Closings

Laurent Tourondel to Transform BLT Steak at the Betsy Into LT Steak & Seafood

Savvy Miami Beach diners have known for years that chef Laurent Tourondel's BLT Steak at the Betsy wasn't only a place to get a great cut of beef. The restaurant has always taken great care to serve some of the freshest seafood.

Now chef Tourondel has officially embraced his sea legs by transforming his Miami Beach steakhouse, BLT Steak, into LT Steak & Seafood with an updated look and menu.

Sadly, that means BLT Steak will close after dinner service today, May 20, to make way for the new concept. A quick turnaround is promised, with an expected opening date for LT Steak & Seafood sometime in June. According to the chef, this is the only LT Steak & Seafood concept planned.

Neither LT Steak & Seafood's menu nor design plans have been released, but it's safe to say the new concept will offer a balanced menu of surf and turf items. Tourondel says of the transformation: "I’ve always been a seafood chef and look forward to expanding those offerings, which will include selections of sushi and ceviche, even further at the new LT Steak & Seafood."

The chef, who opened his steakhouse at the Betsy in the spring of 2009, says of his partnership with the hotel: “I love the beauty and history surrounding the Betsy South Beach and am honored to oversee their culinary program.” 

It almost seems as though New Times' food critic Lee Klein looked into a crystal ball to see the future of BLT Steak. In his 2009 review, he noted, "When considering the bounty of seafood in South Florida waters, the dearth of seafood restaurants in South Beach, and the absurd abundance of steakhouses, it's surprising Tourondel didn't try a BLT Fish here."

The Betsy is undergoing a major expansion, combining the original hotel with the adjacent Carlton Hotel, built in 1937 and designed by art deco master Henry Hohauser. A bridge will link the Betsy, designed by L. Murray Dixon, with the Carlton.

The Betsy's "Art Deco" wing will feature a rooftop pool and a second restaurant concept by Tourondel. The new restaurant, yet to be named, is slated to open this November.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss