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Mar 30, 2009 12:53 PM

Steak 954-Fort Lauderdale

According to New Times (see link above) , Stephen Starr of Philadelphia and New Yrok fame, is opening up a new restaurant in the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Great----but---another steak place????

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    1. re: The Chowfather

      Decided to be amongst the first to try Steak 954 on Friday night. The restaurant is located in the newly opened W Hotel on Fort Lauderdale beach. We arrived on time for an 8:45 reservation for two. Several friendly hostesses greeted us at the desk, but advised us the our table was "not quite ready", despite the fact that we could see empty tables in the dining rooms. We waited about 15 minutes in the lively bar area before being seated at a table overlooking the ocean. Although it was dark outside, this table must have a wonderful view at an earlier time. The restaurant is comprised of three dining rooms. The dark wood floors, bright floral wallpaper, and modern touches give the place a "hip," urban feeling. It has an very impressive reef aquarium tank with live jellyfish that is visible from many vantage points in the dining rooms. We liked the space but the main dining room (where we were seated) had a high noise level. The various servers who came over to our table were friendy and went out of their way to welcome us as locals. When the loud fire alarm and its accompanying strobe lights went off, the manager visited each table to appologize for the glitches and inconvenience associated with this new restaurant. The menu is similar to that expected of a classic steak restaurant. (See the link in the posting above for accuracy). We started with a tomatoe mozzareela salad and one romaine wedge with blue cheese/bacon dressing. Both were large and quite good. My husband ordered filet mignon, medium plus---but honestly, it was served well done and very dry. I had the miso cod with bok choy which was very good, although the miso sauce was a bit too thick in my opinion. Whipped potatoes were great and the creamed spinach had a good blend of spinach to cream. You could acutally taste the fresh chopped spinach which I liked a lot. We ordered a bottle of Caymus cabernet priced at just over $100 (sorry don't recall the exact price). We were just too full for dessert and weren't overly enticed with the offerings although the server touted the Baked Alaska. Another issue came about when we mistakenly received the check belonging to the couple next to us and they received ours. Ours was more pricey so the other couple noticed it My husband had a premonition that the valet tickets had been mixed up as well, so we rushed to the bell captain's station. This DID turn out to be the case, as we saw our car being driven up from the garage BEFORE we had turned in our valet ticket! We will probably go back again. However, its classic offerings won't make me frequent Steak 954---but I liked it despite the problems encountered.. It was a nice evening and the space in an of itself is a good additon to the Fort Lauderdale restaurant scene.

      1. re: The Chowfather

        Good review... Although I don't really think its far superior to every other place in South Florida that serves meat, seafood, and potatoes as the writer likes to say. There are so many steak, seafood type places around South Florida that are good... BLT, P112, the Palm, Bourbon Steak, Talula, etc, etc.

        "There isn't another restaurant in South Florida in this league if you've got a yen for pricey meat, fresh seafood, and potatoes."

        1. re: The Chowfather

          Can you really take this review seriously?

          branzino = a type of sea bass

          bronzino = a painter who lived during the Italian Renaissance

          The critic enjoyed a whole filleted bronzino. Must've been a very tough entree to swallow.

          1. The original comment has been removed
            1. Steak 954 was packed during my weeknight visit. The restaurant is modern and had a lively/sophisticated feel to it which I think Ft. Lauderdale needed. In a nutshell, the food I tried was good and I was intrigued by some of the menu items that I didn't try. (tuna tacos w/ foie gras, kobe sliders, tater tots, etc) The lobster/crab ceviche I tried was very good. My ribeye was very tender but surprisingly under seasoned and bland. The side of hash browns were over salted and inedible. For a reference point, the steaks and sides I've had at Bourbon Steak were much better. Nevertheless, I'm willing to give this another shot because the menu has promise if executed properly and the scene is a winner.

              3 Replies
              1. re: The Chowfather

                Seems to me that a Kobe slider/hamburger is a waste of a great cut of meat and mostly a marketing ploy. Kobe gets its high rating due to incredible fat marbling which is destroyed when grinding up hamburger. Dollar for dollar, you are better using a tasty, cheaper cut of meat and adding extra fat if you want the flavor.

                1. re: The Chowfather

                  As promised I returned to Steak 954 and this meal was OUTSTANDING. Started with the Kobe sliders, one was topped with caramelized onions and the other topped with Gruyere cheese and both served on brioche buns. Both were very tasty.

                  I had to give the ribeye another shot because I really couldn't figure out why my first one was bland. This one was PERFECT. My medium rare was super tender, nicely trimmed, flavorful and expertly seasoned. It doesn't get much better than this one. I needed some green so I passed on the potato options this time and went with the creamed spinach. Another winner. The cream was light which allowed the fresh spinach to stand out.

                  The Service was top notch without being in your face annoying.
                  Now I can highly recommend this spot.

                  1. re: The Chowfather

                    I agree completely. The food, especially the great steaks, excellent! I recommend sitting on the patio instead of in the back area. Much nicer. My only issue was that WHiskey Blue and 954 are two completely separate revenue streams for the W, so having a cocktail in the fantastic looking Whisky and then trying to take it to your table next door is not possible. Well, unless you want to pour your top shelf $15 martini into a plastic glass. The bar in 954 is ok, but tiny and crowded. Plus slow to serve.