For some of us, we barely noticed the closing of STK on the corner of 24th and Collins in the Gansevoort Hotel. It was a pretty easy place to miss…dark blacked out windows, minimal signage and in a hotel that never really hit its stride. And it was just another one of those many Miami steakhouses.
So when the billboards starting appearing heralding the “Return of STK“, it was of interest to hear that they were again returning to the same hotel block, now in The 1 Hotel but on the opposite 23rd Street corner, next door to the W Hotel.
Hmmm, perhaps their former location is jinxed as Tom Colicchio’s, anticipated new concept, Beachcraft, announced “indefinite delayed “ opening, and rumored due to a fire ( and recently opened just for breakfast ).
STK, the popular meat-centric concept out of NYC, has locations not only in NYC but also in Atlanta and DC, and recently re-opened it doors in Mid-Beach in a spacious yet comfortable environment previously occupied by Phillipe Chow. The décor is still “manly” with lots of dark wood and leather banquettes, but has a Miami twist with whimsical steer horns on the ceiling, high top tables in the ample bar area and more inviting interior lighting. And in a nod to visiting tourists and millennials, you can even request a special STK selfie stick for remote picture taking during the dining festivities.
Now, Miami has a plethora of steak restaurants, with no less than 7 just on Miami Beach, so STK has the unenviable challenge of competing with the established mainstays of Prime 112, Smith and Wollensky, Meat Market and BLT.
On a Thursday night, I ventured in for dinner consisting of a 7 course-tasting menu prepared by Chef Aaron Taylor. Chef Taylor, whose culinary resume includes the game-focused menu at The Keystone Ranch in Colorado and Meat Market Miami, is the Southeast Regional Corporate Chef for the ONE Group. He credits his time at Meat Market as pivotal in perfecting the preparation of fine cuts of meat as well as seafood and fresh local produce, all with a somewhat Miami flair. He is assisted by Chef de Cuisine Eli Jackson.
And to be honest, Chefs Taylor and Jackson and STK delivered, as each course was served with attention to seasoning, preparation and presentation.
Here is the low down:
We started with a colorful Heirloom Tomato and Delice de Bourgogne Cheese salad with Pistachio pesto and I was pleased to see a thick slice of a red and juicy fresh tomato and plenty of pesto. The cheese was creamy, mild and reminiscent of a light buratta.
The next dish, Grilled Octopus was cooked perfectly with a light lemony touch. Purple potatoes were delicately cut into a pentagon shape and added color along with peeled grape tomatoes and capers.
The Seared Scallops were my favorite dish, as Chef Taylor chose to serve the golden-topped scallops on a shredded short rib marmalade and butternut squash puree and pomegranate. While at first, I was surprised at the idea of scallop and short rib, the combination worked perfectly as the sweet and savory combo made for a delicious dish.
The Spiced Duck breast was another interesting combination of flavors, as a slice of duck breast was served topped with apricot pistachio chutney, and duck confit with red cabbage. While I preferred the more traditional sweeter chutney accompaniment to the red cabbage, the combination was creative, although I probably would not choose again.
Chili rubbed Rack of Lamb was spiced well and presented with sunchokes, a caper chimichurri and lamb jus. While not a surprising dish, the caper chimichurri was a flavorful nod to Miami cuisine and worked with the chili seasoning of the lamb.
The final main dish was of course the Bone in Rib Eye. Red in the center, crispy and well seasoned and sliced in hearty pieces for all to enjoy. Served with sides of a creamy Cauliflower gratin, spicy Jalapeno grits and Sautéed mushrooms and pearl onions, this dish will make even the most discerning meat lover happy.
Although perfectly satisfied, dessert of a Churro Milkshake with Dulce de Leche Ice cream, cinnamon liquor and mini churros was almost refreshing compared to the decadent but equally delicious Almond fudge brownie with chocolate cream, almond brittle and malted vanilla ice cream.
The menu is extensive, the cocktail list creative and the prices expensive...what you would expect from a Miami Beach steak experience. The place was packed the night we were there with lots of well-dressed and well-heeled patrons and a DJ spinning hits from many eras helping to create a party like Miami atmosphere late into the night.
Welcome back, STK…
2311 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139