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Monday, June 4, 2012

Edge, Steak and Bar Brings New Life to Steakhouses

     "Oh geez, another steakhouse?"  In all honesty when I first heard about Edge I was slightly less than enthused.  I mean yes, I do love a hearty slab of succulent meat.  However, I feel more often than not, the typical Miami steakhouse is little more than an opportunity to spend an exorbitant amount for a fairly basic cut of beef in a pretentious setting.  The service is beyond exceptional and the food is often solid in its own right, but the creativity is just not there, and certainly nothing particularly interesting I'd bother seeking out.  Then I went to Edge.
     I came in expecting adequate.  Suffice it to say though, Edge blows adequate out of the water!  Executive Chef Aaron Brooks really manages to imbue a sense of TLC and sheer genius in every dish he prepares, and the prices are all very reasonable.  So it is in the Four Seasons, and undoubtedly it is every bit the luxurious and refined restaurant you would expect.  Antithetically, unlike the often masculine and sultry steakhouses a la Chophouse and Texas de Brazil, Edge is bright, airy, and dare I say, kind of romantic.  They've recently opened up an outside terrace area as well, which is an idyllic spot to come relax on a breezy South Florida evening.  Also, if you haven't been for their happy hour yet you are seriously missing out, as they have some of the best offerings in town.  All the cocktails are two for one, plus you can get $1 oysters and anticucho (skewers of meat in a zesty sauce).
While I have yet to find a disappointing drink, my absolute favorite is the Ginger Brickell (Altanico Silver, Domaine Canton Ginger, Lime, Coconut Foam).  It's light, it's refreshing, and it's unique, the penultimate marriage of ingredients.  Although I must confess, the Cat Walk (St. Germain, Aperol, Passion Fruit, Vanilla Rooibos Tea, Sparkling Wine) is also a close second.  Edge has also got some well made classics, like a killer Pisco Sour and Moscow Mule.
   When you're looking for a nosh, the tuna tartare is unbelievable.  Paired with refreshing cubes of watermelon, pickled shallots, Italian parsley, and salty plantain chips for scooping, it is crisp, smooth, and utterly addictive. The tuna is so fresh that it melts in your mouth like butter.  Unlike other places that feel the need to mask the tuna with sauces in the name of innovation, Edge really lets the simple tuna shine through and take center stage.  The perfect, not too heavy option, although you can also choose the tatare sampler if you've looking for more seafood variety.
Not to reveal my tuna-a-holic tendencies or anything, but the tuna burger is equally poignant.  I never knew how spectacular a chipotle remoulade could be, and the tender burger also comes with sweet pineapple, Napa cabbage slaw, and a sesame bun.  Yum! 
     Finally, when you're craving  bit of sweetness, the cheesecake lollipops are a steal at only $2 a pop.  They've got three flavors to choose from and while I wish I could remember specifically which they used (I think it was milk chocolate and caramel and white chocolate and nutella), either way they are delightful.  Plus the bite-sized serving makes you feel just a little less guilty about the calorie splurge.  Hooray for portion control!
     They also offer regular dinner series, with thoughtfully planned out menus and pairings.  Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Cigar City and High West BBQ meal.  From the moment we arrived you could see the small attention to detail.  Each menu was hand burned, there was a rustic gingham runner, and scattered across the table we small brown paper bags of peanuts. 
Immediately, they brought us each a cocktail made with High West, Maduro Brown Beer, and Cointreau.  It sounds like an odd combination, but I swear it was really good.  Then came the meal:
    I don't even like salmon, and yet I could not help but to dig into the artful masterpiece.  Unparalleled flavor in the smoky salmon, with an interesting crunch from the cornflakes, a bit of saltiness from the caviar, and some kind of luscious creamy foam on top that contrasted well the the piquant green onion puree.  The High West Silver Rye it was paired with smelled of butterscotch and honey, but was so strong I couldn't get those same notes in the taste.  The addition of an ice cube somehow muted the strength a bit to make it more drinkable.  Also, the Cigar City Saizon provided for the first course was light and a bit lemony, a very easy drinking beer.
Since the theme of the night was upscale twists on Southern classics, next up, we were served a BBQ La Belle Farms duck with foie gras griddle cake, guava BBQ sauce and a brussel sprouts slaw.   Oh wow, this plate really hit a home run!  The sprout slaw was crisp and refreshing rather than creamy, which provided a fresh balance to the heavier aspects of the dish.  The decadent foie gras griddle cake was fluffy and decadent, another huge success, that paired well with thick cut slices of smoky, tender duck meat.  This course came with a Cigar City Red Ale, and High West Rendezvous, a much easier drinking choice.
Next up a lamb sausage with grilled black kale, greek yogurt, and Meyer lemon marmalade.  Living out the carnivores dream, they combined on the bone meat and a smoky grilled sausage as well.  When "meat and potatoes" meets Mediterranean, you really can't go wrong.  Served with a Cigar City Jai Lai and a High West Son of Bourye, it was a hearty and delectable course, as exquisite in presentation as it was in execution.
The pièce de résistance though was "the babino," which was served family style.  Huge cuts of prime Creekstone Farms thick cut porterhouse came bursting with juice and flavor, and were served with seriously high end fixings.  Although all were delicious, my personal favorite was the oxtail baked beans, which came topped with strips of bacon.  Alongside this magnificent side was an addictive sweet corn spoon bread, mountains of smoked mashed potato, tart chow chow, and acidic bread and butter pickles.  The food came served alongside a High West Double Rye and some Cigar City Maduro.  The Maduro smells kind of like molasses and oats, and tastes like a bready caramel, so it worked to balance the smokiness of the meat well.


Then came dessert, warm brown butter chocolate chip cookies, cubes of strong Manhattan jello shots, and a thick doughnut milkshake to wash it all down.  You could really taste the brown butter in the cookies, and the doughnut shake was a cop's dream.  It was was a lot of fun to dip the cookies into the rich drink, an homage to a favorite childhood snack.  A dark Cigar City Black lager and and High West 21 Year Rocky Mountain accompanied the onslaught of homey desserts, proving yet another well planned pairing.
The whole experience was completely unforgettable with sensational food, exceptional drinks, and fantastic company.  During each course they also poured generous amounts of each alcohol (either High West or Cigar City beers), changing out the glasses between courses so the flavor of each would remain pure.  I'd highly recommend checking one of these pairing meals out for yourself.  Chef Brooks puts on quite the show and you are sure to leave completely stuffed, satiated, and impressed by his culinary prowess.
     That being said, coming for their regular lunch and dinner menu is no less gratifying.  By far one of the best dining spots in Brickell, and possibly all Miami.  To see what they've got cooking, check their website (http://www.edgerestaurantmiami.com/) or follow them on twitter @EdgeMiami.
  
You can also just come in for yourself at:
     The Four Seasons Hotel
     Edge Steakhouse
     1435 Brickell Avenue, Miami, FL
     305-381-3190
     Edge Steak & Bar (Four Seasons Hotel) on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Patrick said...

This is quite the writeup.