Celebrity chefs Geoffrey Zakarian (former Iron Chef competitor, chef, restaurateur, and culinary consultant), Michael Schulson (Philadelphia-based chef and restaurateur and owner of Sampan and Graffiti Bar), Sue Torres (chef behind the famed Chelsea restaurant, Suenos), and veteran bartender Willy Shine are the creative masterminds behind a collection of new food and beverage concepts slated to open at the Diplomat Beach Resort.
"It's been exceptionally difficult to keep this secret under wraps," Wein says. "We're excited to finally unveil our larger plans for the new culinary program at the Diplomat Beach Resort... [with] top chefs from across the country creating brand new concepts... and culinary experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the country."
Boasting an oceanfront location, the 998-room resort is currently undergoing a $100 million transformation. When complete, the destination resort — which stretches from the coast to the Intracoastal — will offer a variety of entertainment experiences including all-new public spaces, a spa, and over 50,000 square feet of event space.
At the heart of the transformation, however, will be the resort's extensive culinary program. Helmed by HWH, the Diplomat Restaurant Group will be comprised of a number of innovative culinary destinations that will range from chef-driven restaurants to a casual grab-and-go market and a family-friendly sweets shop.
Set to come online in 2017, these new dining concepts will join the current restaurant lineup that includes Diplomat Prime, the luxury boutique steakhouse led by executive chef Nicolay Adinaguev; Bristol's Burgers, a modern take on the fast-casual burger restaurant; and Portico Beer & Wine Garden, a waterfront beer and wine garden serving sharable Italian-themed dishes alongside an exclusive on-tap beer and wine program.
- Monkitail: Michael Schulson will offer up his take on modern Japanese fare with Monkitail, a contemporary izakaya, or Japanese gastropub, featuring sharable small plates and sushi as well as an array of specialty cocktails and saké. An open robatayaki kitchen will sit at the heart of the restaurant, along with a 15-seat sushi bar and a private dining area overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Tucked away beyond the main dining room is a discreet karaoke bar offering entertainment paired with cocktails and the restaurant's signature dishes served late into the night.
- Point Royal: Geoffrey Zakarian describes Point Royal as a coastal American restaurant and bar that will offer a modern take on a seaside establishment. The indoor-outdoor venue boasts the property’s only raw bar alongside a menu that will highlight the best of Zakarian's renowned seafood preparations. A center bar will focus on juice-based cocktails and will be home to the largest wine list on property, open for daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Counter Point: An extension of Point Royal, Counter Point will focus on high-end coffee and fresh-pressed juices. Designed for everyday convenience, the grab-and-go shop will be open daily offering specialty espresso drinks, cold brew coffee, and a daily selection of house-baked breakfast pastries, salads, and sandwiches with wine, beer, and savory snacks for lunch and evening gnoshing.
- Playa: The resort's poolside, beachfront Nuevo Latino concept, Playa will feature food designed by chefs Sue Torres and her husband, Darren Carbone. Along with an extensive bar highlighting rum and tequila specialties, Playa will redefine the resort’s outdoor experience with tacos on housemade tortillas, an array of fresh salsas and guacamoles, and juice-based cocktails. The best offering: the unobstructed views of the sand and sea.
- The Hotel Bar: The central hub of the resort, this indoor-outdoor bar will highlight classic cocktails from famous hotel bars around the world crafted by veteran bartender Willy Shine. Open both day and night, the bar will have extensive indoor and outdoor bar and lounge seating.
- Candy & Cones: Candy & Cones will present ice creams that are churned onsite and folded into customized sundaes or one of hundreds of varieties of ice cream sandwiches while a modern candy display wall features dozens of varieties sold by the pound.
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.