The Dutch is an amazing oasis of warm hospitality in a sea of stilettos and gigantic fake boobies. Miami is known for $1000 bottle service and vying for reservations at the latest it spot – not necessarily to eat great food but more to see and be seen. The W hotel, and in fact, the other eateries/bars inside the hotel tend to make you feel like you are there on approval and you should be happy they let you in. That perhaps is why the Dutch was such a welcome surprise.
The Dutch offers up gracious service and an exceptional menu crafted by the Michelin starred Andrew Carmellini – who worked his way through the best restaurants in NYC and Europe. You may know him from Locanda Verde, situated in Robert De Niro’s Greenwich Hotel in Tribeca. (See AndrewCarmellini.com)
The Dutch started in SoHo and then spawned a little sister in the W Hotel in Miami Beach.
The food is stellar but the very first thing we noticed was the genuine warm hospitality we encountered by every member of the team. Of course, you might think…but lets be clear—many eateries in Miami treat you as though you should not have made it past the velvet ropes.
As we entered there were two lovely ladies at the hostess stand helping other guests. They both made a point to smile and acknowledge us and one told us they we would be right with us. We were able to take in the fresh decor. Lofty ceilings, white tile and marble with honed reclaimed wood details were reminiscent of a beautiful bistro in Paris or wine country. This felt like a place that took its food seriously but knew its guests were there to visit and have fun. When I checked in for our reservation the hostess indicated our reserved table was ready but suggested that if we were to wait just a few minutes that an even better one would be very shortly available. We of course took her advice and ordered a drink from the bar. I ordered my new favorite, a Moscow Mule and it arrived in the perfect frosty copper mug. My husband ordered an Old Fashioned, which for him is the bellwether of a restaurant experience. Our dining companions were instantly jealous of our choices.
True to the hostess’ promise we were seated almost immediately after receiving our drinks. There was no awkward clearing up a tab at the bar as the hostess indicated she would ensure it was transferred to our table. Just one of the examples of hospitality.
Indeed our table was lovely and we were especially happy to have some space at and between tables, without the situation we so often encounter of ending up on top of one another.
Our waiter Jonathan was knowledgeable and welcoming, noting that we were locals and letting us know that in future to call directly and that there would be a note that we were locals and that they keep a few tables for locals only. Points scored again.
The menu items and the specials all sounded so good that it was difficult to choose…Jonathan let us know that we didn’t have to and could go with a 3 or 4 course tasting menu. Done.
What I especially loved about the tasting menu at The Dutch is that it is not just 3 or 4 courses showing up- nope—it is 3 or 4 choices of appetizers to share, a pasta and then 1 or two large servings of a main. We went all out and were we ever glad we did. We also ordered an additional plate of Kushi and Shoal Oysters….
I don’t even like oysters but in the interest of completeness and the fact that this is an “Oyster Bar” made me dive in and give them a try. They were actually yummy and I would venture ordering them again. So maybe I like oysters after all…
Don’t skip the bread basket here…its far too good. the breads hail from Miami darling, Zak the Baker. And the appetizers included mini oyster sandwiches, a sheep’s milk cheese terrine, a zesty Ceviche and the best salad I have ever eaten. I know right? The salad was the bomb. And everything else was awesome so that gives you an idea about how good this butter lettuce perfection was–because who gives a shit about a salad? This salad? Me.
The apps were followed by a homemade tagliatelle with Botifarra sausage. Quite possibly my favorite thing of the night-savory and tangy, the perfect amount of tomato and tang. The Tomahawk steak brought to mind Fred Flintstone it was so big, and so good, and so big…that 4 of us couldn’t finish it. And the scallops….well let’s just say there was no trouble finishing those.
For dessert we had a groaning board selection of treats, each one good and everyone could find a favorite.
This is a definite for a repeat experience.