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Laurent Tourondel Taking the BLT Steak Restaurant Concept
to the The Betsy Hotel in South Beach, Miami

NEW YORK - February 14, 2008 - -Whether it’s the world of style, culture or cuisine, there’s a finesse to crossing boundaries with grace. The Betsy Hotel, a stately evocation of colonial architecture in Deco-centric South Beach, turns classic lines into a soothing counterpoint for its curvy modern neighbors. Laurent Tourondel, executive chef and partner of BLT (Bistro Laurent Tourondel) Restaurants has crossed an ocean in coming to the U.S., and bridged cuisine and culture in winning the hearts of American diners. The only Miami location in the BLT Restaurant Group, BLT Steak is the culinary anchor of the new Betsy Hotel, slated to open mid 2008. 

Two gracious designs meld to create the main lobby of The Betsy and the BLT Steak restaurant. Stylish but not trendy, they are of the moment yet rooted in the continuity of enduring tradition. In addition to the 88-seat restaurant, the Ocean Drive front patio provides al fresco dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner accommodating up to 100 guests or patrons. The Betsy and BLT Steak perfectly complement each other - a pair of modern classics that are at once cool and refined, professional and friendly. 

Named “Restaurateur of the Year” in 2007 by Bon Appétit magazine, Tourondel takes the steakhouse concept to a new level by artfully combining the highest quality ingredients with the precision of exacting French technique. Acclaimed by Esquire magazine in 2004 as one of “the best new restaurants in America,” BLT Steak has redefined the American steakhouse, satisfying the epicure and neighborhood diner alike. 

BLT Steak offers a variety of cuts of USDA Prime, Certified Black Angus, American Waygu and Japanese Kobe beef, each naturally aged for maximum tenderness and flavor and served finished with herb butter in a cast-iron pan. 

The menu is organized by category and complements dishes with corresponding savory sauces, such as Peppercorn, Maitre D’Butter, Horseradish or Béarnaise – all of which exemplify Tourondel’s classic French training and insistence on perfection. Although delicate, fish, like meats, arrive in steakhouse sized portions, and are delivered in similar style. Sides recall the great steakhouses of the past, and include Grilled Asparagus, Stuffed Mushroom Caps, and eight different preparations of potatoes. 

The French inflections in Tourondel’s signature style can be seen in his preparation of the Tuna Tartare with Avocado and Soy-Lime dressing and signature giant gruyere cheese popovers. Dessert ends the meal with updated American classics such as Caramelized “NY” Cheesecake with Melon Syrup or Peach-Blueberry Cobbler and Lemon Verbena Sorbet and Crêpe Soufflé with Passion Fruit Sauce. 

Designed by Michael Bagley, BLT Steak integrates the traditional elements of a steakhouse with a stylish urbane design. BLT’s signature “blackboard” menu is prominently featured, highlighting the menu offerings of the day. 

Like the Betsy, Tourondel understands restraint. Flash isn’t the goal; quality and integrity are. For both hotel guests and destination diners, BLT Steak South Beach offers a world of comfort and good taste that is both elegant and electrifying. 

BLT Restaurant Group is owned by Jimmy Haber, Laurent Tourondel and Keith Treyball, and comprised of BLT Steak in New York City (2004), Washington, DC (2006), San Juan, Puerto Rico (2006), Dallas (2007) and White Plains (2007); and BLT Fish (2005), BLT Prime (2005), BLT Burger (2006) and BLT Market (2007) in New York City. Upcoming projects include additional locations of BLT Steak in Los Angeles, Scottsdale and Atlanta; as well as BLT Burger at The Mirage in Las Vegas and a concept in development for Trump Soho in New York City. 

Honored by Bon Appétit as Restaurateur of the Year in 2007 and by Food &Wine as a Best New Chef in 1997, Tourondel also has received an array of “Best of…” awards from publications that include Esquire, Travel & Leisure, Saveur and Wine Spectator. Tourondel has changed the approach of fine dining by creating accessible menus prepared with the finest ingredients and presented in a casual, comfortable dining room. By adhering to his belief that ingredients should be stellar, food simply prepared and service kind and efficient, BLT Restaurants have become household names. With the passion and skill of a French trained chef, and the sensibility and style of a metropolitan restaurateur, Tourondel has successfully infiltrated the rarified world of New York restaurants and the national dining landscape, much to the delight of critics and diners alike. 

From its superbly decorated and marvelously appointed 62 guestrooms to its friendly, unassuming and thoroughly professional service, The Betsy will be a serene and luxurious escape offering an experience unparalleled in South Beach. As a timeless alternative to artificial flash and all that’s trendy, The Betsy will resonate with true luxury and authentic sophistication, setting an enduring new standard for South Beach chic and attracting savvy leisure travelers to return again and again. Room rates range from $499 to $4,000 and including three categories of rooms and a total of 20 suites. The Betsy is located on Ocean Drive and 14th Place. Just outside this luxurious retreat you will find beautiful sand beaches, surrounded by the Art Deco neighborhood with a wide range of cultural and pleasure seeking activities. Miami, Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and Bal Harbour are only minutes away. 


Kathleen Duda, 646-723-4338 

Also See: Tecton Hospitality Contracted to Manage The Betsy Ross Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida / November 2005
Chef Laurent Tourondel's BLT Burger Restaurant Replacing The Mirage's White Tiger Habitat / November 2007


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