Almost a year since Quality Meats (1501 Collins Ave.) opened its doors in Miami Beach, the steakhouse has added some new items to its menu.
There’s a yellowfin tuna carpaccio with pickled mustard seed, roasted beets and lemon olive oil that’s an intriguing bite of contrasting elements. And chef Patrick Rebholz is whipping a house ricotta for his charcuterie board and a lobster bake with freshly shucked corn and potatoes.
But the most eyebrow-raising new item is a massive Chicken Parmesan Pizza that has achieved something of a cult following at QMMB’s New York sibling, Quality Italian.
A round, 14-inch patty of pounded chicken breasts and thighs is breaded, fried, topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella, parmesan and pecorino-romano cheeses, presented like a pizza. Sliced tableside and accompanied by an arugula salad, dehydrated black olives and chile honey, the pie is $64 and meant to serve at least two.
It is a showstopper that does great on Instagram — but is it worth the hype, and the price tag?
The chicken parm itself is pretty great: a perfect balance of technique and nostalgia, tasting like it was made by an Italian grandma. The chicken is expertly seasoned and remains crispy under the weight of sauce and three cheeses.
The sauce tastes like it simmered for hours, and the cheese is appropriately melted, but the dish as a whole is not life-changing. The honey seems unnecessary and distracts from the essence of the dish. And at a whopping $64, the Chicken Parm Pizza feels like the over-priced, trendy food item of the moment.
That’s not to say Quality Meats should be skipped altogether; its blend of industrial New York with Art Deco Miami, its tableside preparations and its innovative food items all make it worth a visit. But save your $64 on the Chicken Parm Pizza and spend it elsewhere on the menu.
Alex Beck: @alexxbeckkk