By Merilee Kern, MBA
(The Hollywood Times) 1/19/21 – When one thinks of Miami, visions of sun-kissed surf, blue skies and warm sand indelibly (and rightfully) come to mind. Glorious year-round weather and top-ranked seashores aside, this cosmopolitan metropolis is also revered for its progressive culinary scene replete with world-class dining options. For my part, the more unorthodox the better; and that Miami also delivers in droves.
Case in point is Barton G. Miami Beach, which is indubitably one of the world’s most distinctive and unique hospitality brands. A restaurant hell-bent on delivering shock, awe and holistic sensory stimulation, a visit to Barton G.’s Miami—or its Los Angeles location—veritably assures a gastro-venture that will linger your heart and mind forevermore.
Driven by CEO and Founder Barton G. Weiss, the eponymous restaurant exemplifies innovative hospitality with the perfect mix of creativity, innovation, imagination, quality, talent and entertainment—the kind that doesn’t just raise the bar, but actually sets an entirely new standard. It’s the kind that doesn’t just celebrate the gourmet dining experience, but life overall.
With this, South Florida and Southern California are perfect locales for this visionary epicurean escapade.
During my own most recent visit to Barton G. Miami Beach, an eatery that’s beckoned both locals and tourists for nearly two decades, I was delighted to see some of my favorite dishes included on their prix fixe menu option that’s gaining quick ground. According to Weiss, this full-size, three-course pre-set menu was instituted to address the difficulties experienced by the restaurant trade at large throughout 2020—enticing diners, especially “first timers,” to visit.
The play has paid off. Aptly coined “Go Big or Go Home,” for $90 guests can enjoy one of three pre-set appetizers: Laughing Bird Popcorn Shrimp, Strike Out Sliders or Vito’s Caesar Salad; one of four entrees: Samurai Salmon (one of my all-time fav’s), Jerked & Grilled Half Chicken, Boo G. Pasta or the Shell Shocked BBQ Short Ribs; and one of the famed Barton G. desserts like two of my top picks: the “Marie Antoinette’s Head – Let Them Eat Cake” cotton candy extravaganza and the decadent “Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all” chocolate ganache tart.
At this eatery, run-of-the-mill does not apply. Whether your order the prix fixe or venture onto the full menu, fabulosity will surely ensue relative to both dish presentation and preparation.
While menu conception, food quality and flawless execution are certainly paramount for any luxury dining establishment, Weiss underscores that the buck doesn’t stop there.
“Like always, we think up creative ways to present food that appeals to all the senses,” he said.
“We know that guests also eat with their eyes, so we have fun ways to plate up our cuisine. All of our dishes come with playful presentations like no other that are visually creative and, for some, come with audio, too. They’re all perfect to share and tout on social media.”
To this I can attest. Just check out the #BartonG hashtag on Instagram or Barton G’s own
Instagram page for stellar examples of patrons living their best lives there.
I should also note that the beverage and food presentations are not the only grandiose attribute of Barton G, as the dish portions are ample. From upscale twists on New American favorites like the “Let’s Get Fried Chicken,” to dishes with international flare like their Moroccan Spiced Turkey Meatballs and “Miss Thai Gone” Fried Red Snapper, rest assured you will not be leaving hungry.
As for Weiss’s own personal favorite menu item? “The Truffle Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese—it’s the perfect combination of nostalgic and upscale,” he says. Quite the logical choice in my
estimation, as I would say the same about Barton G. restaurants at large.
When you’re at either Barton G. location, don’t be surprised if you’re seated next to a celebrity, as the restaurant attracts stars of every sort. During my own visit to the Los Angeles venue I was sitting just a few tables away from the legendary singer/songwriter Rod Stewart. Just one Google search will reveal a litany of A-listers that have patronized Barton G like Mariah Carey, Katy Perry and Janet Jackson. BRAVO-TV’s The Real Housewives of New York City also famously filmed a scene there.
With so much history and expectation, particularly among regular patrons and those privy to the litany of social posts, I asked Weiss how the restaurant will continue to maintain, and even elevate, its image. He indicated the team is always researching new ways to be over-the-top with its cuisine and, of course, the inspired presentations. “We want to have something new and exciting for our returning guests, offering them never-before-seen items to try,” he said.
Relative to Weiss’s future goals for the restaurant, despite the pandemic-driven industry
downturn growth is clearly top-of-mind. He noted, “We want to continue expanding to other cities so that more and more people can experience our one-of-a-kind dining experience.”
Diversification seems to also be priority for Weiss. “We also are an event production company and do things beyond just the restaurant,” he pointed out. “We put together weddings for clients and events for corporations such as the NFL, Van Cleef & Arpels, Louis Vuitton, BMW and more.”
Whatever the future plans are for the group, it’s certain that Barton G. will continue to push limits and revolutionize within a hospitality category it actually created—one melding ingenuity, artistic license and culinary prowess. Indeed, as the originator of “experiential fun-dining,” the culinary road ahead will surely be as dramatic as it is delightful.