Once upon a time, Manny's Steaks became Chophouse Miami, but nothing really changed all that much -- big hunks of meat, creamed spinach, and the expected steak-house vibe (leather banquettes, dark wood, white tablecloths topped with black napkins). Now the downtown stalwart is reinventing its image with an overhaul of both the décor and the menu, courtesy of James Beard Award nominee Jacques Van Staden.
Formerly executive chef of Alizé at the Top of the Palms in Vegas (which earned a Michelin star during his tenure), Van Staden plans to make Chophouse Miami his own by completely rebooting menu offerings.
He's in the kitchen working on plenty of plates falling outside the meat-market norm, from a Tuscan white bean and seafood sausage, to tamarind glazed pork belly served with papaya salad and yellow curry vinaigrette. Beating out the usual staid sides will be selections such as a goat cheese panna cotta with red beet jam.
They are also jumping on the small-plates bandwagon, with a series of globally inspired dishes, flatbreads, sushi, and "chop block specials," which will be the chef's version of a "bento box" with "fresh fish and premium cuts of meat." Although naturally, a perfectly grilled porterhouse will still be the pièce de résistance.
The interior layout will soon include a new sushi bar, an interactive winetasting area in the lounge, and seating for 140 in the dining room, as well as room for 60 outside on the "cigar-friendly" patio, so don't forget your stogy.
It's truly a family affair, because Chef Van Staden is bringing his brothers Michael and Pieter along
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for the ride, and they are promising a "moderate" pricing structure,
which really would make Chophouse the most unusual steak house in Miami.
The restaurant remains open for business, and the new look and menu will be unveiled in mid-November (Thanksgiving at the latest). Plans are to serve lunch and dinner, as well as brunch (à la carte on Saturdays, buffet-style on Sundays).