Overrated Eats: Smith & Wollensky

There are good things to say about Smith & Wollensky, for sure, starting with its incredible location, location, location and the fact that its bartenders are known to be quite generous with a pour. And we think it's cool they are offering wine enthusiasts the chance to swirl and spit up to 10 featured daily domestic and international wines for only $10 with a lunch entrée during National Wine Week, September 27 through October 1. But here's the bottom line: The drinks and views may be nice, and perhaps they have a decent salad or seafood dish or two, but S&W claims to be a steakhouse and, frankly, the steak isn't "America's premier," as the website claims.

The chain has been around since 1977 and it has eight freakin' locations, from Vegas to Boston, so why the heck can't they put out a better piece of meat? (are we the only ones who snicker like Beavis & Butt-Head when we say that name?) gave it only a 13 out of 20, and two reviewers, the only ones brave enough to comment, each gave it one of five stars. ;scored it only one of three stars. And you'll notice he aforementioned touts anything about the flavors of the bovine offerings.

Yes, Miami New Times gave it an award for Best Outdoor Dining in 2002, but again... hmm... no mention of the scrumdiddlyumptious steaks.

Yet for some reason "those in-the-know" stick by this place and give it their repeat business. We've been there with those folks time and time again, mostly under duress, and each occasion, sadly, brings cold, overcooked, tough, flavorless meat to our table. And the servers seem less than empathetic. On our visits, they have neither made things right or to justified the lack of quality.

Now that Miami Beach is slammed with steakhouses, many of which are decent, you S&W folks better pick up the pace. You can get us drunk and even tempt us with slabs of cake big enough to hide your heads in, but we will not take your sad meat offerings much longer.

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New Times staff