After missing a recent transatlantic flight to France (thanks American Airlines!), Mister M and I were “forced” to spend a night in Miami. Miami is one of our favorite towns in the country to eat– so we made the best of it and used the unplanned layover as an opportunity to meet up with friends and check out a new restaurant. Meat Market on Lincoln Road is Miami chef Sean Brasel’s (formerly of Touch) take on the steakhouse standard. The restaurant has a SoBe-Glam vibe and serves up fusion fare with a good measure of comfort food. (Entrees range from $25- $95; appetizers from $12-$20)
The restaurant’s name is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, the beef at the Meat Market is the cornerstone of the menu, but seafood also plays a prominent role. We started with the ceviche special as well as the Crudo Himachi appetizer ($19). The raw himachi was lime-marinated and “cedar-scented,” topped with what I think were pickled jalapenos and truffle oil– but honestly, I was too consumed with shoving the fresh, zesty little creations into my mouth to contemplate the exact preparation of the jalapenos. It was sublime. The rest of the group seemed to really enjoy their ceviche, I was too busy hording the himachi to really take note!
The Meat Market serves reserve cuts of beef — like filet mignon from Harris Ranch– with a mix-and-match assortment of toppings like tomatilla and serrano mole, smoked paprika chimichurri and a “touch of fire” mango and scotch bonnet sauce. There are also other fish and meat house specialties. I had the Kobe skirt steak with lemongrass, ginger and local chili. My steak was perfectly cooked to my specification but regrettably, the portion was so large I was only able to eat about half of it. The flavor profile was unique and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mister M’s tropical braised “fatty” brisket was slow-cooked with coconut, mango, cuban sweet potatoes and wild mushrooms. At first, he was hesitant about ordering the beef-coconut combination, but the server highly recommended the dish and it did not disappoint. The flavors proved to be subtle and the dish was a total success. We could have made an entire meal on the side dishes though. Sweet potato fries with honey crème fraiche, truffled cream corn, summer squash cobbler, gouda tater tots– all were comforting and unexpected.
The cocktails are not an afterthought at Meat Market and I highly suggest ordering a concoction from the Crudo Bar’s specialty drink menu ($10-12). The Mixologist behind the bar stirred up a cucumber-infused mojito for Mister M and a Ciaparhina martini with fresh herbs for me. Both were refreshing and unique takes on what have become commonplace libations. The wine list is extensive, with cabs and bordeaux blends dominating the selections. (Meat Market has recently launched a new $10 appetizer menu at their bar from 5-8 p.m. daily.)
Overall, the service was attentive and helpful at Meat Market and we felt that most of the expected SoBe attitude was surprisingly absent from our dining experience– and that’s saying a lot because we were sans luggage looking like frumpy tourists. This is a great place for a romantic night out, dinner with friends or a drink and appetizer at the Crudo Bar. Reservations are suggested. Indoor and outdoor dining available. 915 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139. (305) 532-0088.