Tag Archives: Steak House

B & B Ristorante ***

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702.266.9977
3355 South Las Vegas Blvd (@ the Venetian)
Las Vegas, Nevada

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I’ve got nearly 24 years of life experience under my belt now, and I am finally learning how to speak up and get what I want from people. So when the hotel told me they didn’t have the non-smoking room that I requested available when I got in tonight, I managed to weasel an upgraded suite with $200 worth of comps to spend anywhere in the casino. And for a foodie like me, that meant an extravagant steak dinner.

So I did a little research on the restaurants located in the Venetian and got excited so see Mario Batalli and Joe Bastianich’s B&B Ristorante on the list. I’m not one to shy aware from dining alone, so I dropped my bags in my baller room and headed on down for a proper meal.

B&B Ristorante

I started off with a full-bodied red wine, which was almost life changing (as it should be at nearly $17 a glass!). The server said it came highly recommended and I savored it slowly throughout my entire appetizer, which was Batali’s famous Grilled Octopus with “Fagiolo Marinati” served in a Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette ($21). It was really incredible. The octopus was tender and parts of it had a nice grilled char to it. The bacon fat added a great deal of rich flavor but the lemon vinaigrette helped to brighten the dish and keep is fresh and clean. I would add this to the list of 10 best things that I have ever put in my mouth.

Grilled Octopus

The delicious appetizer got me very excited for my main entrée, which was a Steak Tagliata with Salsa Verde (aka Chimichurri sauce) and Roasted Fingerling Potatoes ($42). Unfortunately, I thought the main dish was a-w-f-u-l. It was almost inedible, and I am still unsure as to why I didn’t send it back and just ask for another serving of grilled octopus. The steak was soaked in oil, which did not lend itself well to the oily chimichurri accompaniment. The potatoes were also very rich in oil and practically burnt to a crisp, I don’t think I ate a single one.

Steak Tagliata

The entrée was a bust but the appetizer and wine was unforgettable, making B&B Ristorante very difficult to rate. I’ll give it three stars overall, but probably won’t be back anytime soon.

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La Brigada ***

Estados Unidos 465
San Telmo, Buenos Aires
(+54) 11 4361.5557

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Lets face it, you’re going to get a good piece of steak no matter where you decide to eat in BA (I would honestly consider beef the cultural glue here…like music is to New Orleans). But if you’re on the hunt for the absolute best parrilla in terms of atmosphere, service, and quality of food–as most visiting tourists are–then you will certainly stumble across the name La Brigada at some point in your search (albeit be on Google, at  your hotel concierge, or local word of mouth).

Located in the heart of San Telmo and filled with gaucho/futbol memorabilia (all Boca, of course!), La Brigada is considered a major contender for the title of best parrilla in Buenos Aires, competing alongside Cabana las Lilas, Don Julio, and La Cabrera, just to name a few. One unique feature that has helped to set La Brigada apart from the rest, is that they serve the steak by cutting it with a spoon–a testament to its tenderness. Naturally, upon hearing word of this, I went to witness it myself!

The atmosphere of the place is very old-school, not dingy in any way, but broken in (as all well-loved things are). Images of cows and futbol players hang side-by-side on the walls, and crisp white linens and shiny crystal glasses adorn the tables. Upon entry, you will submit your senses to the heavenly and pungent aroma of steak, which will have you smacking your lips in anticipation of your meal. Cue the ordering frenzy!

My friends and I started our dinner off with a nice bottle of Rutini Malbec and then embarked on the delicious and abundant bread basket. Next we shared an order of Provoleta, which is a wedge of provolone cheese gilled in a cast iron skillet until it turns a delicious golden color at the edges. The provoleta was served nice and hot, and I thought it was very tasty. Although, I must admit I tend to like mine with a little more “umph.” You know, sautéed onions, peppers, and herbs (I acknowledge that it’s not traditional, but I am a modern and progressive 22-year old).

Next we ordered a simple Mixed Green Salad with Tomatoes and Onions, tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. A salad is a salad, need I say more?

