Reclaimed wood and brick, Edison bulbs, tufted leather booths, small plates, and an emphasis on "craft" seem to be the main ingredients for a trendy restaurant these days.
Beauty & the Feast Bar | Kitchen on Fort Lauderdale Beach has all of the above.
Set in the base of the boutique Atlantic Resort & Spa, the restaurant boasts that rustic/industrial vibe that has been sprouting up all around South Florida. It's perfectly "on trend" and, as such, fits neatly inside the box of au courant dining establishments saturating the culinary landscape. Here, however, it's a welcome addition to the beach's evolving dining scene.
The eateries on Fort Lauderdale Beach have long been recognized for catering to tourists, not locals. Recently, however, a new crop of restaurants -- Steak 954, G&B Oyster Bar, S3, Tsukuro, the reinvented 3030 Ocean -- has been attempting to bring Broward residents back to the coast.
Owned and operated by Society 8 Hospitality Group, the idea came about when the lease for the space's former occupant, SoLita Las Olas, expired. Overhearing that the hotel was under new ownership, Steven Dapuzzo and his team approached the proprietors of the Atlantic with a concept.
"SoLita wasn't a beach thing," says Dapuzzo. "We saw the need for fun, eclectic dining on the beach, as opposed to something more formal."
The restaurant offers an array of shareable fare with influences from across the globe, in small, large, and feast-sized portions.
Sea scallops are one of the highlights from the appetizer section. Two lightly seared scallops sit atop crisp crostini in a shallow pool of sweet basil oil. Finished with vivid microgreens and a porcini cream sauce, the dish is clean and earthy.
Crispy chicken sliders are another must-try. Crunchy fried chicken is slathered with a pungent honey sriracha blend and topped with a bright mango slaw. The combination is sandwiched between a pillowy Hawaiian bun and served on a wood board with homemade pickles and freshly fried potato chips. Sweet, salty, sour, and spicy, it's exciting for the palate and comforting at the same time.