First look: Bourbon Steak
Chef Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak offers up comfort food with a twist -- and really big steaks.
By Sara Liss
The goods: Miami is entering a beef-struck era, and with the opening of Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak at the Fairmont Turnberry Resort in Aventura, our city has become a certified carnivore's paradise. The James Beard-approved chef has a slew of successful meat emporiums in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Detroit. Bourbon Steak marks Mina's first foray to the Miami market and the first time the Farimont opens its posh environs to the public. Designer Tony Chi goes for maximum drama with a glass-box entryway with soaring 12-foot ceilings, glimmering mirrored walls, columns of glass-enclosed wine cases and a swank private dining room. Executive chef Andrew Rothschild (formerly of Tsunami in Palm Beach) executes Mina's trademark recipes at the humming 250-seat space.
The grub: A luxurious take on American comfort foods with plenty of steakhouse tradition. The menu takes its cue from Mina's Stripsteak in Vegas by offering Masami Farms American Kobe, Japanese "A5" Kobe and farm-raised angus steaks. There's also a brontosaurus-size 30-ounce porterhouse (definitely for sharing). Expect the bill to be an eyeful as well: the Japanese Kobe will set you back $190 for a 6-ounce filet, but there are still affordable options on the menu like a $25 Kobe burger and $34 yellowtail snapper.
Mina is known for plating dishes as trios and this is apparent from the start when diners are presented with three types of duck fat fries and three dipping sauces: truffle aioli, onion ketchup and barbecue sauce. A copper pan of rosemary-potato focaccia bread is also offered before the meal. Trios show up again in an appetizer of tartar "poppers" composed of escolar, toro and big eye tuna and a collection of foie gras sliders. Traditionalists can get a Caesar salad or opt for the burrata mozzarella accompanied by heirloom tomatoes and beets. Sides like truffled mac and cheese and Jalapeño creamed corn offer lavish upgrades of hearty fare.
With over 7,000 bottles on hand Bourbon Steak's wine list is epic. Look for the "Secrets of the Sommelier" page where sommelier Matthew Turner has culled a list of progressive growers with worthy bottles, some of which are under $50.
High-concept desserts are best exemplified by the beignets served with vanilla bean crème brulée,
Macallan 18-year butterscotch pudding and a Valrhona dark chocolate pot de crème.
The verdict: With its sophisticated décor and artisanal menu Bourbon Steak may earn the affection of discerning meat-lovers and sybaritic socialites alike. North Dade residents will appreciate not having to brave South Beach for a stylish setting and ambitious food -- of which Bourbon Steak has both.
Bourbon Steak, 19999 West Country Club Dr., Aventura; 786.279.6600. www.michaelmina.net/bourbonsteak_miami
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