(Photo of STEAK 954, courtesy of W Hotels)
Every Mary has her Rhoda. Every Marcia has her Jan. For many years, Fort Lauderdale played second fiddle to ever-popular Miami. But with the opening of the Ritz Carlton in August 2008 and the W Hotel in April 2009, Fort Lauderdale is shedding her braces and graduating from finishing school. No better place to experience the transformation than overlooking the beach at the W’s stylish, new restaurant, Steak 954.
Created by Stephen Starr (of New York’s Buddakan fame), Steak 954 infuses the classic steakhouse with a modern, South Florida flair. At dinner, steaks range from an 8 oz. Filet ($35) to a 36 oz. Australian Tajima Kobe Porterhouse ($245). Non-beef-lover options include Butter Poached Maine Lobster (MP), Miso-glazed Black Cod ($27) and Seared Duck Breast ($26). Weekend nights can be a bit of a scene, but the restaurant, with its sleek jellyfish aquarium and outdoor terrace, is successful at accommodating an eclectic mix of guests.
For a more relaxed experience, enjoy the ocean view while sipping a Bloody Mary ($12) during the weekend brunch. Traditional favorites like the Vanilla French Toast and Mushroom & White Cheddar Omelet share the menu with funky breakfast creations like the Short Rib Benedict and Cuban Egg Sandwich with pulled pork, and lunch-sized portions of the dinner entrees (most under $20). Whether you are in the mood for a little “br” or a little “unch” a side order of the Truffle French Fries are a necessary complement to your meal. I promise; you will thank me.
Steak 954 keeps with the slick, modern vibe of the W brand while incorporating the relaxed environment of a beachside café. Fort Lauderdale is slowly but surely cultivating its own kind of casual glam that works well for this friendly beach town. In the last few years, this wallflower has blossomed into a sophisticated, trendy new presence and is enjoying her time in the spotlight.