Miami Spice Season – Exploring BLT Prime
Photos By Jason Hesch
In the foodie world, this is always my favorite time of year. No, not Christmas or Thanksgiving, if you were thinking that, and not the food festivals either, although that would be a close second. Give up? It’s Miami Spice season. If you are not familiar with this event it is a promotional campaign created by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Restaurants from all across the country compete with each other for your business by offering patrons delicious deals of the year—A three-course meal at a fraction of the normal cost at some of the most exclusive fine dining establishments. Dinners are $40 and Lunches are $30. Drinks and tip are not included. For each course, you can choose one of three selections offered, an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert.
Miami Spice is the first of its kind giving people who might not be able to afford it a chance to savor and taste a preview of a restaurant’s offerings. Miami Spice grew so popular that other cities started copying us with their own restaurant week showdown. But Miami Spice is the original. One week is just not enough for Miami. We Miamians crave a whole month to enjoy our many restaurants available. Soon one month turned into two months. So now between August and September patrons can enjoy the extended season in the sunny magic city. This also gives patrons a chance to go twice to their favorite restaurant and try a different Miami Spice menu. If you like a particular menu item for the month you are looking up the menu. I highly recommend going during that month because each month the menu changes. I’ve been caught dreaming about a particular dish only to find out I waited too long and that the dish was no longer part of the Miami Spice option.
Therefore I highly recommend going to the Miami Spice website before venturing out. On the site, you can preview all the restaurants participating including their specially designed lunch and dinner menu for the event.
Tonight I had the privilege of previewing BLT Prime, located in Doral at the National Golf Resort. I heard, by word of mouth, this place has one of the best Miami Spice menus in town. Without exception, Chef Dustin Ward did an amazing job, even adding his personal spin to the traditional recipe.
To wet our appetite we were served two bread options. The first was thin crostini with a pâté paste covered with thin layer of jam on top. Second, their signature popovers muffin-style bread with butter and sprinkled salt from a shaker. With this pre-meal, a small recipe comes with it for you to take home and try for yourself. This item and Petit fours brownie are served complimentary with every meal, including the Miami Spice option. Chef Dustin adds that these small touches in service are what distinguishes him from the competition.
As BLT is located within an all-inclusive country club style resort, the ambiance is slower than the hustle of downtown or South Beach, combining elegance and luxuriousness with casualness to break bread with family and close friends.
Heirloom tomato carpaccio: truffle balsamic glaze, crispy shallots, micro greens. The special spin to this dish is the gazpacho ice cream served to balance Miami heat chef say.
Hamachi Sashimi: avocado, breakfast radish, chili yuzu dressing, and a watercress salad.
Seafood Bouillabaisse: shrimp, clam, branzino, saffron potatoes. The chef uses absence spice instead of the traditional way of preparing it. He feels this bring out the flavor better.
Roasted half chicken: bourbon maple dust, rosemary, lemon preserves.
Grilled flat iron steak: barbecue corn, bacon, chimichurri.
Tres leches: strawberry & meringue. Actually, the chef says it’s four leches.
Tiramisu: coffee mousse, chocolate, sponge cake.
Chocolate pot de cremè: raspberries, mint chantilly cream
Petit fours – cocoa nib coffee brownie (signature extra with every meal ordered). Most of the desserts had an avocado mousse spread on the plate.