Now we get to the stuff that really matters…..the STEAK! My friend and I decided to share the whopping 30-ounce Baby Beef (mainly because this is the cut rumored to be served with a spoon…I’m a sucker for presentation) and it was enormous! Note: The portion below is on my half of the steak!

Unfortunately though, they did NOT cut it with a spoon. Not my meat, not no ones, which was a rather big disappointment. The quality of the beef, however, was incredible. It was a couple of inches thick, with just the right amount of marbled fat, and it was cooked to perfection. I asked for it medium and it actually came out medium (this is to say as American’s would define medium). I have found in Buenos Aires that they often overcook the meat, so to see red drippings on the plate when I finished was a refreshing change.

Two of my other friends ordered the Bife de Lomo in Peppercorn Sauce, which was an absolute disaster. The peppercorn sauce had some sort of metallic aftertaste (almost inedible) and the steak was completely overdone, despite their requests for medium-rare temperature. A french chef would have been appalled seeing a steak with absolutely no red hue. In fact, it was so bad that neither of them finished their meals. And it is this inconsistency between a fabulous steak and a horrendous steak that leaves La Brigada with just 3 out of 5 stars.

The Potatoes au Gratin (or shall i say, Batatas a Gratinada) were fantastic though!!! They were creamy, and cheesy, and probably my favorite part of the meal. They came as an unexpected complimentary side to the Bife de Lomo, but were large enough to share among the entire table. Likewise, the French Fries were also very tasty!

My other friend (already a getting a little tired of beef), decided to order the Chicken Parmesan (or Milanesa Suprema Napolitana de Pollo). Given the size (which you can see below), she  was able to spare me a couple of bites and I thought it was delicious. I wouldn’t normally order chicken at a well known steakhouse, but I was impressed by the dish.

Last but not least, we ordered a Creme Brûlée  and round ofcafe con leches for dessert. The creme brûlée was spot on and a perfect way to end our meal.

Overall, I would be willing to give La Brigada another chance because half of the meal was great, but I do prefer La Cabrera and Cabana las Lilas as it stands right now (and I plan to try Don Julio this coming week to make my final judgement!).

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Barrio Latino ****

16-oz Churrasco with Chimichurri, Served with White Rice, Black Beans, and Yucca

305.692.4455 
3585 NE 207 St
Miami, Fl 33180

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In just a few short weeks, I will be sipping Malbec and eating churrasco con chimichurri off the coast of Argentina. No, I’m not going on vacation. I am moving there….indefinitely (with Ariana, of course!). We have decided to become career gypsies while the US economy recovers…that sounds like a reasonable excuse, right? In the meantime, however,  I have been getting my churrasco fix at a restaurant right here in Miami, called Barrio Latino. They are located in both Aventura and now near Sunset in Miami, and they serve an outrageously good 16-ounce Churrasco for just $20. My favorite part is their homemade chimichurri sauce, which is a little bit unconventional because of its sweetness, but it is awesome. Included in the price are two sides, choices include: rice and beans, tostones, mashed potatoes, yucca, maduros, french fries, or baked sweet potato. I’ve tried almost all of them by now, and my favorites are the rice and beans, maduros, and baked sweet potato. Just as a disclaimer, the baked sweet potato is enormous…don’t tell me that thing is not genetically modified (see photo).

On days when I am really hungry, I also like to start with an appetizer. I suggest the Mariquitas (fried green plantain chips) with Mojo sauce. Their mojo sauce is as good as their chimichurri, but very strong in garlic…so be careful if you’re on a date!

Fried Green Plantains Chips (Mariquitas) with Mojo Sauce

I also love the Proveoleta Parrillera, which is a thick slice of imported Argentine provolone grilled until slightly melted and then drizzled with olive oil and topped with a roasted tomato. There is nothing better than hot cheese, in my opinion, and this shit is hello good! It is also great to put on top of the mariquitas!

