Three Acts Where The Drama Rivals The Food

LAS VEGAS: Nine, Palms Casino Resort, 4321 W. Flamingo Rd., (702) 933-9900
A spinoff of the Chicago original, Nine steakhouse couldn’t be more at home in this setting. Do your social studies among the chic crowd that gathers under the ever-changing lights at the circular caviar/champagne bar or near the plasma TVs in the lounge. Food an afterthought? Hardly. Beyond turf classics, chef Brian Massie imparts restrained sophistication to sumptuous seafood dishes.

NEW YORK: Blue Smoke/Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th St., (212) 447-7733
Restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square and Gramercy Tavern fame
ventures into the quintessential American comfort food of his St. Louis youth: barbecue. Meyer’s new Blue Smoke dishes out slow-cooked baby-back ribs, smoked brisket, and pulled pork, while a jukebox spins soulful selections from Cab Calloway to Keb Mo. For a live listen, head downstairs to sister club Jazz Standard, which also serves Blue Smoke specialties.

MIAMI BEACH: KISS Steakhouse and Lounge, 301 Lincoln Rd., (305) 695-4445
More Vegas than Vegas, this Miami hot spot blends a nightclub, burlesque show, and meatery in one South Beach scene. Red from its velvet-draped chairs to crimson walls, Kiss pumps up the house music to throbbing levels interpreted by minimally clad dancers and fire-eating acts. And while you don’t expect fine fare at a carnival, Kiss again breaks conventions and serves superb versions of roasted oysters, prime rib, and New York strip. —