Chef Jeremy Shelton wouldn’t say he has a specific style. “I love food, all types and cuisines of food, to prepare and to eat. I prefer the food that I prepare and eat is simple, and straightforward,” says the executive chef of Steak 954. “I start with high-quality ingredients, prepare them with care and let the food speak for itself.”
His résumé includes well-known restaurants like Buccan, Bourbon Steak and Scarpetta, but being a well-seasoned chef doesn’t make him immune to learning. Working at Steak 954 has introduced him to running a kitchen that caters to breakfast as well.
That foray into morning culinary creativity has led to one of the restaurant’s more unusual and popular offerings: homemade Pop-Tarts.
It’s small characteristics like this that make up the “smart, modern updates of the classic steakhouse” concept of the restaurant.
“It’s a little of everything. From the service, to the ambiance, to the level of care put into producing and procuring the food and wine selection,” Shelton says. “The restaurant’s sleek dining room and amazing waterfront views combined with everything else that it offers creates the ‘smart, modern steakhouse’ feel.”
Steak 954 is one of four Starr Restaurants in Florida and one of 34 in the United States. The group was founded by famed restaurateur Stephen Starr and is one of the largest multi-concept restaurant groups in the country.
Located inside the upscale W Fort Lauderdale hotel, the luxury steakhouse boutique will serve you as good a seafood dish as it will a 50-day dry-aged slab of meat.
“We have an excellent, well-rounded steak program, offering a variety of prime, dry-aged, bone-in, wagyu, and a few other types of cuts,” Shelton says. These include a 22-oz. prime 40-day dry-aged bone-in rib eye and a 32-oz. prime rib porterhouse for two.
Surprisingly though, their most popular steak is the eight oz. filet mignon, “…by a landslide. It’s the perfect size for one person to enjoy by themselves without feeling too gluttonous, and enjoy a side or two as well.”
But if you really want to experience their best beef, he recommends the dry-aged, prime, bone-in, 22-oz. rib eye and the stuffed hash brown. “That’s what I ate my first time here, and left full and happy.”
As for their seafood, the contemporary restaurant serves locally caught fish. One recommended dish is the miso black cod with maitake mushrooms and baby bok choy.
With a 15-foot-long jellyfish aquarium as a centerpiece, the restaurant itself is eye-catching. But by the end, you will leave in awe of the masterfully prepared food.
Steak 954 Philly Cheesesteak
• 5 oz. Choice Creekstone ribeye 1/16 inch, thick-sliced
• 2 oz. green peppers, julienned
• 2 oz. Spanish onions, julienned
• 1 oz. applewood-smoked bacon drippings
• 1 oz. vegetable oil
• 2 pinches thyme, freshly picked
• 4 oz. American cheese sauce (substitute Cheese Whiz), warmed
• 8 in. ciabatta hoagie/sandwich roll
• Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees F. In a hot pan, pour the vegetable oil, bacon fat and onions and sauté until golden brown. This should take 10-20 minutes, and be careful not to burn or they will become bitter instead of sweet. Next, add the green peppers and sauté for two minutes, then add the rib eye and shred with two spatulas. Cook until well done (approx. five-seven minutes). Season with salt, pepper and thyme and pull off of the fire. Place the bread in the oven for about five minutes and then slice in half but leave the back connected. Place the meat mixture evenly over the bread and pour the warm cheese sauce over the top. Close the top of the sandwich, place it on a plate, grab three napkins and a Southern Tier IPA beer. Chow down.