We were just down in Aventura again for a few days, and feel compelled to have some chowhounders confirm my feelings about the 3 meals we had. Because of their terrific summer deal, we stayed at the Fairmont Turnberry. So, of course, had to go to Bourbon Steak. I must preface my remarks by stating that we are from New York, so the prices did not phase us, and were not checking bags, so could not bring a bottle of wine from our cellar with us even if there was no corkage charge. I will say that the food was quite good, but the total experience was horrendous. Our total bill, with wine, including their 18% gratuity added (which is less than I would give for excellent service, more than I would give for what we got) was around $500. We thought that the service was really sub-par, starting with the fact that the waiter came over every minute or 2 to ask if he could take our order. We were there on Wednesday night, and when we were first showed to our table, we saw that there was a very large table of adults next to our, and what looked like a table that had not been cleared yet next to that. We looked around and saw that there were a lot of large groups, so decided to stay where we were. It turned out that the vacant table was the children that came with the large party, so we had to listen to screeching 5 year old girls, in addition to the fact that the restaurant was very noisy when full. My feeling about restaurants of this caliber is that it is not just about the food, but about the total dining experience, and this one just did not do it for us.
Thursday night we went to a restaurant we found through Zagat, which gave it a 26 for food and a 12 for atmosphere, Hiro's. The menu had a large variety of more authentic Japanese offerings than the standard teriyaki and tempura dishes, and we thoroughly enjoyed everything we ordered. Service was great, cold sake was excellent, and for a fraction of the price we had a very enjoyable meal.
Friday night we went to our long-time favorite, Chef Allen's. As always, we were not disappointed. The food was excellent, the wine that was recommended was great, and newly renovated restaurant was lovely, tables well spaces, smaller spaces less noisy, service was great, friendly without being too intrusive. They gave us 2 sample appetizers, and we ordered the chocolate souffle, so after I had the excellent shrimp and grits, I could only eat less than half of my whole grilled yellowtail snapper. That is possibly my only negative thought, but I can certainly live with that.
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