At first glance, Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails appears mysterious. The two-story building is too small for a hotel but too large for just one restaurant. It looks slightly misplaced in its quiet, Hallandale Beach neighborhood, oozing a South Beach vibe with its swanky design and neon lights.
The oceanside building includes a restaurant, bar, spa, and small bite and juice bistro — the essence of miscellany. There is no one word to describe what Hyde is, but its food and ambiance is nevertheless worth a visit.
The restaurant, located on the second floor, is helmed by chef Danny Elmaleh, who oversees American hospitality group SBE's restaurant portfolio. Elmaleh is also executive chef at Miami Beach's Cleo, owned by SBE too.
Hyde's dinner menu illustrates the true meaning of eclectic, boasting more than 30 plates ranging from Mediterranean-influenced dishes to Asian, Indian, Spanish, Italian, and American. Though the beachside eatery calls it "contemporary American," it's a hodgepodge at best.
There is no wrong way to design your evening meal at Hyde. Order five or six plates to share or split an appetizer and elect for a one-person entrée. Because the restaurant's menu is so diverse, Hyde suggests an evening teetered toward tasting-style than limiting dinner to one dish only.
Whatever you do, begin with orders of the pumpkin butter rolls and hen of the woods. The mushroom dish, cooked to a crunch on the outside, is flavored in a heavy, teriyaki-like sauce. The pumpkin butter rolls offset the stark mushroom taste with a sweet, cinnamon taste. They're topped with rosemary salt and served with maple butter.
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Other appetizers include tomato buratta, with niçoise olives, basil pesto, arugula, and Persian cucumber; hamachi sashimi, with avocado, citrus, serrano, and white ponzu; and a quinoa and kale salad, tossed with roasted vegetables, red quinoa, farrow, mint, cilantro, and goat cheese. Though light, the salad is enough to share among two or three diners.
For something seafood- or raw-bar-oriented, elect wasabi tuna tartare. The small dish is placed on a bowl of ice. Avocado is served between two patties of tuna, and citrus ponzu and bubu arare are sprinkled on top. Also on the menu is a ceviche, with yuzu, lime, serrano chili, and cilantro; wild caught scallops; and crab cake.
Entrées range from pastas and pizzas to sandwiches and meats. In terms of pasta, find oxtail bucatini, made with red-wine-braised oxtail ragout, garlic-bread crumbs, and marjoram; mushroom gnocchi soaked in a truffle sauce; and pescatore, which adds clams, mussels, shrimp, and calamari to a spaghetti-in-red-sauce dish.
Forgo pasta for a sandwich, like a lamb gyro or chicken panini. Or choose a specialty dish, including the branzino, with cannellini beans, niçoise olives, and artichokes; ginger- and soy-glazed chicken with baby bok choy and mashed potato; fried chicken and waffles; or salmon, served in a red-wine reduction with a side of quinoa.
End your meal with dessert — the Key lime tarte with lemon meringue; cheesecake in a jar, with mixed berries and strawberry coulis; and the black-out chocolate cake with peanut butter are dinnertime favorites.
Hyde guests can legally drink on the sand, so don't be shy about pairing dinner — or dessert — with a handcrafted cocktail, wine, or beer. The locale was given a rare license allowing it to serve alcoholic beverages directly on the portion of Hallandale Beach that belongs to it.
All menu items range $7 to $35.
Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails, located at 111 S. Surf Road, Hallandale Beach. Call 954-699-0901, or visit sbe.com.
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