In September, the reimagined Diplomat Prime launched at Hollywood’s Diplomat Resort & Spa, the third restaurant brought to life as part of the hotel’s $100 million transformation. Beloved by locals and guests since its original launch in 2002, the new iteration of Diplomat Prime has reopened as a luxury boutique steakhouse serving steaks aged in-house and a variety of new, seasonally-driven dishes.
"We're excited to unveil this restaurant as part of the dining transformation at the hotel," said Howard Wein of Howard Wein Hospitality. "We have a very talented and innovative culinary team on board, and this chef-driven steakhouse is taking the established concept to the next level."
Today, Nicolay Adinaguev leads the kitchen as executive chef. His diverse background, beginning with a childhood in Peru followed by positions at mom-and-pop seasonal restaurants and award-winning institutions like Stephen Starr’s Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale, guides his direction with the menu.
A native of Lima, Adinaguev moved to the U.S. in 1990 and began working in restaurants at the young age of 14. After receiving his degree in biology at Florida State University, Adinaguev decided to pursue his passion for cooking and enrolled in Keiser Capital Culinary School in Tallahassee, graduating with an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts in 2002.
Adinaguev began his professional career at the James Beard Foundation Award-winning Chef Allen’s in Aventura, where he served as a line cook and grew into the role of executive sous chef. He landed in Fort Lauderdale in 2009 when he opened Stephen Starr’s Steak 954 inside the W Hotel as executive sous chef. In 2013, he moved to Starr’s restaurant Verde inside Miami’s Perez Art Museum before eventually transitioning back to Steak 954 in 2014 as executive chef.
Officially named executive chef at Diplomat Prime in July 2016, Adinaguev spent the summer working with his team and developing the menu for Diplomat Prime’s grand reopening in September 2016. His diverse background translates to a focus on deep flavors from his Peruvian roots as well as seasonal Florida ingredients. By aging all beef in-house and composing each dish fully from start to finish, Adinaguev will continue to offer a delicate, approachable, and unique menu for years to come.
Changing over 70 percent of its dishes, the new menu has prime beef aged in-house, seasonally driven dishes, and select delicate fare serving as the core of the menu, including dishes like the 18-ounce dry-aged Prime Rib Eye; the Maine Scallops with cannellini bean ragout, local pork belly, and apricot jam; and the Local Black Grouper with rainbow Swiss chard, fennel, and apple.
A full raw bar is available, with everything from Alaskan King Crab legs and lobster cocktail served with fresh horseradish to a hamachi crudo with an aji limo emulsion, avocado mousse, pickled radish, and scallions.
The cocktail-focused beverage program is led by Willy Shine, veteran mixologist and cocktail consultant for HWH. Diplomat Prime’s extensive list features a variety of old world and new world wines available by the glass and bottle. Shine has curated a list of classic cocktails including the Old Fashioned with Elijah Craig 12yr Bourbon, a touch of sugar, Angostura bitters, and orange and lemon peels and the Ford’s Gin, made with sugar, fresh-pressed lemon juice, and sparkling water, all designed to complement the steakhouse fare.
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The 108-seat restaurant boasts a refined décor designed to add an approachable beachside feel to the traditional steakhouse. The redefined layout encompasses a 24-seat bar, 68-seat dining room, and two 16-seat and 30-seat private dining rooms. Overlooking the dining room sits a large mural photograph of female icons Mary Howard and Ann Morris playing with a beach ball by the ocean in 1941. Inspired by the hotel’s iconic period through the 1950s, the image incorporates elements of sophistication and playful femininity to a steakhouse space that historically had masculine overtones.
HWH leads the project, bringing extensive knowledge and creativity to the team with Wein's longstanding experience in the culinary world. Diplomat Prime marks the third concept in what will be a dining and drinking evolution in Hollywood with each creative and culinary detail overseen by Wein and his group.
Diplomat Prime. 3555 S. Ocean Drive, Hollywood; 954-602-6000; diplomatprime.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.