Over the top, showstopper, luxurious, excessive, dramatic, high end and glamorous are a few adjectives I would use to describe the newly opened Queen restaurant! Found inside the historic Paris Theater on 550 Washington Avenue, South Beach. Built in 1945, it had had a complete makeover from top to bottom over a 3 1/2 year time frame, and well over 20 million dollars poured into the project.
The rich and famous will surely come, as well as the wannabes. Hopefully, people with discerning tastes may think twice. I was blown-away by the no expense spared space, the supper club vibe, the sound, the lights, the intricate mosaic tiles, and the terrazzo floors. I loved the glassed-in kitchen, watching the staff busy at work, and the multitude of servers and attentive managers continuously circling the restaurant. The plush banquets, the members-only VIP lounge, and the private Omakase on the second floor were very impressive, where they can overlook the mere plebs, through the large picture windows. There is mezzanine seating as well when there is overflow. Most impressive was the spectacular overhead LED domed ceiling in the main dining room, which was otherworldly.
Now if the food were just as remarkable, this place would be amazing.
The three kitchens in the restaurant have different functions. The restaurant bills itself as a Japanese steakhouse that uses French techniques. There are plenty of small dishes, mediocre sushi, and raw options. Nothing stood out as memorable. Of course, they have the requisite caviar service. The branzino was acceptable and was decent portion size. The duck a la orange was terrible. It was overcooked and in a bland sauce. The $65 hot pot was underwhelming too, but I have high standards when I remember how good this was at the now-shuttered Kyu restaurant. We didn’t try the steaks, so I can’t honestly comment, but they range in price from $63 for a skirt steak to upwards of $385 for a Tomahawk.
The music gradually increases as the evening progresses, and you eventually have to scream to talk.
They really push the drinks, and there is a lounge outside the dining room for pre- or after-dinner drinks, as you are timed for dinner but can still spend more money afterward. The dining room also has a bar where an extensive cocktail program is on offer using premium liquor, extensive and expensive champagne, and a selection of wines, including exclusive labels and boutique producers. There is a decent size selection of wines by the glass too. You can splurge on a 3oz Chateau D’ Yquem at $195 or a glass of Cristal for $205.
This large restaurant is a fully immersive experience and a total indulgence for your wallet. If you are looking for a high-end experience with glitz and glamour and are not so concerned about a culinary experience, then I think you will enjoy your evening here.