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!
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.
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.
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.