Salt Bae’s Miami restaurant finally got a review. And the basic reaction boils down to two things: Meh. Also, get ready to spend a lot of money.
The Miami Herald’s Jodi Mailander Farrell reviewed Nusr-Et Steakhouse, Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe’s Miami restaurant, which opened in Brickell last November. She didn’t carve up Salt Bae’s baby the way New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo did. But you get the feeling Gökçe – known as Salt Bae for the way he sprinkles salt on steak on his popular Instagram feed – won’t be getting much more of her money.
Miami was already a little irate with the chef, who angered many Cuban Americans when a photo in which he posed as Fidel Castro surfaced on Instagram.
Here are the main takeaways from the Herald review:
Don’t expect Salt Bae to show up
He is opening another restaurant in New York, which left Mailander a little peeved: “We were left with salty stand-ins, watered-down cocktails and a breathtaking bill.”
There is no substitute for the real thing
Sure, you can take a photo with a design of Salt Bae, and the waiters do their best to fill in. But somehow it’s not the same: “Solemn waiters in pinstripe vests, thin black ties and newsboy caps are trained to mimic the salt sprinkle if you want to settle for sloppy seconds.”
The quality of the meat is good, but speak up if you don’t like it medium rare
Writes Mailander: “Our beef was not with the quality of the meat. Meant to be served family-style, cuts of steak are billed by the number of people they serve, not their weight. Most are wet-aged Wagyu, not as flavorful as dry-aged, but well marbled with fat and sporting a caramelized char outside a warm red center. You will not be asked how you like your steak cooked, so be prepared for medium-rare unless you insist otherwise.”
You don’t get bread, and it’s loud AF
Mailander and her crew sat outside, where “a disco version of Tina Turner blared from the speakers in a failed attempt to cover the roar of aircraft from Miami International Airport’s flight path overhead.”
The most expensive steak on the menu costs $275
Let that sink in for a minute. Sides are extra, of course, including an “onion flower” that looks and tastes suspiciously like Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion.”
The knife work is entertaining
For the $120 “Ottoman Steak” that can feed two to three people, “a server in a leather apron will pull on ominous black rubber gloves, whip out a 12-inch blade and chop the ribeye into half-inch slices in a blur of Dexter-like knife skills right before your very eyes.”
The Salt Bae-ing is impressive – and somewhat irritating
“For the finale, the waiter will grab a three-fingered pinch of Maldon sea salt and imitate Salt Bae’s sprinkle, dramatically holding the pose long enough for eaters to fumble for their phones and snap a few shots. Raising his arm and confidently curving his wrist, he will sensually release the wispy slivers in a flutter down his naked forearm onto the cut beef, leaving delicate flakes all over the table like fairy dust. Or dandruff.”
There’s only one dessert
Baklava. But at least it gets two thumbs up.