When one of the things you hear about a restaurant’s chef is that President Obama is a former employer, your interest is peaked. When you hear that the restaurant he now works in specialises in steaks, you make reservations.
Located within the Marriott Hotel at West India Key, Manhattan Grill offers up a fine selection of beef cuts proudly prepared by head chef Damian Trejo, a man who counts a president in a long line of satisfied clients.
Here the meat is king, with all cuts sourced from either Creekstone Kansas USDA Black Angus, the gold standard for USDA Angus beef, or grass fed Scottish Aberdeen Angus. The cuts have been carefully selected and aged from these cattle for exceptional taste, and after being cooked in the restaurant’s Montague broiler, they are an indulgence not to be missed.
During our visit we first enjoyed a selection of starters, notably seared Black Pearl Scallops with pea puree and chorizo, and a delicious baked blue swimmer crab cake, before sampling a number of fine red wines from the restaurant’s preserving system. The restaurant holds the largest selection of wines from Rothschild Estates and there are some fantastic bottles to choose from; we opted for a bottle of Bordeaux to accompany our mains.
Collectively ordering the 16oz Rib Eye ‘Bone In’, 8oz Sirloin and Wagyu Rib Eye special, it’s fair to say our tastebuds were suitably impressed. Exceptionally flavoursome, tender and moist, the steaks were unquestionable standouts from the experience. Silent glances expressing appreciation were exchanged as we savored every mouthful, begrudgingly sharing our plates amongst us. Sides of creamed spinach, sweet potato fries and asparagus complimented, but did not overwhelm the stars of the order: the exceptional steaks.
Over dessert of Quay Lime Pie and New York Cheesecake our conversation remained firmly on the importance of savouring a good steak on a regular basis. With this ritual on our minds we couldn’t help but wonder when we might next visit to silently savor different cuts.
With such exceptional meats on offer, prepared carefully to the standards that Trejo has set, the Manhattan Grill is well worth a visit for those seeking carnivorous delights in the city.