Celebrity-chef Michael Mina has accelerated his glorification of the burger, a mission that he began earlier this year at his high-end Bourbon Steak restaurant in the MGM Grand Detroit. What started at the casino as a burger menu in the bar to attract hungry high rollers now has been introduced in two of America’s most posh locations.
An expansive burger menu has appeared at Mina’s Bourbon Steak restaurants nestled within the Fairmont Scottsdale resort in Arizona and the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club in Aventura, Fla. ( the latter fresh from a $150 million facelift). Neither hotel caters to what could be characterized as burger-and-fries diners, but the current economy is altering a lot of definitions, isn’t it?
The fourth Bourbon Steak, in the equally upscale Four Seasons Hotel Washington, D.C., hasn’t yet adopted Mina’s new burger menu, but we all know that change has come to the nation’s capitol, so watch for this location to soon make the burger binge unanimous. Mina’s empire includes a total of 16 restaurants, two of which (in San Francisco and Las Vegas) bear his name. His latest is the top-shelf XIV in Los Angeles.
Mina’s Bourbon Bar Burgers menu starts by offering diners a choice of signature burgers that range from a $14 All-Beef (USDA prime and American Kobe beef) or turkey burger to a $12 Vegetarian Falafel burger and $18 Lamburger or Salmon Steak burgers. Optional add-on toppings include foie gras ($18), bacon ($3) or fried organic egg ($2), but these are just the beginning. Mina’s famous fries cooked in duck fat are on the menu for $5, as are red-onion rings ($5).
Diners also have their pick from six cheeses and from an array of “Farmer’s Market Vegetables,” which include house-made dill pickles, shaved jalapenos, Vidalia or balsamic onions, oven-dried tomatoes and more. You want lettuce? Mina suggests butter lettuce, shredded Romaine and mesclun as well as spinach, arugula and watercress.
Sauce choices include Mina’s undefined Secret Sauce, plus such haute-cuisine flavors as black-truffle aioli, Indian-influenced yogurt raita and harissa aioli.
In sum, Michael Mina has declared the burger to be fine dining, a title it historically has been denied in resort dining rooms. Thanks, Michael!