In my last post about our Miami trip, I talked about the Fontainebleau Miami Resort. But I didn't talk about any of the (numerous) restaurants on the property. There are a number of casual spots on the property, which I will talk about later. Then there are the four upscale "Signature Restaurants", which are the subject of this post.
First up is Stripsteak by Michael Mina, the most upscale restaurant at the resort. We are fans of Bourbon Steak (also by Mina) here in DC, so we were pretty excited to try this out. The space is pretty and modern, with a really cool glass wine room (and a really good wine list to go with it).
Like Bourbon Steak, Stripsteak serves buttery truffle rolls as it's complementary bread. So friggin good. Just give me 8 loaves. Also like Bourbon Steak, like the appetizers are on point. We ordered a burrata, asparagus, and duck prosciutto salad; a trio of oysters with salmon roe, paddlefish roe, and uni; and seared foie gras with strawberries, pickled fennel, and macadamia nut. They were all delicious, especially the foie.
The real star of the show, here, is the A5 striploin wagyu from the Japanese Miyazaki prefecture. This beef is ridiculous, I've never tasted anything like it anywhere else. It was so marbled that the outside became crispy as it was sort of fried in fat, and the inside was incredibly tender and flavorful. It didn't need any of the accompaniments. I promise you, it's worth the price tag. If you are not a big meat eater, the orecchiette with bacon and crispy egg yolk was also very good (you should still try the A5, though).
The service was also stellar. From the Sommalier who wrote down restaurant recommendations for us, to the server who brought us a complementary mushroom side and doughnut desert, to the manager who offered us a whiskey cocktail service. Really just above and beyond. The whiskey service is really cool, they wheel out a cart and make the cocktail tableside with frozen starfruit, kumquat syrup, and Japanese whiskey. It was crazy good.
Next is Scarpetta, an Italian concept by Scott Conant. The decor is a cute nautical theme and the restaurant feels very intimate. The bread basket included several kinds of breads, along with several dips. I can't say that I was blown away by any of them, but I did appreciate having mascarpone instead of butter. We knew right away that we were going to want to try several of the homemade pastas, so we ordered a burrata appetizer and 3 pasta entrees to share. The first was short rib agnolotti with horseradish and brown butter, which was good, but not as good as the duck and foie gras ravioli with marsala reduction. Yum. The best was the most simple - spaghetti with tomato and basil. Isn't that the way of things sometimes? There's a reason you will see the most photos of this pasta on Yelp. We loved it so much that one night when we weren't feeling up to doing much, we ordered it to-go and brought it back to our room to eat (they won't deliver to a room, or let you place an order over the phone, but you can go down to the bar to order to-go).
Then there was Hakkasan, and upscale Chinese concept we had eaten at in San Francisco before. I came in on Sunday by myself to have Dim Sum. Don't worry, Jasper is not nearly as big a fan of Dim Sum as I am, and we went together for dinner. Clockwise from upper left is the Chinese Chive Dumplings with crab, goji, and several dipping sauces; foie gras dumplings (one of the best), roast duck pumpkin puff, and pan-fried turnip cake (always a favorite of mine); and baked bbq pork buns (also always a favorite). Lastly is the crystal Boston lobster dumplings in the shape of koi. These are all over the Dine Bleau Instagram page (which is totally gorgeous and worth a visit to drool over), so I asked for them specifically. But I didn't end up liking them that much, especially considering the hefty price tag. They tasted similar to regular old shumai - oh, well!
I loved the cocktail menu in San Francisco, so I knew that Miami would not disappoint. I got the Shennong Blossom with Diplomático Reserva Exlusiva rum, apricot liquor, chamomile syrup, lemon, egg white, and bitters. Wow - so good, and gorgeous with the dried chamomile on top.
For dinner we ordered the stir-fried beef with shishito pepper in Szechuan peppercorn sauce; and the roasted Pi Pa duck (which came with a hoisin based sauce). Both were excellent, but I particularly loved the duck with it's super crispy skin. We also ordered the spring onion and egg fried rice, which may seem like just a filler but was really delicious. We were definitely glad we ordered it.
We did not visit the fourth Signature Restaurant, Michael Mina 74, because we didn't have time and of the two Mina properties, we preferred the menu at Stripsteak (such a good decision). Stay tuned for more Miami posts!