There’s a saucy note in the margin of Maple & Ash’s menu: “If your neighboring table has a candelabra that you want, swipe theirs while they’re using the restroom.” A studied mischievousness charges this airy and sexy Gold Coast hot spot. But from the complimentary openers (which can include rum cocktails and endive scoops with chicken liver) to the devastating finales (say, a footlong slice of coconut cream pie topped with rum chantilly cream and wisps of toasted coconut), the food is deadly serious.
The highlight, of course, is the prime beef, which chef-partner Danny Grant cooks in a wood-fired hearth. A glistening 28-day dry-aged bone-in rib eye (above), its connective tissues dissolved, leaving nothing but concentrated flavor, gets crowned with roasted garlic and rosemary. Like everything at Maple & Ash, it’s frisky and unforgettable.
Tip:When regulars order the seafood tower (with six kinds of fire-kissed fish and shellfish), they ask for a “pasta back”—housemade conchigliette tossed tableside in the leftover juices.