By Mitchell Nover
At this point, who hasn’t heard of the greatness that is a meal at The Dutch (2201 Collins Ave, Miami Beach)? A Miami Beach mainstay, this modern American restaurant has held its place nestled inside the W South Beach hotel for years with some great chefs sharpening their skills and their knives, under the guidance of award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini, while serving up classy, creative, and consistently good food along the way.
Menu highlights: A meal at The Dutch means you’ll be indulging in classic American fare with a South Beach flair. Inspired by local cafes, seaside shacks, and the mix of cultural influences that make South Beach great, the menu features fresh seafood, choice meats, and some of the best produce South Florida.
During my most recent visit, I delighted in a mix of new dishes and signature favorites for a truly delicious dinner with current executive chef, Adonay Tafur at the helm. Celebrating garden-fresh flavors as well as reintroducing some select favorites from the restaurant’s earliest days, highlights included Prime Steak Tartare with earthy shiitake mushrooms, drizzled with a cognac aioli and served crusty toasted rye; Artichoke Ravioli with black truffle and pecorino cheese; Red Snapper “Moqueca” accompanied by spiced lobster broth and refreshing xuxu slaw; a delectable Berkshire Pork Chop Al Pastor with Anson Mills grits; and Jerk Chicken, a new take on an island favorite served with chickpea curry and coconut rice.
And, if all that wasn’t enough to make your taste buds jump for joy, following the meal, critically-acclaimed pastry chef Josh Gripper offered up some amazing creations for dessert. The sweet treats included a Strawberry Peach Ice Cream Cake with roasted peaches and amaretti cookie and Plum Rhubarb Pie with tarragon anglaise and buttermilk sorbet.
Standout dishes: With an experience like the one I enjoyed at The Dutch, it’s impossible to pick only one standout. So, out of everything I ate, the meal I would hands down return for would have to be comprised of the uber refreshing (and perfect for summer) Tomato Salad with basil seeds, cucumber and farm goat cheese, the Spaghetti with Manilla clams and Spanish chorizo (there’s just something about a homemade, al dente pasta that gets me every time), and the Chocolate Peanut Crunch Bar with caramel popcorn and raspberry ice cream, which seals the deal on Chef Gripper’s dessert dominance.
Are we boozing? While The Dutch does have an extensive wine list and bar program, I would recommend saving your drinks for a pre- or post-dinner visit to Living Room. Located right next door to the restaurant, still inside the hotel, the Living Room is not your average lobby bar. This modern and sophisticated lounge also recently revealed a handful of new cocktails, curated by an international list of talented bartenders who have crafted a fresh drink menu reflecting their own personal tastes and worldwide inspirations.
From sweet to sharp to strong and even slightly savory, my sampling of drinks included the Rum with Me (aged dark rum, fresh squeezed lime juice, coconut creme, pineapple, basil, granulated brown sugar), the Eden (London Dry Gin, lillet, creme de violette, elderflower liqueur, fresh basil), the Bourbon Wash Manhattan (Fat Washed Bourbon, dry curaçao, sweet vermouth, whiskey barrel bitters), and the Tavarishch (rye whiskey, amaro, maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, fresh yuzu, bacon).
Check this place out if you like: a modern take on classic American cuisine with a side of an elegant hotel dining experience. Point Royal at the Diplomat Beach Resort, Matador Room at The Edition, and Edge, Steak & Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami all fit the bill.
Mitch’s take: The Dutch never disappoints. Despite years between visits (during which time the restaurant experienced a change in executive chefs), my meal lived up to the fond memories I had of my previous dine. The fact that the restaurant has been able to maintain standards and consistency, while also growing and developing and staying on top of the latest culinary trends speaks volumes. While other South Beach restaurants have come and gone, folding to the pressures of “the Season,” The Dutch continues to keep its head down and deliver a dominant dining experience.