Did You Say Steak …

A steakhouse. At first glance, everyone thinks they’re all the same, with varying degrees of approval on how well their steak is prepared and served. But that kind of thinking is doing a grave disservice to the men and women who really make a tremendous effort to make their steakhouse standout in a vast sea of competition. To put it mildly, it ain’t easy.

If you think all the chef has to do is buy some high grade meat, hire some decent wait staff and the money will come pouring in, you’re gravelly mistaken.That’s why it was such a treat for me to sit down with chef Peter Vauthy of Red Steakhouse in South Beach when I bounced into town for the SOBE Fest. Great guy, who really understands what makes a fun, zesty steakhouse.

Of course, it starts with the steak, and I loved my oh so tender rib eye, but Peter was equally passionate about the sides his Red establishment dishes up. And I couldn’t agree more with the calamari appy he proudly served me. How many times have you got the rubber frozen rings?? No chance here, really tasty, garlicky and perfectly crispy. Add on a very nice wine list that had customers coming in for Peter’s recommendations. Plus, a well-trained, friendly staff. If you’re ever in Miami on the hunt for a fine meal, then check out Red on Washington Ave in South Beach. Since I was having such a good time I got Peter to do the NSI quiz.

What was last night’s dinner? Fried chicken with the staff at the staff meal. It’s not on our menu, but it was fun to prepare for them.

Favorite drink? High grade tequila. Neat. Chef privilege at the end of the night.

Favorite music? The Grateful Dead. Clunk. We had some laughs about other chefs who love the band, and he said the Dead could play anything, but sorry, you’ll never convince me.. on to next topic..

Favorite spot to dine out in Miami besides yours? Ortanique, she does some wild things with Caribbean food that is so good and tasty, original and fun.

Any winery, place or food on your bucket list? I’d love to do a giraffe wildlife tour in Africa.

Any brush with celebrity? Ah tons, but I don’t really care about that. I treat all customers the same.. but since you asked, Billy Joel was cool and Michael Jordan really loved his steakhouse experience here.

What makes a great steakhouse? Obviously it starts with the steak. But once you got that taken care of, you better have some excellent sides, service and atmosphere.

Final thoughts? Just let people know it’s a different steakhouse experience here. Very proud of the food we serve, but we try to make it fun and lively too with a touch of style.