Wolfgang's Steakhouse: Taste the Macho Meat
A few days ago, something strange happened. It was a sunless Monday, and the humdrum of lunch filled Wolfgang's Steakhouse downtown. Three guys chatted over steak salads, real estate tycoon Jorge Perez perused a lengthy report while sipping Diet Coke, and waiters scraped breadcrumbs off my white-tablecloth-topped table. Favoring silk ties over cotton tees, the average patron here looks more baby boomer than millennial. At this airy restaurant, which sells a $4,000 bottle of Pétrus, that's to be expected.
billwisserphoto.com Steak for two at Wolfgang's Steakhouse
What I didn't expect was to be the only woman sitting among the suits.
Sure, the macho crowd gains diversity on weekends. Those days, navy blue Porsche sedans and silver Jaguars fringe the valet's curved driveway. Inside, bejeweled ladies drink martinis and gossip over seafood platters. Handsome guests rifle through the heavy, leather-bound wine list. But even then, the setting might remind you of a white-collar crime flick. Wolfgang's is where Michael Douglas would order a steak medium-rare, play hardball, and then swiftly seal the deal.
In May, Wolfgang Zwiener cohosted the restaurant's opening with condo magnate Jorge Perez and Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. For decades, Zwiener was the head waiter at Peter Luger, the most lionized steak house in New York City. The server opened his first Luger-like steak house on Park Avenue in 2004. Since then, Zwiener has launched six additional locations worldwide. Today, his empire spans from Beverly Hills to Waikiki.
Steak houses such as these supply discretion to guests. Chocolate-hued booths rim the rear of the dining room, a lofted space strategically placed away from windows and everybody else. The view from inside includes Brickell Key, downtown, and scenic bay vistas. But more awe-inspiring are the sounds: the sputtering of blood and butter seeping through the flesh of perfectly cooked steaks.
Wolfgang's hangs its meats in a dry-aging box for weeks and then cooks them in a 1,600-degree broiler. Waiters in white aprons tilt the steak for two, a colossal porterhouse, until a hot pool of grease forms on the plate's edge. They serve the portion -- salty, earthy, and rich slivers of meat gashed from both the filet and strip -- and baste each piece with scalding juice. Its exterior is charred; its interior is a blushing pink. The porterhouse is absolutely delectable.