-cream truck for adults who crave more than a Popsicle or cartoon frozen treat to cool them off. Owner Ryan Barouh serves up Taiwanese shaved ice in beautiful, paper-thin ribbons that are almost too pretty to eat.