Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Miami Spice 2015 BLT Steak at The Betsy Hotel

I've been sharing great #MiamiSpice dinner spots with you but I haven't shared any lunch spots. That's about to change. Put on your sun dress, head over to The Betsy Hotel, located at 1440 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach and get ready to be spiced at BLT Steak. In case you didn't know, BLT stands for Bistro Laurent Tourondel (not bacon, lettuce, tomato), named after its renowned French chef and owner. Chef Tourondel also owns a slew of other restaurants throughout the country, has received numerous awards and has published three cookbooks.

Photo courtesy of The Betsy Hotel

I'll start by saying this place is spot on. BLT Steak was voted as "Miami's Best Steakhouse" in 2014 by the Miami New Times and has received accolades from both local and international travelers alike. Just think, for only $23, you can get your lunch groove on at BLT Steak during Miami Spice, and then go stroll up and down Ocean Drive.

Photo Courtesy of The Betsy Hotel

Anyway, even though I just experienced my Miami Spice adventure at BLT Steak, I'm already planning a return trip for dinner, the spa, a romantic rendezvous, who knows? Their lunch menu was great but I think it was the experience as a whole that sealed the deal for me. First of all, whether you're coming during this promotion, or any time for that matter, you are going to be treated to a few things that make a difference. Before you begin your dining experience, a board with a couple of huge Gruyere Popovers is going to be placed in front of you, filling your soul with a fresh-baked scent that will cause you to momentarily begin to drool. Make no mistake, it will happen. The homemade, flaky, warm bread will be served with soft butter and its very own recipe. You'll want to eat it all but it is my duty to advice you not to. There is plenty more delicious food coming and trust me, they taste just as good the following day. As if that wasn't enough, BLT Steak continues to pamper you by bringing out a complimentary jar of Chicken Liver Mousse, served with sliced bread and pickled vegetables (dinner only). It is insanely good, but again I warn you...pace yourself. You will not want to stop eating it once you start.

Gruyere Popovers
Chicken Liver Mousse

All this and we haven't even begun talking about the actual three courses of the Miami Spice Lunch Blackboard. Here we go.... There were two appetizers to choose from on the menu and we tried both: the Roasted Peach Salad and the Porkbelly Katsu Sushi Roll.  Both of these selections were fresh and flavorful, and a great way to begin the food journey. The salad consisted of fennel, stracciatela, crispy couscous and juicy peach drizzled with a citrusy peach vinaigrette. If I had to describe a taste of summer, this would be it. It offered me the sweet and salty fix I always love in dishes. The porkbelly roll was original and detonated a flavor explosion in each bite. The unagi, cabbage and serrano pepper topped with the mind-blowing porkbelly, created a symphony for the senses, while the creamy kewpie added the finishing touch to the roll.

Roasted Peach Salad

Porkbelly Katsu Sushi Roll

The entrees were just as intense despite this menu being offered midday. We sampled the Pan Roasted Stone Bass, served with marinated tomato escabeche and guacamole, over a citrus emulsion and the CAB Prime Brisket Panini.  The bass was so tender and buttery, it practically dissolved instantaneously in my mouth. I loved it. And the guac..oh the guac. I wasn't expecting that outstanding taste when I scooped it up with the fork and it made quite an impression. The Panini was also something to savor. Well seasoned brisket and bergenost cheese, came together with honey mustard nappa cabbage slaw and rested in between two toasty breads. It was perfect. This dish was served with seasoned fries and I confess, I licked my finger a few times when my dining companion wasn't looking.

Pan Roasted Stone Bass

CAB Prime Brisket Panini

Next up was dessert and there were two on the blackboard lunch menu: the Strawberry-Valrhona Chocolate Mousse Cake and the Coconut Lime Cheesecake. They were both decadent but being the chocolate lover that I am, my favorite was the mousse cake. I especially loved the strawberry jelly and merengue kisses on top. Now I've probably told you before that I'm not a fan of coconut but the taste of coconut in their cheesecake was so subtle, I was spooning it in more ways than one. It may have been the mango compote or the brown butter tuile but something in that recipe was calling out to me.

Strawberry-Valrhona Chocolate Mousse Cake

Coconut Lime Cheesecake

It seems BLT Steak just loves to present its guests with complimentary treats and dessert was no exception. At the end of our meal, our server brought out a basket of rich, soft Madeleines and we went to town. There's always room for... even more dessert.

Complimentary Madeleines

So there you have it. If you're planning to do a Miami Spice lunch, this is the place to go. For more information on BLT Steak visit their website or call them at 305-673-0044.

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