When Taking Dad on a Date, Make it About the Steak

By Alona Abbady Martinez

Dad, papa, abba, or appa—no matter what language you use to refer to the patriarch of your family, there’s nothing quite like having the love, support, and guidance of a father who always has our best interest at heart. Offering thanks one day in June won’t cover all the gratitude and appreciation we have, but taking Dad out to a scrumptious and decadent steakhouse dinner is certainly an apt start. Here are two classy spots to visit when treating this special guy on Father’s Day.

Red, The Steakhouse

This beautiful South Beach hotspot offers a chic, elegant ambiance that Dad will love. With dishes created under the expertise of veteran Chef Peter Vauthy, who’s kept this classy spot bustling since 2008, you really can’t go wrong. Consistently ranked as one of the top steakhouses in Miami, the interior is modern with stone accents and, you guessed it, red walls. There’s an impressive wine selection and Chef Peter and his team are constantly checking on their customers to make sure every diner’s need is met. The restaurant does a fantastic job of balancing traditional dishes with more inventive spins. 

Start Dad off with some raw bar options. There’s oysters with “Red” mignonette or shrimp cocktail with “Red” cocktail sauce. This is Father’s Day of course, so why not go all out with the new Ultimate Baller Seafood tower, an impressive three-tiered tower featuring a whole Maine lobster, king crab and white gulf shrimp sautéed in lemon garlic butter, mussels diavolo, oysters Rockefeller and stuffed clams.

Foie gras fans will be thrilled with the two appetizers featuring this delicacy. One is a mousse cured with Grand Marnier, the other served with apple pie and bourbon apple compote.

Pace yourselves—you’ll want to for steaks like the 40-day dry-aged prime ribeye or the 48 oz. porterhouse for two. There’s also the Ultimate Meat Board with enough for an army of hungry fathers. It features a tomahawk ribeye, bone in filet, bone in strip, and lamb chops, accompanied by seven in-house sauces to try. Seafood, veal, and chicken dishes are offered as well along with the restaurant’s signature sides, which taste like a fast-pass to heaven. Truffled whipped potatoes will forever ruin your experience of any other mashed potato rendering, parmesan “tater tots” are addictive, and, the latest mac & cheese sampler dish (featuring four golden square dishes loaded with a choice of lobster, king crab, bacon, and black truffles creamy mac & cheese) is worth the experience alone.

Other notable newcomers to the restaurant include the rich and earthy wild mushroom pasta, comprised of royal trumpet, white and brown beech, and maitake mushrooms and served with pasta in a mushroom cream sauce. Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and king crab served over sweet corn and roasted chile risotto, on the other hand, is delicate and light. While Father’s Day lands on Sunday, it is important to note Chef Peter has recently begun Fried Chicken Fridays: a platter of organic fried chicken available every Friday as a celebration of the summer months.

Steak 954

Acclaimed restaurateur Stephen Starr’s elegant oceanside restaurant hits all the right notes. The eatery is located inside the modern W Fort Lauderdale hotel, just head to the back of the lobby (i.e., towards the ocean) to be greeted by the hostess inside. The first thing you’ll notice is the fish tank filled with luminescent jellyfish. The dim lighting and dark wood accents make their ultraviolet glow almost hypnotic, adding to the ultra smooth and relaxing vibe of the restaurant. Diners have the option of sitting indoors or heading out to the patio for an alfresco experience overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 

Be sure not to pass up on the bread service, which features freshly baked offerings that change regularly. The day we visited we were treated to sinfully buttery warm popovers. Begin with appetizers like snapper ceviche, made with local snapper and soybean puree and yellowfin tuna crudo with smoked avocado or opt for yellowfin tuna and foie gras tacos or steak tartare. 

Since this is, after all, a classic steakhouse, there are plenty of meat choices to make your grill-loving dad a happy man. The 8oz. filet mignon and 8 oz. American wagyu filet mignon are the smallest cuts, and, as expected, very tender. Other cuts include the 20 oz. 50-day prime dry-aged bone-in NY strip steak, 22 oz. 40-day prime dry-aged ribeye, and the 28 oz. prime dry-aged tomahawk ribeye. Those wanting to share will enjoy the 32 oz. prime dry-aged porterhouse steak for two and lamb lovers will welcome the Colorado lamb chops. Sides are ordered separately and include classics like creamed spinach, whipped potatoes, and asparagus. Those looking to step away from tradition will enjoy the stuffed hash browns (a crispy hash brown pie stuffed with potato, sour cream and onion).

Seafood options are plentiful: branzino with capers, olives, and marcona almonds, butter poached lobster served over preserved lemon risotto, and miso black cod with maitake mushrooms and baby bok choy are worthy options.

Perhaps one of the most playful (and delicious) dishes teases the bottom of the menu. As an ode to Stephen Starr’s Philadelphia roots, Steak 954 features the 954 Cheesesteak, an elegant riff on Philly’s most cherished street food. Made with American wagyu ribeye, truffled cheese, and foie gras, it comes served on a freshly baked brioche roll and is partnered with champagne. 

Sweet endings for the sweetest dad include a double caramelized chocolate custard with bourbon sabayon and pecan streusel and Key lime Baked Alaska. There’s also the option to take freshly baked cookies to go, a nice send off for a man who deserves so much. 

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