Oh, boy. This is gonna be fun.
New Times has decided it's high time we put the smackdown on some Miami eateries that charge too much, serve bland eats, pay more attention to décor than diners, and generally put a bad taste in our mouths, literally and figuratively speaking.
Want to join the fun? Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get things rolling, let's skewer Philippe and Mr. Chow.
Lee Klein made a poo-poo platter out of Mr. Chow last November, and many Miami New Times writers agreed Philippe isn't worth the rickshaw ride.
Let's begin with the prices the place charges: An average of $30 per person for an entrée is otherworldly and entirely unjustifiable. If the food were the status of the eats served at the Restaurant at the Setai or Hakkasan, maybe we'd understand. But when Philippe pumps out dishes such as the toxic-orange chicken satay appetizer that some diners suspect is made with Cheetos, the $18 price tag is a flat-out insult. This is especially true when more than one patron has reported that the chick-on-a-stick arrived at the table lukewarm, at best.
And really, do the martinis really need to be $19? It's not like we're getting a lap dance and a pile of shrimp chips with our Stoli.
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Then there's the service — or shall we say lack thereof. Making reservations at both places can be a complicated, unpleasant endeavor. And once your butt is warmly planted in the chair, the servers seem disinterested. They have even been known to look down their noses at you if you choose something that doesn't meet their expectations.
Sure the décor is beautiful at both places, and, yes, scenesters can still be found milling about (though many can't afford to eat dinner, so they settle for a cocktail and share an app), but we think South Beach would be best served without the overpriced duck dishes and snobby service.
For our money, we'd rather have take-out from Tropical Chinese. We could suck down two entrées and two appetizers for the price of one appetizer and a drink. Then we would still have a few bucks and the time to head downtown for all the scene we want, sans snobbery.