Le Bistro

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Le Bistro is going to be featured on the upcoming season of Gordan Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. We went to the first night with new menu items dinner service taping.


What we had:

We had a lamb curry eggroll thing appetizer. The eggroll was so greasy we couldn't eat it, and the curry lamb was unidentifiable as lamb, and tasted frozen.

For an entree, I had one of the new menu items--local-caught Mahi Mahi over a bed of wilted arugula with an heirloom tomato coulis. It was a beautiful piece of perfectly-cooked fish, but the dish had absolutely zero seasoning. A real shame.

My DH had the steak frites. Greasy, slightly undercooked steak fries with a NY strip that was listed as Neiman Ranch on the menu, but tasted over-frozen and only a step or two above truckstop quality. Quality concerns aside, the steak was cooked perfectly.

I also had tea--the first glass was lightly cinnamon-flavored, which was nice. The second glass tasted like flowers--not so nice.

The menu will change, though.


Decor:

A little bizarre, though this will change too. Dark red walls made the tiny dining room (the 54 covers in there last night was absolute capacity) feel claustrophobic. Oversized teapot and servingware paintings loomed over diners, along with empty wineglasses and cobalt blue bottles. The seats were pink and very uncomfortable--my DH was convinced his chair would break at any moment. The light fixtures were straight out of a child's bedroom--those horrid three-color/direction ceiling fan lights in red yellow and blue.

One wall was brushed metal, which didn't fit, but looked nice.

The was a servingware cabinet directly across from my DH, with exposed plates, glasses and service items. Tacky.



Service:

Terrible. We waited over 10 minutes for our menus, and the aging and over-dressed waitstaff didn't have a clue. Some if that, I'm sure was due to the camera crews.


Overall Impressios:

Thank goodness Gordon Ramsay was there to straighten the place out. Hopefully it will be unrecognizable when he gets through with it. Gordon Ramsay looks just like he does on the F Word in person, and even said 'Good Evening' to us on the way out. (so. Freaking. Cool).


Rating:

Pre KN 1.5 salamanders. Hopefully more after.

8 oz. Burger Bar

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High-quality burger joint in South Beach.



What We Had:

I had the Melrose--an 8 oz. Grass-fed beef patty cooked to order topped with a tomato compote and caramelized red onions.

My DH had the build-your own burger with white cheddar, avocado, fried egg and roasted garlic aioli.

Both burgers were cooked to a perfect mid-rare.

We split an order of fries as well, which were kick-ass.


Decor:

Cute, black and white with a "downtown" feel.


Service:

There was an inordinate number of wait staff while we were there--13 at one point for a small dining room. We had no issues with our service, though we did see one table have a complete meltdown. Good thing the owners' phone number is printed right on the menu.


Overall:

I have seen reviews complaining about the wait time, and we didn't wait an inordinate time for our burgers. I expect that if you order a mid-well to well done burger it would take awhile, like with any beef. We would definietly go back--if for no other reason than to try the menu items like fried cheese curds and olives.


Rating:

3.5 out of 5 salamanders

Rack's Italian Bistro

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Modern Italian dining on the Intracoastal.

What we had:

I had a prosciutto/spinach white pizza and my DH had the ragout.

The pizza was decent. Great crust, but way too heavy-handed on the olive oil. So heavy, the pizza turned out greasy.

The ragout was pretty good, if a bit over-priced. The ragout had 1 huge mixed-meat meatball, slices of a nice Italian sausage, a chunk of slow-cooked beef, large dolloop of ricotta with fresh basil and (the ever over-rated) San Marizano tomatoes.


D├ęcor:

Nice, modern, dark wood.


Service:

Freaking obtrusive. The server we had was (hopefully) new to waiting tables. We hope do, at least. She tried, but the girl was obtrusive.

There were also a out 3x too many servers on the floor.


Overall impressions:

We may go back for a light antipasti dinner before a movie.


Rating:

3 out of 5 salamanders
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