Quality Meats Comes to South Beach

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 23 - 2015
Executive chef/partner Craig Koketsu

Executive chef/partner Craig Koketsu

Fourth Wall Restaurants president and founder Michael Stillman, along with chef/partner Craig Koketsu have announced that the celebrated New York restaurant group will open the second location of its popular New York flagship, Quality Meats in the heart of South Beach.  Rising star chef Patrick Rebholz, until recently chef de cuisine at Charleston’s legendary Peninsula Grill, will lead the kitchen. This is Fourth Wall’s first foray outside of New York City; although Stillman and his father, legendary restaurateur Alan Stillman are no strangers to South Florida as they were the original owners of Smith & Wollensky at South Pointe Park when it opened in December 1997.

Located at the former Bancroft Hotel, an historic Art Deco gem that is being re-envisioned by Stillman and longtime design collaborators AvroKO, Quality Meats Miami Beach will retain the classic Deco features of the building while infusing it with the feeling of family owned butcher shops that are the trademark of the Quality Meats brand.  Credited by New York magazine as… a radical reinterpretation of stodgy old formulas, the steakhouse equivalent of the next new thing… Quality Meats’ menu emulates the New York flagship, offering a modern approach to the classic steak house.  Espousing the tenets of classic butchery, many of the large cuts on the menu are cured, smoked or aged in-house, along with house made charcuterie which will be available on its own or as part of composed plates along with selected cheeses.  With the ability to create charcuterie onsite, offerings will eclipse the usual fare with options such as coppa, smoked soppressata, duck bacon, Quality Meats bologna – the restaurant’s very own mortadella made with pepper jack cheese and pistachios – and a cured, not cooked, foie gras torchon.

Guests can begin with charcuterie, shellfish bouquets (plateaus), and a variety of seafood cocktails or delve into a selection of salads and appetizers including “QM” baked oysters with chickpeas and chorizo aioli, and the Bancroft bacon – AKA the Elvis – house cured and smoked bacon served with miso-caramel peanut butter, brûléed bananas and jalapeño jelly, studded with candied and pickled jalapeños.

Many of the hearty dishes that put Quality Meats on the culinary map appear on the easy-to-navigate menu.  Simply prepared meats sourced from local purveyors are at the heart of the menu – aged bone-in sirloin and rib steaks, filet mignon, and baby back ribs – share billing with roasted chicken with kumquats and hickory smoked pork chop smothered in red eye gravy.  Sure to be of special interest is “The Butcher’s Cut” – a selection of larger cuts intended for two such as a long bone short rib, marinated and then braised for ten hours, accompanied by a gremolata salad of grilled broccoli rabe, roasted garlic and caramelized citrus, as well as suckling pig confit with ginger-spiced apricots.

Seafood dishes also deserve star billing including tuna au poivre; two medallions of sushi-quality tuna crusted with coarsely ground black pepper, fennel and coriander, and branzino crusted with crispy rice flakes and “everything” spice. Steakhouse sides run the gamut from classic – herb roasted baby potatoes and parmesan waffle fries – to new classics such as corn crème brulee, Yorkshire creamed spinach and gnocchi & cheese.  Also available are fresh from the market vegetables including grilled oyster mushrooms from Homestead, sautéed spinach and maple roasted carrots.

Wine & Libations

Under the direction of sommelier Lewis Starkey, 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 vintages, with a concentration on California – including both elite and undiscovered vineyards.  Prices reflect the breadth of the list, ranging from the everyday to special occasion.  Of special note, the restaurant’s private label “Quality Wine”; a special “Sommelier’s Bin” featuring odds and ends of great wines offered at value pricing up to fifty percent; vertical and horizontals of California’s finest wineries including Araujo, Nickel & Nickel, and Dominus, and suggestions for red wine selections based on temperature – from rare to well done.

For Quality Meats, head barman Bryan Schneider has devised a well-balanced and inventive cocktail list divided into four sections; each with a unique theme – Cubed, which uses ice as a dynamic element; Tropical – drinks inspired by tropical flavors and culture; Classics, old school favorites reimagined; and Draught, batch cocktails served on tap.  Standout specialties include the Cohiba – rum, Pedro Ximinez, Demerara sugar, housemade “Smoking Jacket” bitters – named for and designed to mimic the flavors and aromas of a Cuban cigar; and the Loose Cannon, a fresh spin on tequila cocktails made with fresh pressed lime, celery ribbons and a house made elixir with almost two dozen herbs and spices, served poured over ice cubes made from jalapeño juice.

Restaurant Design

Working hand-in-hand with Stillman, internationally renowned designers AvroKO has collaborated with Fourth Wall since the opening of Quality Meats in 2006 and is renowned for creating restaurant spaces that are characterized by the convergence of past and future.  AvroKO has created stripped-down Art Deco atmosphere with raw edges and warm textural details, such as leather and canvas upholstery in the bar furniture and wicker-caned screens in the main dining room. The hotel’s original check-in desk now serves as a butcher counter with cured foods available for purchase, the former reception desk functions as a service bar, and a custom meat-hook chandelier is the centerpiece for the main bar and lounge.  The restaurant will seat well over 200 diners on two floors – in the handsome main dining room, on the lush outdoor patio, in second floor private dining rooms and even a hidden wine nook perfect for an intimate party of eight.  There is also a lively indoor-outdoor bar and lounge.

Quality Meats Culinary Team

Chef/partner Craig Koketsu’s career began on the West Coast, before moving to New York where he worked with talents like Gray Kunz and Christian Delouvrier before being selected to create the culinary concept of Quality Meats.  At Fourth Wall he is also executive chef of the company’s Park Avenue;  a seasonal restaurant which debuts new menus each spring, summer, fall and winter to take advantage of freshest available ingredients.  Patrick Rebholz, the executive chef for Quality Meats Miami Beach, grew up in New Jersey where he developed a genuine interest in Southern cuisine.  He relocated to Charleston in 2002 and worked with Frank Lee, where he learned his skills in whole animal fabrication, charcuterie and farm-to-table cooking.  After a stint as chef de cuisine at Charleston’s renown Peninsula Grill, Rebholz joins Quality Meats Miami Beach, bringing his well-honed butchering skills and market-driven sensibility.

Quality Meats Miami Beach is located at 1501 Collins Avenue with onsite parking – a rarity on South Beach.  The restaurant will open for dinner weekdays from 5PM to midnight and on weekends until 1AM.  Website: www.qualitymeatsmiami; Telephone: 305-340-3333. Follow @QualityMeatsMB.

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