First Bites

BLT Steak Opens in South Beach With a Latin Twist

Photo by Brett Hufziger
Steak tartare tacos
Despite the chaos surrounding Hurricane Irma, BLT Steak, which opened less than three weeks ago, has maintained focus. Though the storm hit days after the restaurant's debut, management and staff quickly returned when Miami Beach reopened.

Located inside the new Iberostar Berkeley Hotel, previously the Berkeley Shore Hotel, in South Beach, the restaurant churns out doughy popovers, large seafood displays, and a selection of beef.

The restaurant seats more than 150 guests inside a sleek white dining room right off the lobby and on a lushly landscaped patio with a direct view of Collins Avenue. The space also has an intimate backyard with communal seating for larger parties.
click to enlarge Uni toast - PHOTO BY BRETT HUFZIGER
Uni toast
Photo by Brett Hufziger
Chef Carlos Torres helms the new location, where he tweaked the traditional BLT-style menu to include a roster of Latin-inspired small plates as well as blackboard specials using regional produce, exotic fruits, and local seafood. Previously, Torres held executive chef positions at LT Steak & Seafood and 660 at the Anglers.

Highlights of Torres' new plates include snapper crudo drizzled with ají amarillo ($18), mini steak tartare tacos ($18), foie gras empanadas where truffle shiitake vinaigrette oozes from a warm and doughy shell ($21), and uni toast, presented on a wooden tray with four servings of sea urchin and slices of Zak the Baker bread ($22).
click to enlarge Bone-in steak - PHOTO BY BRETT HUFZIGER
Bone-in steak
Photo by Brett Hufziger
Otherwise, the restaurant offers many items similar to those served at its previous location, including a 28-day dry-aged New York strip, a Kansas City bone-in strip, and a porterhouse for two, as well as classics such as shrimp and crab cocktails, lobster Cobb salad, and the restaurant's famous warm Gruyère-laced popovers. There is also a daily selection of East and West Coast oysters and seafood platters layered with oysters, littleneck clams, jumbo shrimp, crab claws, and lobster.

When the steakhouse, formerly located inside the Betsy Hotel, shuttered in May 2016, there was no word if it would relocate or reopen. After the restaurant's closure, the space was transformed into LT Steak & Seafood, a similar surf-and-turf eatery with a greater focus on fish. For more than a year, BLT Steak has worked on plans to reopen, but management wanted to find the right location. According to BLT's reps, the Iberostar team approached them with a proposal to restore the Berkeley Hotel and make the steakhouse one of its main restaurants.

BLT Steak. 1610 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-605-0819; Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Sunday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.