What is Miami’s newest “it” restaurant of the moment? I would have to say Nusr-Et Steakhouse. Nusret Gökçe, is one of the worlds most celebrated chefs – this legend has millions of followers on social media. Plus, he is a master butcher, who personally selects each and every cut of meat served at his various restaurants. The man behind the name “Salt Bae” now has eleven locations around the world and counting. He has restaurants in Turkey, Dubai, Miami, and will be opening shortly in New York and London. He is a Turkish chef of Kurdish origins. He’s a young man (with nine children!), and he’s been slicing and salting since he was a teen! He went to Argentina at 14 and spent time on a farm with butchers. He has devoted his life to meat. His art of cooking and preparing meat has made him an internet sensation, which showcases his flamboyant and sensual, borderline erotic, preparations of meat where he caresses it, slaps it and skillfully salts it. Thus his nickname of Salt Bae has become very popular. He often dons a ponytail and can be seen shirtless in many of his youtube videos.
He has chosen Miami for his first American location, and he found a home in the former Coya Restaurant at 999 Brickell Avenue, in the heart of Brickell. They have totally transformed this space into a 200 seat, chic, upscale restaurant with additional seating on an outdoor patio. Walk through the front doors that look like you are entering a meat locker. There are neon light fixtures that look like meat hooks. There is a large bar, lots of greenery and a very attractive crowd of meat lovers. There is a large butcher display where you can see all the different cuts of meat.
The restaurant has highly personal and engaging Turkish hospitality, as evidenced by our server Huseyin, who couldn’t do enough for us, and totally spoiled us rotten with attentive service.
The menu offers various cuts of expensive steaks, rack of lamb, meatballs, sausage, a burger, plus salads, seafood and sides. But steak is king here, and I highly recommend it. Everything else is just window dressing. We tried the Ottoman steak with bone in, which we were told was an American wagyu, at $120, and large enough for two to share. It comes to the table where a chef puts on a show, expertly slicing it and salting it at the end. If you are lucky and Chef Nusret Gökçeis in the house he may come to your table and do the honours.
There is a Tomahawk on the menu at $275, which is supposed to be a Kobe steak. The sides were disappointing, twice fried potatoes that were eh, and some mushrooms. But I have to admit the steak was perfection. There is a very expensive international wine list to go along with the outrageously expensive steaks. If you take a look around the restaurant, everyone seems to be indulging. For dessert, there is only one choice, baklava. I’m not normally a fan of this dessert, but here they do an excellent job of it. They split it in half, smear vanilla ice cream in the middle and put it back together. Yes, they are putting on a show for you, but oh what a show!
I have to say they serve one of the best steaks I have ever had, except maybe for Japan. They have been having major service issues because of the high volume of customers trying to get in. They don’t always honour reservations and have made people wait up to 2 hours for a table. Let’s hope they don’t become complacent like Prime 112, because here the steak, a good quality cut of meat, is perfectly cooked, tender and juicy and full of flavour. It is a carnivore’s delight. This is impressive considering this has become a chain restaurant.