We all know about farm-to-table fare and responsible sourcing, but The Ritz-Carlton's new Fort Lauderdale restaurant Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits — which quietly opened to the public on Wednesday, November 4 — is taking the concept one step further with its unique approach to displaying and selling many of its menu's locally sourced items at its in-house marketplace.
"This restaurant is all about telling the story of South Florida and Fort Lauderdale, and its ties to the local community, and I'm very passionate about building solid relationships with each of our purveyors," says chef de cuisine Gavin Pera. "Burlock Coast represents a commitment to respecting the food we choose and giving the people who produce or cultivate it an opportunity to showcase what they're doing."
Located just steps from the beach, Burlock Coast's menu will fluctuate from day to day, and Pera draws heavily from local resources, tapping into the region’s bounty from fruits and vegetables to fresh fish and farm-raised meats. Pera, who embarked on an extensive farm tour as he crafted Burlock Coast's menus, adds he will be letting mother nature dictate what he does with the menu from day to day.
In addition, every item he sources is selected to not only be used in the kitchen but to also be sold in the marketplace — a way to highlight the local craftsman and artisans that provide the backbone of what Burlock Coast is all about.
The dining room and marketplace offer a nearly seamless transition from indoors to out, a space that blends from the casual, sit-down service of the main restaurant, to the grab-and-go order counter located just steps from one another. The marketplace — open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. — provides seating for people looking to start with breakfast items, the coffee or juice bar, and will continue to offer lunch selections throughout the day based on its artisanal offerings. Featured local purveyors include Miami's Panther Coffee, fresh baked bread from Miami's Zak the Baker, and charcuterie from Miami Smokers.
In the main dining space, breakfast will be served seven days a week. Diners can get their day started with items such as the Rum Runner Stack (caramelized banana and chocolate pancakes with maple rum butter); Lake Meadow Eggs (served with pepper maple bacon or Miami Smokers sausages); the McCoy Breakfast Sandwich (Miami Smokers sausage, pepper maple bacon, sunny side egg, cheddar on brioche), as well as breads, pastries, bowl of berries or Zak’s Granola with dried fruit, berries, and Greek yogurt.
Lunch, served daily, will offer an array of raw bar items. Highlights include The Galley Sink salad with iceberg lettuce, porchetta, Florida Tomme, heirloom tomatoes, egg, radish, cucumber, corn, and almonds; Tempura Grouper on raisin brioche with creamy lime slaw and Blis Blast hot sauce; and what Pera promises to be one of the best Fish and Chips baskets in town.
If you're stopping in for drinks, the happy hour crowd can pick from another menu of starters filed into three menu categories: Snacks, Raw Bar, and Charcuterie. Must-tries include spicy avocado and tomatillo dip with root vegetable chips; a cobia crudo; cedar Key clams with Meyer lemon, and a seafood tower. Farm, Sea, and Land main plates run the gamut from a shrimp fry with pickled peppers and lime, to seared tuna with frisée, dragon beans, quail eggs, and confit potato, and a lobster pasta pappardelle with tomato, spinach, asparagus, and bisque.
The beverage program aims to be cutting with head bartender and beverage director Chris Page putting a focus on rum — on homage to the Burlock Coast theme.
"My primary intent is to reanimate a love for rum, and educate consumers on this amazing spirit," says Page.
In fact, there's an entire room dedicated to Captain Sparrow's favorite spirit, an in-house stand-alone rum shop. Selections include French, Caribbean, and Spanish offerings, as well as a few local picks. In your glass, that translates to a rotating list of rums in from specialty cocktails, to the rolling rum cart on the move during dinner hours, allowing diners the opportunity to build their own rum cocktail tableside. Be sure to keep an eye out for the bar's ginger beer program, and barrel aged punches.
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To keep with the local theme, Page says he also wanted to ensure a hyper-local beer selection; he sourced from 13 South Florida-based craft and nano breweries – from the Islamorada Beer Company to Funky Buddha Brewery – to offer a rotating selection of seasonal and flagship beer including the BC Bootlager, a German pilsner lager brewed exclusively for Burlock Coast at Twisted Trunk Brewing Co. in Tequesta. There's even a local kombucha on tap — a probiotic curated tea.
"We are trying to get away from the idea of what dining at The Ritz is all about, and pushing for a more local crowd here," says hotel general manager Greg Cook. "In the past, this was just a stark white building, and the restaurant space really had no visible street presence. We wanted to change that, and open our doors to the local community. So we created a marketplace, retail and private event spaces, and an indoor/outdoor bar, what is now the largest with a beachfront location out of all The Ritz hotel establishments."
Burlock Coast is located at the Ritz-Carlton located at 1 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. The marketplace is open daily from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. The bar is open daily from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call 954-302-6460, or visit burlockcoast.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.