Discover Gastronomy that Emulates New York’s
Major Food Group knows exactly what it’s doing. The restaurant company’s well-known trio—Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick—opened some of New York’s most beloved hotspots, including Carbone, ZZ’s Clam Bar, Sadelle’s, the Lobster Club and the Pool.
When the pandemic hit, they refocused, opening eateries throughout Greater Miami, several of them interpretations of their New York precursors. Of course, the South Beach outpost of Carbone created a ton of buzz. But their upscale version of a red-sauce joint is just the tip of the iceberg.
With Brickell representing Miami’s best approximation of the vigor and street life of Manhattan, Major Food Group chose this dynamic neighborhood as the location for Dirty French Steakhouse. Naturally, there’s also a Dirty French—minus the Steakhouse—in New York, in lower Manhattan just south of the East Village. Due to the tireless efforts of restauranteurs like Major Food Group, Miami has never felt more like the sixth borough of New York, with the Magic City increasingly a foodie Mecca to be reckoned with.
The place is perpetually packed. Super designer Ken Falk has created a series of dining rooms, like a string of parlors that drip with gilt and decadence, like something out of New Orleans, circa 1978. The style can be called disco boudoir. The name Dirty French Steakhouse offers a clue to the expansive menu, similar to what the New York venue offers, but with a full complement of steaks and chops. There’s an 8-ounce filet mignon, a heartier 16-ounce ribeye and 18-ounce New York strip. Additionally, there are two options intended to be shared by two: a flavorful Wagyu tomahawk that weighs in at 36 ounces, and a massive 40-ounce porterhouse.
Now to the French side. If the pandemic has kept you away from Paris, feel free to indulge in the duck a l’orange, the chicken and crepes, crab croquettes, or the giant grilled oysters bourguignon. The mushroom milleuille, an appetizer prepared with sweet corn and yellow
curry, is a French-inflected house specialty.
But this is Miami, and Major Food Group is keenly aware of Miamians’ love of seafood and plethora of pescatarians. In addition to the expected Maine lobster and shrimp cocktail, Dirty French serves up diver scallops, littleneck clams and East Coast oysters. If you don’t feel like choosing, a festive choice for a group is the shellfish tower. Meant to impress are the Kaluga and Golden Ossetra caviar. (Caviar also makes an appearance on the menu at ZZ’s Club, another Major Food Group venue, located in the Miami Design District.) Diners who enjoy their fish in the French style are in luck, with Dover sole meuniere and Cajun snapper on offer.
But Dirty French Steakhouse, toothsome as its dishes and preparations are, is also about theater. That’s why it’s always fun to choose a few dishes based on preparation—like the crab Louis salad prepared tableside, and any dessert that’s delivered flambé-style. Such dramatics are even more fun to experience with a Disco Dancer—Cognac, vanilla, passionfruit—cocktail in hand.