For years and years, my absolute FAVORITE restaurant in Philly has been Continental Mid-Town. It was through this restaurant that I was first introduced to the world of Stephen Starr (I know, I’m kind of a late bloomer when it comes to food – no wonder I’m so obsessed with it now). Stephen Starr is a genius restauranteur. I say genius because not only is his food inventive, delicious, and plated beautifully, but each restaurant has such a strong concept or theme that can be seen in every aspect, from the decor, to the servers’ uniforms, to the eclectic menus.
So I was thrilled when I found out that I was invited to dine at Steak 954, the luxury steakhouse hosted inside of the equally gorgeous W Fort Lauderdale. From the moment you step off the beach into the restaurant, you are greeted by an enormous jellyfish tank that overlooks the dining room. The friendly staff is the kind of staff that goes above and beyond to make you feel like a King or Queen. Usually I’m just thankful that a server brings me delicious noms, but here, they really made me take notice of their stellar service.
Of course, eating expensive steaks is always a reason to celebrate, so I started off my meal with one of their signature cocktails – The Route 66 to Paloma, which is made with Milagro reposado tequila, strawberry, lime, and grapefruit. It was full of citrus flavor and sweet but not overly sweet. The kind of drink that I have to consciously not slurp down in one gulp, because hey – this is not a meal you want to blackout on.
We then got right down to business with the appetizers. I love how steakhouses always have such amazing seafood, because your girl loves surf just as much as turf. We had the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare, which was on point. Tuna Tartare is a dish that I plan on eating every day once I’m rich and famous (or just rich), and Steak 954’s version is one that I could definitely foresee in my daily life – this coming from a girl who tends to run from commitment.
We also got one dozen oysters, half from the east and half from the west. As I stated in my blog about Izzy’s, I am no oyster connoisseur like my E.P.I.C. (Eating Partner In Crime) Shaina at Take A Bite Out Of Boca, so although I can’t speak to it at that level of knowledge, I will say that now I can definitely tell the difference between East versus West (besides Biggie versus Tupac). Hands down, I’m an East Cost girl. P.S. – the yuzu sauce that they served with this was my favorite! Yum.
The next two appetizer dishes are really hard for me to talk about, only because I am just dying to jump through my screen and devour what you are seeing in these pictures. Seriously. I’m sitting here eating carrots and ranch as I type this blog, trying to hypnotize myself into thinking it’s these two incredible dishes. It’s not working. I just threw the ranch across the room. Eff you ranch, for not being as delicious as these dishes.
Let’s talk about this Baby Beet Salad. Remember when I said Stephen Starr restaurants have amazing food presentation? Yeah. We sat there for a good 5 minutes photographing this beautiful creation, and then another 5 minutes debating whether we should actually destroy it. Food Blogger problems. Of course, hunger won out, and we dove headfirst into the creamy, smooth goat cheese mixed with the perfectly cooked beets which were peppered with pistachios and roasted beet chips. This dish was truly a masterpiece. This dish needs its own holiday. This dish should run for President. The country would be better off.
Last, but hardly least, was probably my favorite appetizer, the Lobster and Crab Coconut Ceviche. Ceviche is another thing that I will be dining on daily upon the acquisition of my rich future ex-husband, but he better be super rich, because this I plan on eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner (okay, it’s not THAT expensive, but with the amount I’m going to eat it, it will add up!). I mean, you do see those hunks of lobster, right?? Mixed with the sweetness of the coconut, it was so perfectly perfect that we devoured it all (though to be fair, we devoured everything we were fed at this dinner!)
You would think at this point that we would be too stuffed to order entrees, but if you know anything about this blog, you know that that will never, ever be the case. It was time to go hard or go home. I ordered the Wagyu NY Strip, Medium Rare. If you are someone who orders your steak or burger above medium, we can’t be friends, because you’re probably the same person who puts ketchup on their steak. Just an FYI, for those who don’t know about steak, Wikipedia defines Wagyu as, “any of several breeds of cattle, the most desired of which is genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginousunsaturated fat. The meat from such wagyu cattle is known for its quality, and commands a high price.” I don’t know what that means except for the fact that the Wagyu Strip was $25 more than the regular strip, so I knew it had to be $25 more delicious. And was it! Perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned – the kind of steak where it would be an abomination to put any form of sauce on it – the flavor on this meat is more than enough! You can see from the picture just how perfectly it was cooked – not quite Moo-ing, but close (sorry PETA.)
Of course we weren’t going to let our entrees be lonely, so we ordered two sides. The first was the Truffle Potato Gratin. Truffle me anything and I’ll eat it – add cheese and I’m a goner. This side was absolutely scrumptious, but you know where my heart lies…..
To some, these french fries might look intimidating. Me, I think every order of fries should be this extra-supersized, and we’d probably solve world peace. For scale, you can see in my main image just how enormous this pile was – and as big as the serving was, times that number by 10 and you have how good they tasted. I’d like to say I finished them myself, but I had two other people to share with. But I could have done it, Woman vs. Food style. AND would have enjoyed every bite.
Again, you might think we were too full for dessert, but seriously, how do you ignore a Double Caramelized Chocolate Custard? Answer: You don’t. As you can see, it’s another perfect example of just how beautiful the presentations are. It’s served with a bourbon sabayon and pecan streusel, and I’m not really sure what sabayon is, but it’s probably French for “don’t disrupt me, I’m shoving my face full of chocolate heaven.”
The meal was fantastic, the view was gorgeous, and the night was perfect. Thank you Stephen Starr for bringing your touches of Philly to the 954 – I can’t wait to go back and try the 954 Cheesesteak (made with American Wagyu ribeye, truffled cheese whiz and foie gras – because Philly doesn’t mess around).
For more info on Steak 954, visit http://www.steak954.com
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.