The Lamarra brothers grew up working in restaurants, and last October, they combined their talents to bring Meating Street Steak & Seafood to Port St. Lucie’s Tradition community.
Older brother Carmine focuses on the front of the house, while Pasquale—who began working in kitchens at the age of 8—describes himself as the “visionary” behind the place. “Tradition’s town square is filled with chains, and we’re the anti-chain,” says Pasquale. “We wanted to give people a real Manhattan-style look and taste at reasonable prices.”
The brothers have delivered on that goal, serving USDA Prime steaks for less than $40. Meating Street is actually a combination restaurant and retail complex containing both a meat and seafood market, and the meat market is a key to their success. “The idea was to have a full-time butcher so we could prep everything ourselves,” says Pasquale. “There’s no waste, and we’re able to use scraps from Prime steaks and filet mignon for our ground beef, so our burgers are amazing.”
The restaurant also reflects the current trend in steak houses toward a more balanced and inclusive menu. On the seafood side, diners have a choice of Faroe Islands salmon, diver scallops, PEI mussels, and sushi-grade tuna, as well as local snapper and grouper. You can also indulge in a classic New England lobster roll. While there’s no shortage of familiar sides—such as creamed spinach and mac ’n’ cheese—the menu is a far cry from the traditional steak-and-baked-potato model. The carefully chosen wine list contains slightly more than 100 selections and is conveniently arranged by food category.
Meating Street—whose name is a play on the restaurant’s street address—is actually the second Lamarra restaurant within Tradition. In November 2019, Pasquale and his wife, Joanna, opened Pastaio (Italian for “pasta maker”), which specializes in hand-cut pasta dishes. Offering “specialties you can only get in an Italian-American home on Sundays,” the concept is currently feeding between 400 and 500 customers daily.
Looking at the numbers, the area is ripe for restaurant development of all sorts. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the Port St. Lucie population at slightly over 200,000 in 2019, and that number is expected to double in the next five years. Tradition, a planned community spanning 8,000 acres surrounding the town square, is the epicenter of that growth with 80 new homes being added each month.
Even so, opening Meating Street in the middle of the pandemic was a risk. “We did the right thing by the community at a time when we really had no business opening another restaurant,” says Pasquale. “But we added 60 to 70 new jobs during a very difficult time. We believed in the area, and the community has supported us in return.” 10553 SW Meeting St., Port St. Lucie; 772.348.3805