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Meat Market Palm Beach
Meat Market Palm Beach |Photo: Ben-Rusnak

Gleaming like a golden orb, an evening at Meat Market Palm Beach is great theater, with a sparkling luxe interior, superior service, and a weighty meaty menu filled with everything from snails to buffalo.

I had been hearing wondrous things about this restaurant, an old fashioned steak house with some twists. Meeting up with some friends on a rainy Wednesday night, we were ushered into the gorgeous main dining room with high ceilings, glass globe chandeliers, lots of tables and an inviting wall hugging array of booths. Our party of four settled into a corner booth which was perfect for people watching, ordered up some sparkling water and perused the drink menu.

The drinks are arranged in various categories – Apertifs & Sparkling, House Creations, Classics & Stirred, and Old Fashioneds. The names are as imaginative as the drinks with such tags as Honey Bunny – with Belvedere vodka, strawberry, vanilla bitters and Prosecco; and the Drunken Oyster Shooter (!) with green chile vodka, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno and truffle rim salt.

Meat Market Palm Beach Drinks

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I opted for One Night in Mexico just because it sounded so cinematic and I love tequila drinks. This little complex fireball concoction had Mezcal, Campari, Blood orange juice, cinnamon, agave and citrus. It was spicy and fruity at the same time, a real unusual winner.

Since we were a party of four and I was itching to try everything, we ordered up a hearty selection of appetizers that included the Ceviche Special – in this case a white fish with a pesto type vinaigrette sauce; some Char Gilled Chimuchurri Oysters that were lovely little Latino bites on the half shell; and the real standout was the Roasted Escargot – yes that’s snails to you – with a spicy chorizo butter and grilled crostini to sop up the sauce.

The Grilled Kale Cesar Salad was a nice dish of mixed greens, the kale having been lightly grilled to make it crispy on the edges.

Take a deep breath, finish the Night in Mexico, order some Prosecco and dive into the main courses. One of the dinner companions who had eaten at Meat Market before could not stop raving about two dishes – the Roasted Cauliflower and the Tater Tots stuffed with Gouda cheese. The Caulflower is a whole head served on a plate, soft as butter and topped with lemon, parsley, capers, parmesan cheese and other yummy things and surrounded by a pool of pureed cauliflower. I lived in Long Island for a few years where Cauliflower is the main crop, heads as big as basketballs were sold along the road side at farmer stands 7 months out of the year so I had tried cooking it many ways. This was a new presentation with the puree addition and really elevated the lowly white gnarly vegetable.

Now we really get to the meat of the matter – the Meat menu. There are so many cuts and sauces and styles to choose from. There’s Prime short rib, bone-in ribeye, Waygu beef Tomahawk ribeye, dry aged porterhouse, filet mignon, prime skirt steak, a Kobe meatloaf with bacon and mango BBQ sauce, as well as a Meat Market Gourmet Sampler that offered a little bit of everything.

Some of the dishes in the menu of Meat Market Palm Beach…

Steak is great and I was ready to go for the Filet Mignon with a choice of Steak Butters – Boursin, Lobster, Chili Mole or Marrow. I mean is there anything more sinful and decadent than a flavored steak butter? I didn’t think so, but then there is the “Creative Sauce” menu that lists a homemade Steak Sauce, Pasilla Garlic Sauce, Chimichurri, Mango & Scotch Bonnet, Wild Mushroom and Truffle Sauce and several more. For steak lovers this is just as divine as it gets.

Then the Cherokee Indian side of me caught sight on the Great Plains menu of the Buffalo Tenderloin with Chili, Espresso Rub and CHOCOLATE MOLE BUTTER. Really? I’m sold on this happy hunting ground. Melting Chocolate Mole Butter came on a fist sized filet medium rare that was the most tender broiled filet I have ever had. The complex mix of spices and charbroiled exterior was just as good as it gets for carnivores. I didn’t even need the knife. I could have added a lobster tail for some over the top dining but was heap big happy enough with the buffalo.

My dining companions had Seabass and the Steak.

For sides we ordered the Hen of the Woods Shitake and Tree Oyster Mushroom mix, the Broccolini with sun dried tomato, and those cute Tater Tots, as gooey and fun as had been promised. At this point of a very rich, indulgent meal, your eyes kind of start to glaze over from the richness of it – and that Night in Mexico I spent. We were laughing at various bits of conversation ranging from politics to the Larry David Show to heavy metal rock music of the 1980s including my old pals Saigon Kick.

The room grew dimmer – must have been the mood lighting – and everyone suddenly looks better. That must mean it’s time for dessert.

Did we have room? No. Did that stop us from ordering? No!

In the spirit of trying as much as possible I had the Palm Beach Sampler that came with a Roasted Coconut Macaroon, Mandarin Cheesecake, a Warm Chocolate Cake, a Cuban Coffee Frappe (bonus points for that creative creation) and a sorbet that I think was Key Lime with a sprinkling of Graham Cracker crumbs. I also had a very delicious Cappuccino that came with – ta da – a rock candy stick. I love these things! I stirred the coffee with it and put the whole thing in my mouth to get the sugar rush, which prompted a laugh from my dining companion Larry who said that it was an “aggressive move”. I don’t know about that but it just made me feel like a kid with a nice hot caffeinated adult beverage.

By now it was late as dinner had run over 3 decadent hours with a myriad of tastes and flavors and gorgeous food. Meat Market is a major dining experience, swanky and swaggering and chic. Bravo to Chef Sean Brasel and the top notch staff.

If you visit: Meat Market Palm Beach is located on 191 Bradley Pl, Palm Beach, FL 33480. It is an upscale steakhouse featuring contemporary, stylish decor, plus a bar and a sizable wine selection, open daily from 4 PM until 12 PM on weekdays and until 1 AM on weekends. For more information about this restaurant and its other locations, visit: www.meatmarket.net

 

Sandra-Schulman Sandra Schulman is an arts writer, music and film producer. Born in Miami, her work has appeared in Billboard, Variety, Rolling Stone, Ocean Drive, Country Music Magazine, The New York Daily News, News From Indian Country, and Entertainment Weekly. She was an entertainment columnist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for 8 years. She has authored three books on pop culture. She currently lives in West Palm Beach with her blue eyed whippet. Sandra Schulman’s column appears weekly. Contact her at sandraslink@gmail.com.