The Miami outpost of New York City-based Quality Meats will open this Friday, February 27, at 1501 Collins Ave. in South Beach.
The decor is inspired by the original art deco design of the former Bancroft Hotel. Terrazzo flooring and the original reception desk -- now turned into a butcher counter -- have been incorporated into the new space, which seats 120 indoors and 70 on the patio.
The eatery/butcher shop, owned by Fourth Wall Restaurants, is led by executive chef/partner Craig Koketsu and Quality Meats Miami Beach executive chef Patrick Rebholz.
Judging by the name Quality Meats, one would expect a fine experience for carnivores, but a recent tasting proved that chefs Koketsu and Rebholz can also handle local seafood and fruit with equal finesse.
Of course, meat lovers won't be disappointed by the selection of steaks and chops. One big standout is the above-mentioned butcher counter, where locals can select steaks and meats -- smoked, cured, or aged in-house -- to take away.
A cocktail program by head barman Bryan Schneider runs the gamut from a light piña colada-esque martini -- the Piña Clara (perfect for an apres-beach refresher) -- to a sazerac made with a bitters-and-absinthe-infused ice cube so as not to dilute the cocktail.
Schneider also has several cocktails on tap, including an aged negroni with a hint of fizz that makes a wonderful meal starter.
Chef Koketsu says he wants to incorporate local flavors in the hog snapper ceviche with sunchokes and citrus ($16). The sunny dish is bright and balanced by creamy coconut and a bit of crunch from the sunchokes. It's a welcome bit of lightness in a steak house usually associated with heavy foods.
Charcuterie is made in-house, and all feature unique takes on traditional cured meats. For instance, sausages are made with Cigar City Jai Alai IPA, and foie gras torchon is crusted in toasted barley that the chefs found at a beer supply store. Koketsu says the taste was sweet, with hints of strawberries, so he decided to pair the torchon with the fruit. Charcuterie and cheese plates range from $19 to $29.
Halibut ($29) is served with a brioche-crusted egg and a liberal helping of black truffles. It's a rich, satisfying alternative for people opting for a seafood dish at the restaurant.
Quality Meats works with family-owned and long-respected meat purveyors such as Pat LaFrieda, Gachot & Gachot, and Halperns', and steaks are finished in what the chefs refer to as "love" or, in layman's terms, plenty of butter and beef fat. A long-bone short rib ($39 per person) is well charred on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. Pair with sides like herb roasted baby potatoes ($10), Yorkshire creamed spinach ($12), or beet-glazed carrots ($11) and you've got yourself a good steak-house experience without the fussy pretentiousness.
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