Friday, April 12, 2024

Restaurant Review: Meat Market

Meat Market has infused Midtown Boca Raton with Miami-inspired sexiness and glamour. While other steakhouses may give off a more traditional, classic and perhaps even subdued feel, this steakhouse is all about posh interiors, high energy and a diverse menu that doesn’t dictate your only option is a basic cut of red meat (gasp!).

While many tripped over themselves to get into other trendy Miami steakhouses in the aughts that I won’t name, I have been a fan of Meat Market since its flagship Lincoln Road location opened on South Beach in 2008. Although that concept closed quietly during the pandemic, the brand successfully opened Tampa, Palm Beach and San Juan, Puerto Rico locations before landing in Boca Raton. Corporate Chef Sean Brasel has been with the company since its inception, and his passion for creating new dishes is reflected on the menu’s daily specials. So, while your visit to Meat Market may be driven by your craving for a steak, don’t sleep on Brasel’s other handiwork.

Wagyu beef dumplings

On the midweek evening I visited, the bar scene was reflective of a Miami nightclub, with glitterati dressed to impress and sipping on martinis and Old Fashioneds. The concept’s sleek design continues to endorse the brand’s sexy aesthetic, with polished gold chains separating the bar and dining room, and intimate booths and plush fabrics throughout. Plus, it has three bars—a relaxed outdoor bar, a sultry indoor bar and lounge area, and a poolside bar. And if you’re looking for a unique private dining experience, reserve its wine cellar for a memorable evening.

We started with the crispy rice tuna ($35), Wagyu beef dumplings ($14) and roasted escargot ($17). The tuna was on the daily special menu, but if you like crispy tuna rice and it’s on the menu when you visit, order it—the dish delivered with a brushstroke of spicy mayo. But the dumplings and escargot missed the mark. The beautifully plated dumplings—more crunchy angular pockets than fluffy pillows—lacked flavor, and the escargot needed more garlic and more than the two small crostini provided with it.

Prime confit short rib

The steak trio ($70) was a juicy sampler of cuts that included a petit picanha, petit kimchi marinated New York strip, and petit buffalo tenderloin topped with marrow butter—all adorably tiny and expertly cooked and enjoyed down to the last bite. If you’re starving, this isn’t the dish for you. The prime confit short rib ($28) was a big hit at the table. The ultra-tender beef from California’s Niman Ranch was cooked in a rich barbecue sauce and served with braised purple cabbage and a crispy polenta cake that was soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Our side of Gouda tater tots ($10) was a blast from the past, reminiscent of a childhood snack that went to college.

For its location and price point, a couple of details fell short—our wine glasses sat empty a few times, and the check was hastily placed on our table without a check presenter. That being said, as a longtime fan, I’ll chalk it up to growing pains and look forward to my next Meat Market meal.

IF YOU GO

2000 N.W. 19th St., Boca Raton; 561/245-6777
PARKING: Valet
HOURS: Sun. – Wed., 5 – 11 p.m.; Thurs. – Sat., 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.
PRICES: $14 – $150
WEBSITE: meatmarket.net

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Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie Galeano-DeMott
Christie is a food lover, travel fanatic, bookworm, Francophile, and she believes art in all its forms is good for the soul. When she’s not writing about the incredible dishes, people and places that capture South Florida's culture and vibe, Christie is irresistibly happy in the company of her husband and a glass of red wine.

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