We did it again…Miami Spice, that is. Not gonna lie, but we were originally turned off at the thought of Spicing at Bourbon. Why? Because it’s the only restaurant on the Spice list that charges ten extra dollars to enjoy a meal fit for a carnivore. This seemed a little odd to us, especially since the appeal of going to a steakhouse is, well, ordering a steak. But this place, we found out, is so much more than a just a piece of meat. It’s also a place where the pasta, light as air, “defies gravity,” the fruits accompanying the pork-belly appetizer change with the seasons, and the duck-fat fries are complimentary.
Generous portions of speck. Fresh, juicy figs. Buttery, charred croutons. A perfectly dressed salad. A few bites in, I stopped and admired how lightly the greens were coated with a sweet and vinegary dressing. It was refreshing to not have to rescue poor, drenched leaves from an excessively sugary emulsion for a change. The speck was salty and dissolved in my mouth, and the figs acted as a sweet chaser. The crunchy croutons added a much needed textural contrast. The pork belly was your typical PB, with a nice crispy exterior. It was not the most tender we’ve had (Shari believes BLT’s pork belly to be the best, while I’m privy to MGFD’s style with kimchi), but Summer of Pork was still upon us, so we ate it up while utilizing our knifes. Next time, we’ll try the Ahi Tuna Tartare, prepared table-side, instead.
We had the option of having the Porterhouse cut for us, or to do it ourselves. Who wants to do all that knife work when you can spend that time eating? It came perfectly sliced, cooked as specified, the filet and the strip both so tender, the bone with that perfect rare meat. What I truly loved about this steak is that no sauce was needed, no ‘Oscar’ topping…the steak flavor was perfect all on its own. And clearly, Bourbon Steak knows that their meat reigns supreme over these silly additions, because they don’t even offer peppercorn butter, bearnaise sauce, or chapeaux.
Bourbon lured us in with promises of amazing mac & cheese After the disappointing mac at Meat Market (sorry…again), we were both a little hesitant to give yet another truffled mac the benefit of the doubt. However, this mac was different than a typical truffled mac & cheese. In a good way. It was creamy, decadent, and speckled with black truffles. By staying true to the traditional elbow-shape, the pasta was able to be coated, as well as filled, with the creamy cheese. It thankfully lacked the heaviness usually associated with a mornay sauce doused in too much truffle oil. At this point, Stef was still happily distracted by the tomato-y goodness of the pasta putanesca and Shari was bordering the notorious 7th level of fullness, but we couldn’t put our forks down. This was seriously fantastic. Now, whenever anyone asks who makes the best mac and cheese in Miami (because these questions come up more than you’d think) we can confidently say “Bourbon Steak” (unless one of you thinks otherwise, and if so, let us know so we can give it a go).
By the end of the 2 courses of spice and the extra appetizer we added, plus the potato focaccia and duck fries and the Hemingway Daiquiris, (holy shit, we ate a lot), we of course needed dessert. And although we generally like to diversify (can you tell we’re both in tax courses right now?) by ordering different dishes, we both couldn’t resist the peach bread pudding. First, because it sounded way more intricate than picking a scoop of ice cream, and second, because who can resist a dessert made with booze? Best of both worlds. The bread pudding had a caramelized crust that broke open into a rich and warm gooeyness, and the sub-out of vanilla ice cream for the malt flavor provided a salty contrast. The rustic copper pot, the warm brown sugar flavor…this dish made us feel at home. That’s truly the only way to put it. It’s warm, as if being wrapped in a hug by a good friend. As if we weren’t stuffed enough, delicate truffles were served gratis with the check. The meal was a lovely spin on classic steakhouse fare with great execution- rightfully named Best Steakhouse in Miami by Miami New Times. -Stefanie & Shari