First look: Meat Market
Sure, it's one of the gazillion new steakhouses, but this one has gouda tater tots.
By Sara Liss
The goods: Yes, it's another steakhouse. But before you rush out to the nearest vegan juice bar, take heed. Sean Brasel is in charge. The same chef that brought you creative American fare at Touch for eight years has now shifted gears to a beef-heavy genre. So while steaks dominate the menu, this isn't your typical chophouse. Located in the former Pacific Time space, this new glitzy steakhouse glams it up with a black marble bar (that also doubles as a crudo bar), a soaring glass-enclosed wine wall and glowing Lucite panels that beam red and orange light over the cushy dining room. Toward the back of the restaurant are four secluded tables offering views of the open kitchen through frosted glass.
The grub: Modern steakhouse fare. The restaurant offers both signature steaks and Reserve cuts, the latter sourced from Harris Ranch in California, an organic farm in Napa Valley. Prices reflect the posh surroundings; most steaks are in the $20-$40 range with reserve cuts starting at $49 for a Harrish Ranch 16 oz. bone-in filet and climbing to $95 for a 6 oz. Japanese A5 Kobe tenderloin. Still, if you're looking for innovative dishes, look no further than the wood-grilled pheasant in a tamari and honey sauce, or the tropical braised fatty brisket dressed with coconut, mango and sweet potatoes.
For lighter dining, start off with one of nine offerings from the crudo bar, which includes yuzu truffle oysters, cedar-scented hamachi with mango caviar and mahi mahi ceviche with jalapeno juice and tequila. There are also plenty of seafood dishes on hand, such as the blackened mahi with black tomato salsa and seabass accompanied by soybean mash and wild mushrooms. With over twenty sides available you may be tempted to forgo the main course altogether and compose a feast of caramelized brussel sprouts with foie gras, gouda tater tots, summer squash cobbler and artichoke and barley risotto.
Desserts like the banana cream pie martini - a cocktail glass of caramelized banana, chococlate cookie and whipped cream - and the chocolate temptation - a trifecta of bitter chocolate cake, chocolate gelato and a French macaroon - are classy caps to the cosmopolitan meal.
The verdict: The Miami dining scene certainly isn't lacking in steakhouses, but with a talented toque like Sean Brasel in the kitchen, Meat Market is poised to stand out above the rest.
Meat Market, 915 Lincoln Rd, 305-532-0088. 6 p.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday - Thursday and 6 p.m. - midnight on Saturday and Sunday
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