Grilled Provolone Cheese Topped with Oven-Roasted Tomato (Provoleta Parillera)

Another great appetizer that I have tried is the Mollejas Al Limon, which are beef sweetbread grilled with lime juice. I was super hesitant to try these at first because sweetbreads refers to the glands of an animal (nice way to sugar coat the name, right?), but after I got over the fattiness of the texture, I realized that they were pretty delicious. Just make sure that you use a lot of lemon juice to help cut the fat taste.

In addition to the churrasco, I have also had the Vacio, which is a 20 ounce Argentine style Flank Steak also served with chimichurri and your choice of two sides. The Vacio is much thicker and juicer than the churrasco (which is a thin skirt steak), so it all depends what you are in the mood for. I usually prefer the skirt steak.

20-oz Vacio Steak and Chimichurri Served with Baked Sweet Potato, White Rice, and Black Beans

If you really cannot decide though, and you want to try a little bit of everything (or if you’re just obscenely hungry…have no shame), then order the Parrillada Argentina, which is a sizzling hot plate packed with Chorizos (sausages), Vacio, Mollejas al Limon, Morillas (blood sausages), and Churrasco. It also comes with your choice of four sides, and is certainly intended for two people to share. Check out my before and after photos….

La Parillada de Argentina when if was brought to the table…..

La Parillada Argentina when my friend and I were finished with it!

And, if you don’t want to do a full steak, I suggest the Ropa Vieja, which is a Cuban classic with shredded beef stewed in tomato sauce, served over rice with black beans and maduros (sweet plantains). Mix it all together, put a dash of Tabasco on it, and call it a day.

Ropa Vieja Served with White Rice, Black Beans, and Maduros

Love, love, love Barrio Latino. Great food, great prices, great service, and you will leave full. It is often a one meal kind of day for me when I go because I tend to over eat.

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STK ***

Japanese Wagu Sliders with Secret Sauce and Truffles on Seseame Bun

305.604.1000
2377 Collins Ave
Miami Beach, 33139
(In the Gansevoort Hotel)

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I’m not going to lie, after the break up with my ex-boyfriend, I turned into a little bit of a serial dater. I went through a period of like 2-3 weeks where almost every night I was wining and dining with someone different. I definitely wasn’t looking for anything, but figured I had to get my groove back somehow and why not through casual dinner dates? I thought I was killing two birds with one stone—eating my emotions and adjusting to the single life all at the same time—but in reality, I was really just steadily gaining 5-pounds over the course of those 3 weeks. The lesson learned: no one can help you get over a break-up but yourself. Sure, having other crushes provide a distraction, but you cannot really move on until you remember how to love yourself….and this can take some time, so be patient. But since this is a food blog, and not a Dear Alice column, I’ll quit giving love advice and get to the food already.

Obviously, I ate out at a lot of restaurants during my short-lived “serial dating” phase, but I have not blogged about any of them because I never know who might read my posts (aka one of my dates). So why start blogging about them now? Well I think that finally enough time has passed since my “phase,” and since so many of my dates have deleted me from facebook and bbm (upset that I wouldn’t do a second date) I feel like they might not find my new site?!? Ehh, I just don’t care anymore really.

So one of my first dinner dates was to STK in the Gansevoort Hotel on South Beach. If you didn’t already guess from the name, STK is a steak house and I was really excited to check this place out because I had never been before (I like it when a guy takes me out to a place that I have never tried before). The interior of the restaurant is very modern and elegant, mimicking a swanky nightclub. In fact, I believe that it does turn into a club/lounge after dinner hours. The only thing that I hated about the restaurant was the seating. Tables for two were one-sided booths!!!! It was a half moon shape bench around a small circular table. So you sit next to one another and look out at all the couples cuddling in other booths while you eat. Since I absolutely hate booth cuddlers—I think people should just focusing on eating at a restaurant and save the snuggling for home—the seating situation really bothered me. It’s also terrible for a first date because your awkwardly close and unintentionally playing footsies under the table before you even get to know them.

