The who: Bourbon Steak Chef Michael Mina gets clubby with Michael Mina 74, his latest foray in the Miami market that panders to the nightlife crowd.
The scene: Hostesses dressed in clingy red mini-dresses lead guests from the Fontainebleau’s lobby down a set of stairs to the pool level-space that used to house Arkadia. The dining room is outfitted with curved leather banquettes, brick walls and graffiti-like artwork. The room is abuzz with activity from roving seafood carts displaying the night’s fresh catch.
The bar/lounge: A glossy counter where carbonated bottled cocktails are served in individual glass flasks. Punches on tap include the Pimm’s 74, a twist on the classic Pimm’s Cup.
At midnight: The lights are dimmed (even more), and the front area converts to more of a nightclub with a high-energy DJ.
The dishes: American with Mina’s trademark polish. Expect plenty of caviar, foie gras and lobster. Prices are swanky with starters $10-$24 and mains $25-$42.
The kitchen starts with upscale bar snacks or “shareables” – lobster corn dogs (pictured), duck spring rolls and hamachi poppers. Appetizers get more involved with Japanese-style “shabu shabu” (raw Wagyu beef cooked in kettles of steaming broth), grilled quail and foie gras spiced with jerk seasoning and mango and tuna tartar mixed tableside with Asian pear, pine nuts, Scotch bonnets, mint and sesame oil.
The Locker 28 beef tenderloin is “hay-smoked” and served with horseradish butter. Fish dishes include red snapper and scallop in red curry sauce and potato-crusted pompano.
The Bottom Line: Miami must be doing something right if celebrated San Francisco chef Michael Mina has branched out with a second restaurant in the city.