By Sara Liss
The goods: The city of Doral is not exactly what springs to mind when one thinks of culinary destinations. Yet lately the golfing suburb has been on the radar of local foodies for its sleek new restaurant 5300 Chop House. Located at The Blue, a sprawling golf resort overlooking a PGA championship course, the modern steakhouse is helmed by young chef Josh Wahler, whose experience includes working at Spice market in New York City and Nobu in South Beach and Los Angeles. The aspiring toque is also known for his stint on Season Three of Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay’s reality show.
Ambiance: The dining room is cleanly designed with dark woods, pendant lighting and contemporary artwork. There’s also outdoor seating by the pool but until the weather cools down the indoor dining room proves more comfortable. The restaurant has recently begun hosting wine dinners, partnering with wineries like Buena Vista Carneros Vineyard and Sunbox Eleven Winery to pair quaffs with four-course meals for an intimate dining experience.
The grub: New American cuisine. The menu covers traditional chop house fare with locally sourced seafood and organic ingredients. Prices are low considering that it’s at a golf resort. Starters average about $10 and mains can be had for under $30. Each main also comes with a choice of a side like caramelized vidalia mashed potato or citrus rubbed asparagus.
Dinner starts with a crusty baguette and the chef’s signature concoction of butter spread spiked with caramelized vidalia onions, thyme and sea salt. Those caramelized vidalia onions show up again throughout the menu as it’s one of the chef’s trademarks. Look for the sweet onion base in the coconut saffron broth that bathes a starter of catch of the day (local diver scallops were the most recent catch) and again in a salad of organic spinach salad and maytag blue cheese. Follow that with a bowl of the truffle mac and cheese with homemade orecchiette pasta and a hearty chipotle-braised pork shank from the Kurobuta breed. All steaks are Harris Ranch black angus and include a 12 oz NY strip finished with a fig demiglace. “Swimmer” dishes include a cedar roasted salmon, diver scallops with bacon and truffled corn chowder and Key West shrimp shrimp in a ginger-lemongrass-lavender broth.
Verdict: It may be off the beaten path, but 5300 Chop House is worth the trek for its reasonable prices and earnest rising-star chef.
5300 Chop House at The Blue: 5300 NW 87 Avenue, 877-748-2583. Lunch: Mon-Fri 12p-3pm; Dinner: Daily 6-10pm.