BLT Steak Bewitches

SoBe's Betsy Hotel houses a winner.

Nonsteak entrées are rosemary chicken, veal chop, rack of lamb, braised short ribs, and seven-spice duck breast with foie gras and mango mustard. The half-dozen seafood selections include Dover sole, honey-marinated Alaskan black cod, grilled spiny lobster in ginger scallion broth, and a plump, harissa-crusted swordfish steak succulently grilled and brightly profiled with olive oil and lemon.

If only musical notes drifting a bit too loudly through the room were as carefully composed as the cuisine. Sappy '70s rock was playing over the speakers when we arrived and rather quickly descended even further into ubiquitous restaurant thump-thump tunes that mar so many a meal (specifically, we went from "A Horse with No Name" to a song with no melody). It is something of a mystery as to why so many establishments treat the soundtrack to the dining experience as nothing but an afterthought.

Diners can choose three or five of eight all-American artisanal cheeses ($12/$17), with options encompassing the familiar Humboldt Fog goat's milk from Cypress Grove Dairy in California, to the less common Bayley Hazen Blue, a raw, Stilton-esque cow's milk from Greensboro, Vermont. Those who prefer a more sugary finale can find comfort in a round of blueberry-lemon meringue pie with a sweetly brittle pâte sucre crust, lemon curd, baked berries, and a cap of what appear to be roasted mini-marshmallows but are short cylinders of browned meringue. Nicely done, but a quenelle of lemon-verbena sorbet on the side stole the show — the citrus notes so intensely electrifying as to redefine scintillation. On our return, we savored a warm, exceptional disk of spiced carrot cake with rich ginger ice cream melting on top.

Joe Rocco

Location Info

Map

BLT Steak

1440 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Category: Restaurant > Steakhouse

Region: South Beach

Details

BLT Steak: The Betsy Hotel, 1440 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach; 305-673-0044; bltrestaurants.com. Daily for breakfast 7 to 11:30 a.m.; lunch noon to 2:30 p.m.; dinner Sunday through Thursday 6 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7 p.m. to midnight.

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The waitstaff was sharp on one visit, dull on another. The latter meal ended with the cardinal sin of service: a ridiculously long wait for the check and then another delay before getting it picked up (our waiter was stretched thin; the manager was oblivious). Perhaps the highest praise we can afford BLT Steak is that the dining experience was strong enough to overwhelm this feeble final impression.

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