The goods: The sibling to the Los Angeles restaurant of the same name, the Miami Apple outpost aims to capture some of the buzz and exclusivity of the West Coast destination. The main attraction is executive chef Bryan Ogden, son of famed San Francisco chef Bradley Ogden, who brings a farmer’s market approach to the clubby restaurant’s menu. At first, Apple reminded us quite a bit of Bancroft SupperClub. Both restaurants position themselves as nightlife destinations with dinner service the first half of the night. Both have live DJ’s, dim lighting and serious chefs. But the similarities end there.
Ambiance: Where Bancroft is all purples and blacks, Apple is exposed brick walls, wood floors and soaring ceilings outfitted in green moss. Glass wine cases separate an upper level lounge that offers private dining for up to forty people while circular banquettes on the ground floor offer prime perches for people watching.
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The grub: Modern American cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal produce and seafood. The compact menu offers a raw bar selection to go along with about eight starters and eigh mains. Prices skew to the nightlife crowd, starters are $8-$18, mains $19-$40. Complimentary Parmesan bread sticks and a truffle dipping sauce set the scene for starters like roasted diver scallops in a celery root and truffle vinaigrette or a spicy tuna tartar served on watermelon cubes with jalapeno cream. The four non-beef mains include pan roasted red grouper, line-caught swordfish and kalamata olive gnocchetti served with green squash and lemon herb ricotta. Go for the swordfish which comes on a bed of lemon orzo and roasted eggplant. Steaks include a 16oz New York strip and a 12oz filet mignon, both of which pair well with a $14 glass of Erath Pinot Noir, a red from Oregon and one of seven wines offered by the glass.
Desserts include a warm apple crumble served with cinnamon ice cream and a petite pot of sour cream cheesecake topped with graham cracker crumbs.
Verdict: Either you’ll go here because it’s conveniently located near the clubs on Washington, or because you’re interested in seriously good food.
Apple Restaurant and Lounge, 1437 Washington Ave, 305-531-2600.