When you step into StripSteak at Miami's posh Fontainebleau Hotel, you can sense you're in for a treat. You're greeted warmly, shown to your table inside the two-level restaurant and can smell the rich aroma of steaks searing on wood fire. Perhaps you catch a glimpse of the cigar humidor—so rare these days—sitting near the bar as you take a sip of your icy, pre-meal Martini. Or your nose comes to life from the smell of smoke as a neighboring diner is presented with the house specialty of Instant Bacon.
You're in for a fine meal. And a cigar will follow.
Starting here is easy. The Fontainebleau Hotel (which hosted Cigar Aficionado's recent Miami Big Smoke) sits on a broad stretch of gorgeous beach, and many of the appetizers at StripSteak are evocative of the nearby ocean. The menu presents an extensive list of seafood appetizers, from the traditional—oysters, tuna tartare, shrimp and lobster cocktail—to the more unusual, such as snapper ceviche, caviar and Hamachi crudo. When available, go for stone crab claws, which always seem to taste better in Miami. If you're with a large party, splurge on a tower of shellfish.
For a main course, the steak at StripSteak is the natural call, and red meat aficionados will be sated by the quality of the beef, which is finished on a wood-fired grill. This being Miami Beach, prices are dear. An eight-ounce filet runs $44, and one can splurge on a 50-ounce Australian Wagyu-style tomahawk steak for $150. The meat is delicious, artfully prepared and served with style, as one would expect from a restaurant owned by chef Michael Mina, who has 30 restaurants around the United States and has won a host of awards for his culinary prowess.
For those looking for meals beyond beef, there are several fish entrées, from pan-roasted snapper to lobster pot pie and Scottish salmon.
Some of my favorite steakhouses tend to set themselves apart not so much by their steak, but by something else. At StripSteak, nothing wowed our table more than an appetizer called Instant Bacon. Braised pork belly is brought to the table beneath a glass dome. The glass is lifted, and the aroma of smoke hits the diner. The pork belly, paired with smoked pineapple and radish salad, is exquisite and hard to stop eating. It's a must try.
That whiff of smoke is likely to ignite your desire to have a cigar, and this restaurant has a gorgeous, smoke-friendly outdoor area designed for cigar lovers. You can even have your entire meal outdoors, with cigar, if you desire.
On top of that, StripSteak sells cigars. The restaurant has two humidors, should you find yourself without your trusty cigar case. One humidor, near the bar on the lower level of the establishment, is stocked with modern-day smokes. Fuentes and Padróns are among the selections. A second humidor, tucked within the wine cellar (the restaurant has earned a Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator, our sister publication), carries old Cuban cigars marked as pre-Castro.
There's a fine selection of after-dinner drinks to pair with your after-dinner cigar. There are 18 Bourbons, 11 ryes, and two pages of Scotch choices, along with an alluring array of house cocktails.
StripSteak is a perfect stop for the cigar aficionado.
StripSteak by Michael Mina
4441 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach , FL 33140
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