Heard there'd be a soft opening on Wednesday so where the heck else was I gonna go for dinner?!
When I heard Govind Armstrong was opening a burger place in South Beach I was a bit surprised - South Beach being the place where girls take a wiff of a burger and pronounce themselves stuffed and guys would rather load up on Patron than a burger and fries. But to heck with them, if Mr. Armstrong was going to open a burger place it's probably gonna be damn good and it is.
The menu is abbreviated until the place gets its bearings. Service is commensurate with a newly opened place and is still getting its sea legs. But you can tell that the place that once was Novecento (and before that Biga and who knows what else) will become a neighborhood hangout and a place that only tourists specifically looking for it will find it. Obviously the menu revolves around burgers. 8 oz, 6 oz, beef, lamb, turkey... You order a readymade burger (the Melrose being similar to the famous Father's Office burger but not as over the top) or make your own. We ordered one 8 oz and one Melrose (6 oz) and fries. We ordered fried chorizo-stuffed olives to start and at $6 for 5 olives, although tasty, it's a bit much. The 8oz burger came out med-rare as requested but the 6 oz was at medium. What we noticed was that the meat itself lacked flavor and since most of the add-ons were lumped in the middle of the burger (including the cheese, which was a little square in the middle of the large patty) it took a couple of bites to get the full effect. But when you got there the effect was very, very good. Fries were good but would’ve wanted to try the truffled potato skins (which they had run out of according to our waiter but which miraculously appeared to other tables towards the end of our meal. Definitely a service issue that I’m confident will be worked out.). There weren’t beers on tap (hopefully they’ll have soon) but they had some craft beers like Rogue.
I can’t wait till the full-fledged menu is implemented. Fried Wisconsin cheese curds, Humboldt Fog cheese as a burger topping, Bacon Bloody Mary... I hear my arteries clogging just writing about it.