If you order the Million Dollar Burger at Adena Grill & Wine Bar, the swanky new steak house located in the Village at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, you won't have to run out on the tab after dinner.
The name of this burger is a reference to the amount of money Adena Foods founder Frank Stronach has invested to create Adena Meats, which supplies the fancy new steak house with all its beef, chicken, pork — and soon lamb.
The Million Dollar Burger arrives disassembled, giving the diner a chance to appreciate each meticulously prepared component. The nine-ounce patty is the size of the small steel pan it's served in, proudly bearing the geometric pattern imparted from the grill. The accompanying brioche bun is placed just so alongside it, the shiny top similarly branded, this time with "A" for Adena. The dish is plated with a simple, crisp sheet of leaf lettuce, a thick slice of locally grown organic tomato, and a tempura-battered red onion ring. It would be a crime to leave out the house-made Dijon truffle mustard, made daily with imported black truffles, whole-grain mustard, shallots, and sherry vinegar.
While it won't cost you $1 million, Adena aims to make it well worth the $24 price tag.
When it comes to beef, there are certainly a lot of options out there. Die-hard Wagyu fans tout the intensely marbled meat as softer, with more heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and a lower cholesterol profile than commodity beef. Still others will pay the extra price for fancy cuts of Kobe, $200 steaks shipped from Japan, the real deal rarely making it onto American menus.
At Adena Grill, however, it's all about grass-fed, organic meat raised and processed at Stronach's Adena Farms.
Far ahead of the health-crazed, organic, and GMO-free frenzy, Stronach — founder of auto parts giant Magna International and owner of Gulfstream Park — wanted to raise cattle without the conventional cocktail of hormones, processed grain feed, and antibiotics. In 2010, the Austrian-Canadian billionaire began purchasing land in Northern Florida, today an estimated $200 million investment spanning four counties and more than 85,000 acres. The ranch is now home to chickens, pigs, and 8,000 Brangus cattle, which are raised in pastures for 24 months, versus the conventional 16. The goal is to grow that number to 30,000 within the next year. If realized, Adena could become one of the top three beef-producing farms in Florida, following the Seminole Tribe and Deseret Ranches.
For now, the ranch exclusively services Adena Grill and its sister establishment next door, Frankey's Sports Bar, as well as Gulfstream's in-house restaurants, Christine Lee's and Ten Palms. Here, every steak, burger, chicken breast, pork chop, and filet arrives directly from Stronach's state-of-the-art, 61,000-square-foot processing plant near Fort McCoy in Marion County.
Inside the sprawling steak house — complete with custom-designed furniture, a dedicated wine bar, and a separate cocktail bar — the ambiance is decidedly upper-crust. Giant vases overflow with fresh-cut flowers, the walls are bursting with custom artwork, and white-tiled floors mirror luxe ivory-colored leather booths, a stark contrast to the solid, hand-carved mahogany tables and chairs. The wine menu boasts an astounding 7,000 bottles.
The menu highlights both seafood and meat. That includes a short list of specialty cuts: a bone-in cowboy steak, rib eye, New York Strip, and prime rib. The petit filet is a hearty cube of meat, seasoned with nothing more than a sprinkling of pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper. It can be ordered with one of several sides, including a heavenly celeriac purée — Stronach's favorite — a healthier option than mashed potatoes. The result is intensely rich and surprisingly creamy, any of the celery's tang, making it just as indulgent.
Keeping with the Adena Farms philosophy, the menu sources only the best, per Stronach's dictate that every dish be both exquisite and consistent. Produce is organic, and desserts are made fresh each day. The fish also arrives fresh daily, a full-time special created anew every evening. Recently, it was fresh-caught red snapper alongside a roasted yellow-pepper coulis in a frisée lemon vinaigrette and served with roasted beet chips.
For the 82-year-old Stronach, the Adena philosophy is about health.
"You are what you eat, yes?" says Stronach. "I started Adena Farms ten years ago because I only wanted to eat the best."Adena Grill & Wine Bar is located at 900 Silks Run, Unit 1740, Hallandale Beach. Call 9544642333, or visit adenagrill.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.