By Nicole Schubert | April 18, 2018 | Food & Drink
Nestled between white sand beaches and luxe shops, is a hidden nirvana coined the St. Regis Bal Harbour. And with its sumptuous treats and exquisite fare, it’s no surprise that this posh palace is ranked the best hotel in Florida and Miami Beach. So, we went behind the scenes with Executive Chef Anastasios Chasekioglou, Chef David Royal, Chef Guillermo Perez, Director of Food and Beverage, Fabio La Monaca, and Food and Beverage Supervisor, Javier Flores, to get the scoop on the unique culinary adventure Miami diners and guests can embark on in this iconic Bal Harbour hotel.
Tell our Ocean Drive readers about the BH Burger Bar.
DAVID ROYAL: Within our company, Burger Bar is like a jewel because in five-star hotels, 5 diamonds, you really don’t have burger bars as casual as this—but we do. And since we have it, we have to cater to everyone, and still carry that high standard. We have the best meat, which is Wagyu. All of our burgers are signature because every patty is made out of Wagyu, we press it every day in the back. Everything is fresh. The ingredients are amazing, but it’s really the cooks that cook it.
How does BH Burger Bar appeal to children and adults?
DR: For kids, we go above and beyond. We could do hot dogs, pizza, chicken tenders. If they want popcorn, we can do popcorn, milkshakes, ice cream. Whatever they want, we make it happen, so their parents can enjoy their time here.
What is your favorite burger on the menu?
DR: The Farmhouse. It has Wagyu beef, pepper jack cheese, kurobuta pork belly, a fried egg, butter lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayonnaise. It comes pressed with the St. Regis stamp on it, so you know where you’re eating.
Reminiscent of a 1950’s Soda Shop, what special events do you offer for diners and guests of the St. Regis?
Javier Flores: On Friday and Saturday nights, we have movie nights. Once the sun goes down, we set up a projector, little pillows, and play Disney movies. We call it “Movies under the Stars.” We invite kids and have popcorn, while their parents are inside enjoying the best burger in Bal Harbour. Eventually, we want to have whiskeys that go along with the menu too and beer flights when the World Cup is playing.
What makes ATLANTIKÓS so unique?
ANASTASIOS "TASOS" CHASEKnastasiosIOGLOU: It is authentic Greek cuisine. I try to put unique flavors and I bring most of my products back from my country. I fly my fish every two days from Greece, the Mediterranean, and Spain.
What does that process entail?
AC: It was very difficult in the beginning, but in the end, it’s worth it. It comes by plane, on a 17-18 hour flight. It arrives in boxes with ice, straight from the boat. And it’s fresher than anything you can find here at the market.
Which fish do you fly here?
AC: I fly the Red seabreams. I fly the Yellowfin seabreams, the Branzinos, all of the Mediterranean fish that I have on the menu—plus all of the fish that I don’t have on the menu for specials, such as the Dover Sole.
What is the most authentic Greek dish featured on the menu?
AC: The Yellowfin seabream and the octopus that are served with fava, which are split peas that come from Santorini. In Greece, we always say the Octopus is married to the fava. It’s the best combination you could find.
Where did you learn how to make some of these dishes?
AC: I went to school in Greece—in Athens. After, I went abroad. But, I learned a lot from my mother and from my grandmother.
Explain to Ocean Drive readers what the pastry shop is. How and where were you inspired to make these fabulous dishes?
GUILLERMO PEREZ: The pastry shop is 10 people. The inspiration is a combination of tropical fruits and chocolate flavors. Using vibrant colors brings the attention to the eyes.
You mentioned you offer a cooking class. Tell me about it:
GP: The macaron class that we offer is for a maximum of four people. We do it at the pastry shop upon reservation. I believe its $130 a person. Guests take home the macarons that they create.
GP: Macarons started to be a trend. Everyone wants to make macarons.
Which macaron is your favorite?
GP: From the seven flavors that we have here, which include pistachio, raspberry, key lime, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, I would say strawberry is one of my favorites. It’s really light. And also pistachio—it’s one of the classic flavors.
What is your most long standing cocktail on the menu?
JF: Every St. Regis has their own take on the Bloody Mary. The story behind it is that the Bloody Mary was actually invented in a St. Regis in New York. Here, we make it with key lime ice cubes. And we still have the Bloody Mary recipe book, so let’s say you want the one from the St. Regis Hawaii, we have the recipe and can make it.
I was also told you have a partnership with lalique?
JF: Yes, we have the lalique program where we collaborate with them to make unique cocktails, and they come with molds made from sugar. The way we heat it creates images. For example, one of them has a butterfly, and then we pour the cocktail on top. It’s served in one of the little lalique glassware.
Where does the idea of the shapes come from?
JF: Our head mixologist makes them.
Are they inspired by lalique figurines?
JF: Yes, exactly.
How much are they priced for?
JF: They start at $220.
Do you feature any special happy hour specials?
JF: We have hospitality nights on Wednesdays, from 7:30-11:30 p.m. and all handcraft cocktails are 50-percent off. And then on Thursday’s we have Ladies First, for Ladies, from 7:30-11:30 p.m. On both nights, we have a DJ playing. The evening begins with the St. Regis ritual of the champagne sabering.
Tell me about the rosé brunch. What can diners find?
FABIO LA MONACA: Rosé Sundays are St. Regis Bal Harbour’s new weekly signature brunch. Taking place in the resort’s breathtaking Ocean View Ballroom overlooking the Atlantic beachfront, the brunch includes live music, bottomless rose, a curated selection of signature St. Regis cocktail, the Bloody Mary, and brunch favorites including roasted dry aged prime rib, Champagne sea salt crusted line caught sea bass, and king crab legs.
How is this brunch different from others?
FLM: Guests visiting The St. Regis Bal Harbour will be able to enjoy one of Miami’s only Five Diamond hotels. The brunch is both the most indulgent and best value in South Florida. For one price, guests are able to enjoy a diverse array of food and a lengthy menu of bottomless rosé wines, champagne and Bloody Marys. After brunch, visitors are encouraged to walk around the resort’s art gallery, the Rosenbaum Contemporary, or have a handcrafted latte at La Gourmandise.
Can you tell our readers about the magnificent dessert table?
FLM: With the launch of the Rosé Sunday brunch, we introduced Miami’s largest macaroon display, which has become a focal point for the brunch. Inspired by the resort’s Executive Chef Franck Steigerwald (who is from France), the 5-½ foot Eiffel Tower is surrounded by an assortment of freshly made macarons for guests to enjoy. In total, the display boasts 2,000 macarons. The desert table also includes sweet treats such as éclairs, fruit tarts, and chocolate mousse.
What dishes do you recommend eaters partner with each rosé?
FLM: With our offerings of both sparkling and still rosé, we embrace the Sunday afternoon—refreshing and yet sophisticated. Off course I recommend indulging in the St. Regis tradition with our signature Bloody Mary to start your brunch.
Our Seafood selection is the perfect partner for our Rosé Cava—the freshness and revitalizing bubbles brings out the sweetness of our King Crab. While our more lush Halter Ranch Paso robles is a great companion to dishes like the Prime aged prime rib.
Photography courtesy of the St.Regis Bal Harbour