Chaz 51 Steakhouse started off as this tiny, hole in the wall spot in Nokomis, tucked away from major roads off Knights Trail in Nokomis. They served a delicious breakfast and lunch to the locals who were in the know. As they grew, breakfast was by reservation only and they moved toward a fancier scale with dinners. Chaz 51 became a bistro serving top-notch steaks, seafood and more with white tablecloths, wine, beer and soft sounds of Sinatra playing through the speakers. It wasn’t just a meal, it was an entire experience. As of February 2021, after surviving a tumultuous year, they have rebranded again but this time as Chaz 51 Steakhouse in a brand new location in Bird Bay Plaza in Venice.
Chaz 51 Steakhouse
As of February 2021, after a tumultuous year, they have rebranded again but this time as Chaz 51 Steakhouse in a brand new location in Bird Bay Plaza in Venice. The new space is huge, nearly 8,000 sq feet, with multiple dining areas, a full bar and a dance floor, complete with a gorgeous chandelier in the center. This is going to be a hot spot for the best party venue in Venice!
Where is the new location for Chaz 51 Steakhouse?
Bird Bay Plaza has become a culinary mecca for the best restaurants in Venice. Joining Star Thai and Sushi, Tikka Indian Cuisine, Latin Market, and Joy’s Kousine, you’re going to be a frequent visitor to this plaza. The new location is just south of Nokomis, past the split for Tamiami Trail and the Bypass in Venice. Stay on the bypass heading south and Bird Bay Plaza will be on your right side.
We were invited to attend their soft opening with our co-admin Mary (who is also my best friend). From the moment we walked in the door, we were treated like old friends. Tables were spaced apart well and sanitizer was provided right on the table. Staff members were fully masked and everything was immaculately clean. The entire restaurant was gorgeous, I almost felt underdressed! Our server, Maggie, was as sweet as can be. She was always on top of everything and made us feel like we were her only table. Even though this was all new to her as this was the soft opening, she had a wonderful grace about her as if this had been her job for years.
Appetizers and Drinks
Starting off the evening, a basket of rolls with a little dish of butter were placed on the table. The rolls were warm with pillowy insides and the soft butter melted into it for a nice jumpstart for our meal. I ordered the Chaz 51 mule, their signature take on my favorite cocktail. It’s made with vodka, lime, raspberry and ginger beer, then topped with a raspberry and candied ginger garnish. We also received a plate of crispy panko coated zucchini fries with a spicy sriracha remoulade.
Soups and Salads
Jason and I both selected the Caesar salad, Mary went for the house salad and her partner chose the french onion soup. Each dish was simple yet done well. The salads had the appropriate amount of dressing and the lettuce was cold and crisp. As for the soup, I was told it was rich with flavor and the cheese was just the right “gooeyness.”
When you have dinner at a steakhouse, you have to order a steak. We were tempted by some of the other offerings such as the seafood ravioli or the special halibut with crispy shrimp, especially after seeing Sue Wade, a well-respected local food columnist, who was dining just across from us had ordered just those dishes! Eventually, however, we stuck to our original plans and ordered steaks. Jason chose the ribeye with a blue cheese topping and steakhouse fries, while I decided on the filet mignon with the peppercorn brandy cream sauce and a loaded baked potato. Our friends both chose a simple filet mignon also with steakhouse fries.
The filet was mouthwatering as it hit the table still sizzling on the plate, cooked to a perfect medium plus, (don’t judge me) and tender enough to cut with a fork. The first bite practically melted on my tongue and the peppercorn brandy cream was absolutely divine. (I had to remind myself that licking the plate would not be a good idea, but I definitely thought about it.) Jason remarked that his ribeye was perfectly cooked to his medium-rare preference and he echoed my opinion on the tenderness. His blue cheese topping was a bit overpowering by the last few bites, but he enjoyed it very much, especially with the seasoned steakhouse fries. The best part of all, was while Mary has been to events with us before, this was her partner’s first time eating at a steakhouse. He was over the moon with his filet, and we eagerly made plans to go back as soon as possible… and we hadn’t even made it to dessert yet…
For the soft opening, crème brûlée was the dessert option and frankly, I couldn’t have been happier with this choice. Fresh fruit, the crunch of the brûléed sugar and the sweet creaminess of the vanilla bean custard, it’s what dreams are made of. You can’t help but feel elegant when you crack that sugar and indulge in that exquisitely rich first bite.
Mark my words, it won’t be long until there are lines out of the door for this place, even with their much larger size. With this new private event venue in town and the elegant ambiance of the restaurant, this will be the premier hotspot in town for dinner meetings, family parties, engagement or wedding dinners… and I am all for it. This is PRECISELY what we needed in Venice and I am so happy for them!