By Jan Norris
Call it a sea change at the dining venues in the Atlantic Hotel & Spa on Fort Lauderdale Beach. The opening of Beauty & the Feast Bar | Kitchen and the Ocean Market Grille marks a new style of dining aimed at food-sharers.
“We’ve always wanted to be on the beach,” said Steven Dapuzzo, of Society 8 Hospitality Group management who oversee the hotel food services. “This was a great opportunity that came up, and I think a good fit for us.”
A chamber-of-commerce view is the big draw, he says, and to encourage visitors, they comp all restaurant parking.
The “Bar” is a small, comfy area with leather chairs at the windows, and chair-back stools along the bar. Craft beers and “culinary” cocktails are poured here, drawing from a selection of top-shelf spirits.
Among the tasty drinks at a first-look dinner was the Rock: trendy Barenjager Honey Liqueur and Bourbon muddled with cherries and oranges with peach liqueur.
The dining room at “Kitchen” went from the more casual décor of the former East End Brasserie to an elegant space. Ivory and brown leather demilune booths punctuate the indoors area. Terrace tables are visible outside.
The “globally inspired” menu, divided into small plates, large plates and feasts, features twists from the chef’s Southern background – chef Jeff Vincent is from Charleston, S.C. and recently, Georgia.
Popular dishes include crispy chicken sliders with housemade sweet-hot honey sauce, pulled pork pizza, and mussels in white wine. Edamame in a ginger-soy-garlic dressing and sautéed sunchokes with roasted garlic pleased the vegetarians.
The “feasts” section is designed for sharing. From it, the showstopper was a whole roast piglet carved tableside. It is available for a party of four or more with two days’ notice.
Southern items like fish and grits and chicken and waffles are on a brunch menu with a bison-meat burger mixed with bacon and onions, and a lobster omelet.
Upstairs, the Ocean Market Grille is where salads, sandwiches and burgers are served in the open-air courtyard next to the pool.
Dapuzzo is confident it will fly. “I think the time is right for this end of the beach.”
Beauty & the Feast Bar | Kitchen and the Ocean Market Grille are in the Atlantic Hotel & Spa, 601 N. Atlantic Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-567-8020, atlantichotelfl.com,