The big review: Bourbon Steak ***½

 

Michael Mina's got the best meat in town.

 Bourbon Steak -- Lobster
Lobster Pot Pie at Bourbon Steak. Photo: Nuri Vallbona.
 

By Victoria Pesce Elliott

Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak is a coup for South Florida foodies -- at least those with wallets fat enough to cover tabs that effortlessly top 150 bucks per person.

The meats, at $30 an ounce, are uniformly exquisite. Huge cuts of incredibly rich beef, lamb and chicken are slow poached in seasoned butter, olive oil or duck fat, then seared on wood-burning grills.

The buttery American Kobe rib-eye is simple, juicy and expertly grilled with only a head of roasted garlic and a few shallots for company.

Mina's signature, market-pricey lobster pot pie ($85 the night we dined) can easily feed two with its sweet, shimmery hunks of shellfish in a smooth, brandy-spiked sauce. The crust is rich and flaky enough for a dessert.

Equally rich sides include an enormous bowl of macaroni and cheese dotted with tiny broccoli flowers and pea-size flecks of black truffles, an earthy spinach soufflé with Parmesan cream, fantastic crab cakes with sweet tomato preserves and a signature potato puree three ways.

And don't forget the duck-fat french fries three ways: doused in smoked paprika and fresh herbs, served with coordinating dipping sauces. They make any meal better.

Deceptively simple salads include touches like artisanal Great Hill Blue cheese that elevates a simple Bibb lettuce wedge with avocado and smoky bacon.

Tuna tartare soars with a dash of sesame aioli and baby pine nuts. A fantastically fresh and silky miso-glazed cod luxuriates on layers of wilted bok choy and tender caps of shiitake mushroom. Delicately sheathed scallop dumplings complete the dish.

The wine list is an oenophile's equivalent of a Tom Wolfe novel -- extensively researched, historically relevant, mouth-watering and hard to put down.

South Florida gets a nod on the dessert menu with a creamy, light Key lime cheesecake, while a puffy pair of beignets with velvety butterscotch pot du crème infused with 18-year-old Macallan scotch is as over-the-top as it sounds.

Bourbon Steak has my vote for best steakhouse in town.

Bourbon Steak Miami, a Michael Mina Restaurant, Fairmont Turnberry Resort & Club, 19999 W. Country Club Dr., Aventura; 786-279-6600; 6-10:30 p.m. Sun-Thurs, until 11 p.m. Fri and Sat.; appetizers: $14-$29, most entrees $22-$72, desserts $9.

FYI: Reservations strongly recommended. Valet parking free with validation. Full bar; corkage $25. AX, DN, DS, MC, VS.

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