This week marks the one year anniversary of Quality Meats Miami Beach. The NYC import came in making quite the splash and opening during the busiest food time of the year: South Beach Wine and Food. We sat down with the restaurant's executive chef Patrick Rebholz to find out how the first year went and what we can anticipate in year two.
Overall, how has the first year at Quality Meats been?
It's been a great year at Quality Meats. Being here from day one when we were building the restaurant in an historic, art deco kind of a building, it was a really good experience. Overall, the growth in the first year has just been amazing, in and outside of the kitchen. Again, it's been challenging but I think the Miami public, especially the locals, have really grasped our concept down here and were familiar with us from being down here years ago with Smith & Wollensky.
Miami really embraces the "wow factor."
What have your biggest challenges been this past year? I think first and foremost was the space but it was kind of nice because it allowed us to really grow and evolve within it. We couldn't do much to structurally change the space, so the first months it was a daily basis of really growing into the space and kind of adapting, which was really fun. I think we've grown a lot and in our consistency and our service and our entire philosophy really is about this building, about this street, about being on South Beach and south on the island too.
That segue into my next question. You guys have gotten a lot of recognition this past year, what would you say is your biggest accomplishment has been?
I'm really excited what the last year has brought for private dining and banquets and in running two floors. We have a lot of private dining on our second floor that's opened up and we've gotten a lot of good exposure through wine dinners and private events with groups like Cobaya where we could really push the envelope, some of the things that we did with them and built into some of our private dining events, have really become our staples now. That's kind of what we're all about, large platform, kind of sharing dishes. It's really been a fun, fun thing.
How would you say the Miami location differs from the NYC Quality Meats?
I think the biggest is Miami really embraces the "wow factor." On a nightly basis we feature a four and a half pound Porterhouse that's three inches thick. It's something that really flies down here. Our large platform, our pizza, our chicken Parmesan pizza that
Every day was a new lesson to be learned, a new hurdle.
we feature, we brought in from Quality Italian in Midtown New York; we brought it down here and it's really just been embraced, and on the large platform side we started introducing two new large platform dishes for two people. It's really fun. It's really fun for the kitchen to do and when it's fun for the kitchen to do, it really shows on the plate. Our customers are really having a good time with it. That's what it's all about. People are down here on vacation, they're having a good time and that sense of community and family is really brought to the table when you have those kind of dishes.
Since opening day, how do you think the restaurant has evolved?
Leaps and bounds for sure. Every day was a new lesson to be learned, a new hurdle. Again, it has been a learning experience and it's gone by so quickly. The biggest thing is we grew into the spot and we really embraced Miami and I think that was the most important thing. I think everybody's happy with us being here and we're excited for a second year and to learn from our mistakes and really, really emphasize the good things that we did.
Speaking of your second year, anything big in store for the upcoming year?
All sorts of stuff. On the horizon, Wine and Food, we're going to be a Burger
I had been working in the Carolinas the last 20 years and I feel that Miami really embraced me.
Bash, Meatopia, we're going to do the Italian gig on Thursday. We have a really cool weekend scheduled in April with an Argentinean chefs, where we are going to set up an outdoor fire pit on the patio and we're going to cook an entire steerout there the whole weekend, so it's going to be three sets of dinners. Two semi-casual and one more fine dining on Saturday. Before coming here, I had been working in the Carolinas the last 20 years and I feel that Miami really embraced me. I just want to say thank you to everyone and it's been a lot of fun. We look forward to doing the same next year.
Does it feel like it's been a year?
It feels like it's been a week or so. No, being on the beach makes it even more crazy and rolled by much faster because it's a new experience every single day.