To start we ordered The Lil’ Big Mac’s, which were sliders made of Japanese wagu beef topped with special sauce and truffles served on a sesame bun (photographed at top). They were incredible!! We added on the truffles extra and I am so glad we did because they added an awesome rich flavor that complimented the creamy secret sauce beautifully. The secret sauce is some sort of mayonnaise-based spread. I couldn’t quite figure it out completely, but I guess that’s why it’s called secret sauce. (After having the rest of my meal, I decided that I would get to orders of these sliders for my entrée if I ever came back…yes, they are that good)

For my entrée, I ordered the 10 oz Filet and it was good, but not the best (I still believe that Meat Market on Lincoln Road is the best steak house in Miami). However, I did enjoy the STK Bold Sauce that I ordered to go with it. It had a great smoky kick to it that added a lot of flavor to the meat. I was less impressed with their Bordelaise Steak Sauce, which was standard and lacking in flavor to be quite honest. Of course, I finished the whole steak though and definitely did a number on the Parmesan Truffle Fries, which were presented as a tower. I thought that they were good but not as strong in truffle flavor. If you are into Parmesan truffle fries, the best are at Gotham Steak House in the Fountaine Bleau…woah are they good!

Tower of Parmesan Truffle Fries

Overall, I thought it was overrated for the price point and the hype. I wasn’t wowed by anything, except the sliders, and even those were ridiculously over-priced ($25). I enjoyed the meal, don’t get me wrong, but I had higher expectations based on others comments. I would recommend going to Meat Market for steak in Miami.

STK REVISED:

Ironically, the night after posting my review on STK, my girlfriend called me up and invited me out to a promotional dinner there. I was unimpressed the first time that I went, but thought I would give it another chance—I really just couldn’t resist the opportunity of a free meal. So we went and surprisingly it was fantastic. I couldn’t believe the difference in the quality of the food between my first visit and this time. Everything was a million times tastier. I had the Filet Mignon again and this time it was juicy and flavorful without even putting any steak sauce on it. I also had the chance to try a lot of other items on the menu, considering the food was brought out family style for everyone to share.

One of the first plates to come out was the Tuna Tartar, which was made with a citrus yogurt and jalapenos served with a roasted pineapple chutney, crispy shallots, and plantain chips. I thought it was the best tuna tartar that I have ever had, and the sweetness of the pineapple was a perfect contrast to the heat of the jalapeno. The pineapple chutney was really great, and I couldn’t get enough of the citrus yogurt.

Tuna Tartar with Citrus Yogurt, Jalapenos, Roasted Pineapple, and Plantain Chips

I also had a chance to taste the Hearts of Romaine Salad with garlic croutons and parmesan dressing. It was very standard but tasted good. The Blue Iceberg Salad with smoked bacon, blue cheese, and pickled tomato was better in my opinion, but again, very average.

Unfortunately we didn’t get any of the sliders, which are still my favorite thing in the restaurant…in addition to the tuna tartar now! But I did get to try the Organic Free Range Chicken, which is served with a butternut squash-salify-forested mushrooms. I was actually wowed by this chicken dish, because the aforementioned “butternut squash chutney” was delicious and added a great flavor to the tender and juicy meat.

As far as side dished go, we had the Mac & Cheese (basic, not my favorite), the Seasonal Mushrooms (very, very, good), the Creamed Spinach (I like creamed spinach a lot but theirs was gross!), the Creamy Yukon Mashed Potatoes (way too creamy, almost a polenta consistency), and the Brussel Sprouts (prepared sweet, not salty = big mistake and not good).

For dessert, they brought out a cool display with a variety of treats. The presentation was great, the desserts were not. I would not bother saving room for dessert at STK, instead I would fill up on the tuna tartar, the wagu sliders, and of course steak! Based on my experience tonight, I would give STK 4 stars but because they are so inconsistent I have to keep them at 3. I like a restaurant that is dependably good…not just sometimes good.

Homemade Bread Served with Chive Oil

Assorted Desserts

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