There are very few restaurants left in Miami where you can put on a suit and a dress these days. The Matador Room in Ian Schrager’s Miami Beach Edition Hotel is an exception. Located at 2901 Collins Avenue, it’s a stunning, sunken circular space, to mimic the feel of a bull fighting arena, with high ceilings, and artwork of famous Matadors and their costumes. Inside is very elegant and refined. I also love dining outside on the terrace surrounding the beautiful pool. It has a romantic, tropical feel which is very sexy. The crowd is dressed to the nines.
The restaurant is Jean George‘s interpretation of modern Latin cooking. The menu also has influences from the Caribbean, Spain, and South America.
I am a big fan of Jean George. I especially enjoy dining at two of his restaurants in New York, the more formal one in the Trump Hotel in Columbus Circle and the one in the Mark Hotel. The one at the Edition Hotel doesn’t quite measure up.
They suggest you order family-style and try to up sell you on everything. If you are tired of family-style you can ignore this suggestion and order a tapas and one main course. Or just order several tapas to share. You don’t have to be bullied into ordering 4-5 tapas and then a couple of main courses. It really is too much to eat!
There are hits and misses on the menu. The sweet pea guacamole is quite tasty, as is the fish tacos. The snapper ceviche is also a winner. The avocado pizza with jalapeños and the truffle pizza with fontina cheese were fantastic. The octopus was tender and the scallops were good as well. The one tapas we think that was awful was the tuna tartar. The tuna was SO fishy tasting and way too spicy.
There have been service issues here as well. One time we were here and everything ran smoothly. In another visit the service was horrendous from the beginning to the end. We waited forever to get a menu, then forever to get served, and to have our wine poured, (they also brought a different wine than we ordered). The fries came after we finished eating and they were cold. We had to flag down different waiters or managers for each course as our waiter was MIA. We took guests here and we’re so embarrassed. They said they would never come back again. The did send over a free dessert as an apology, but really the whole meal should have been comped. That is how bad the service was. I guess it is the luck of the draw for getting an incompetent waiter. Let’s hope that evening was the exception and not the rule. I know other times we have eaten there we have had no issue with the service (other than up selling).
The Matador Room is a good place for a business dinner on an expense account, a romantic date or a special celebration or to enjoy a scene.The food is quite good but I wouldn’t call it exceptional.
Also check out the Hotel’s bowling alley and skating rink downstairs.
The avocado pizza looks delish!