Openings and Closings

Eight Tips for Dining at the New Mastro's Ocean Club in Fort Lauderdale

A two-foot seafood tower is one of Mastro's Ocean Clubs' most famous offerings.
A two-foot seafood tower is one of Mastro's Ocean Clubs' most famous offerings. Photo courtesy of Mastro's Ocean Club
A nationally-acclaimed, high-end seafood and steak restaurant has launched its first Florida location in Fort Lauderdale.

Mastro's Ocean Club — with locations in Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Malibu, Boston, and Newport Beach — opened the doors to its newest establishment in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, July 19, in the space formerly occupied by Chart House. The brand is best known for its dedicated steakhouses with locations in cities like Beverly Hills, Costa Mesa, Chicago, Houston, New York City, and Washington D.C.

Located on Fort Lauderdale’s Intercoastal Waterway, the new Mastro's Ocean Club restaurant is all about a new level of extravagance, from the dock-and-dine option for guests arriving by boat, to the 16 cuts of meat and a two-foot seafood tower.

"Fort Lauderdale was a natural fit for a Mastro’s Ocean Club, with the gorgeous waterfront locale and avid yachting community," said Kathleen Calkins, general manager of Mastro's Ocean Club Fort Lauderdale. "Unlike our steakhouses, the Mastro’s Ocean Club menu is especially unique with its amplified selection of seafood offerings. In addition to fantastic views, the location offers convenient yacht docking for area-residents and nautical travelers arriving by boat."

"Mastro's is one of the most recognizable and successful high-end seafood and steak restaurants in the country," said Tilman Fertitta, CEO of Mastro’s Restaurants. "We’re very excited to serve the Fort Lauderdale community and its visitors our delectable dishes coupled with an unparalleled dining experience.”
click to enlarge
The lobster mashed potatoes from Mastro's Ocean Club.
Photo courtesy of Mastro's Ocean Club
But before you head out for a night at Mastro's, here are some necessary tips.

1. Don't show up in casual attire. The restaurant will only allow diners dressed to the nines, and has been known to turn away patrons sporting revealing apparel. A dress code is enforced to support the augmented services offered at a restaurant of this caliber. However, the Fort Lauderdale location is unique — because it offers waterfront seating and weekend brunch — which means the experience is modified to reflect the Florida climate. Think of it as comparable to those implemented at yacht clubs and upscale establishments.

2. Live entertainment is available daily in the Piano Lounge. Open at 4 p.m. daily, diners can start the Lounge experience with a smokin' hot cocktail thanks to Mastro's signature smoking Lemon Drop. A combination of lemon-infused vodka, fresh lemon juice, and house-made triple-sec is shaken and served over dry ice with a sugar rim. That means it's served ice cold and bubbling upon serving, along with a billowing cloud "smoke."

3. Speaking of hot, each steak is served on a 450-degree plate. The steak continues to cook to the requested temperature upon serving, and is carefully delivered to the patron when the process is nearly complete.

4. Start with Mastro's classic dishes. Order the lobster mashed potatoes, 12-ounce bone-in filet, two-foot seafood tower, and a melt-in-your-mouth butter cake.
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The butter cake dessert from Mastro's Ocean Club.
Photo courtesy of Mastro's Ocean Club
5. Get to know executive chef Rocco Nankervis. He's been featured on both Food Network's Chopped and CNBC’s Billion Dollar Buyer, and he oversees Mastro's dinner-only menu, which includes exclusive menu items available only at the Fort Lauderdale location, such as fried Point Judith calamari, Florida grouper, and locally-caught Florida Snapper.

6. Head to the raw bar. Mastro's raw bar specializes in composing a beautiful — if pricey at $35 to $45 per person — two-level seafood tower featuring Alaska King Crab Legs, Maine lobster claws, Dungeness crab claws, oysters, and shrimp.

7. Check out the sushi menu. It's created by internationally-famed Nick-San sushi chef, Angel Carbajal and offers everything from Spanish octopus carpaccio to the bigeye ahi tuna tostada, three wonton tostada chips topped with finely-chopped, sashimi-grade Hawaiian bigeye ahi tuna and layered with pickled red onion, avocado, and fine-sliced scallions.

8. Go for Mastro's decadent brunch, offered on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dishes include the full sushi menu, a New York strip and eggs, Maine lobster eggs Benedict, and bloody Mary's topped with U7 black tiger shrimp.

Mastro's Ocean Club. 3000 NE 32nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale; open Monday through Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m., Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m.; 954-561-4800;
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna