Fourth Wall Restaurants founder Michael Stillman and chef and partner Craig Koketsu have opened a second outpost of their famed New York City restaurant, Quality Meats. The new location, in the heart of Miami Beach, is a spacious 200-seat property on 15th Street off Collins Ave. Rising star chef Patrick Rebholz, previously the chef de cuisine at Charleston’s legendary Peninsula Grill, will lead the kitchen.
This is the first Quality Meats outside of New York, although Stillman and his father – renowned restaurateur Alan Stillman – were the original owners of one of South Beach’s most successful restaurants: Smith & Wollensky at South Pointe Park.
The restaurant’s design took a historic Art Deco property through a major facelift, utilizing inventive ideas from design and concept firm AvroKO. No detail was overlooked, from the wood tables, to the glass walls, to the lush greenery, and the rustic matchbooks. The food follows a similar formula, mixing classic methods with modern presentations.
The star of the menu is, naturally, the meat, much of which is cured, smoked, or aged in-house. The 24-ounce tomahawk is the perfect amount of flavor for any true steak lover. The steak sauce, made tableside, includes rosemary, garlic, muddled tomato, and raisin molasses.
But one cannot begin without indulging in one of the fresh seafood bouquets of oysters, clams, and crabs – all the goodies. They even bring a warm towel with lemon when you’re done. Other starters include the “QM” baked oysters with chickpeas and chorizo, and the “Elvis” – house cured and smoked bacon served with miso-caramel peanut butter, brûléed bananas, and jalapeño jelly.
If steak isn’t your thing, the bologna is a great option, featuring the restaurant’s very own mortadella made with pepper jack cheese and pistachios, and a cured – not cooked – foie gras torchon. If you’re avoiding meat from land-dwelling animals altogether, choose the delightful halibut with poached egg and truffles. The corn crème brûlée is the star side dish – it’s sweet and crunchy, but not too creamy.
As for drinks, Quality Meats Miami Beach offers an exceptional wine list, with more than 30 wines by the glass and selections that represent the best of Old and New World. The restaurant even has a private label, “Quality Wine.” The cocktails range from tropical to classic to cubed – such as the Sodom & Gomorrah, a Vodka cocktail with pressed grapefruit, pomegranate, and a pillar of salted ice that melts as you drink, changing each sip as you go.
This is not the place to skip dessert, or you’d miss dreams like butterscotch oatmeal cookies and burnt marshmallow ice cream.