The small island of Puerto Rico is starting to make a serious name for itself in the culinary world. With big name talents like Wilo Benet and Jose Enrique and restaurants like Budatai and La Casona leading the high-end culinary scene, the island is slowly luring chefs from across the Atlantic to its shores. Like Spanish chef José Andrés, the co-owners of Meat Market Miami hope to reap a similar level of success with their new outpost in San Juan, Puerto Rico, opened on September 30th.
David Tornek and executive chef Sean Brasel’s Meat Market Miami is located in the Isla Verde area of the island’s capital at the El San Juan Resort and Casino, a Hilton hotel popular with both tourists and locals. This hotel is now home to what general manager Oliver Maumaire calls an “inventive take on the steakhouse experience” which “[combines] the flair of San Juan with the style of Miami Beach”.
This seems like a pretty accurate description; far from the dark, rustic feel of traditional steakhouses, this restaurant's light-colored walls and modern decor are lit with candles giving it a more tropical feel. And if we take Puerto Rican culture’s love affair with meat as an accurate indicator of future outcomes, this Miami import is surely well suited to San Juan’s atmosphere and heritage. Tornek told Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia that “San Juan is a perfect city to open a restaurant like Meat Market Miami because of its vibrant culture, sexy energy, sophisticated locals and knowledgeable tourists”.
Meat Market Miami, though named for its signature Kobe filet mignons and aged porterhouses, also offers an impressive list of creative fish dishes, like a Salmon with Candied Jalapeno Orange Glaze and a local Snapper with a Celery Root Puree and Chorizo. These and all other entrees are served with varied options of sides that range from Gouda Tater-Tots to Lobster Risotto. The restaurant also boasts a Crudo Bar that offers small, freshly made plates including Oyster Shooters and a Tuna Tartare with ginger, soy and a mango mole.
The restaurant is now open and taking reservations. Make yours soon.