Fort Lauderdale Beach is not known as the area's premier dining destination -- it's more recognized its profusion of margaritas with overturned Coronas than anything else.
While it's been slow to catch on, that trend is starting to change -- albeit at a snail's pace.
The beach recently received its newest restaurant that is aiming to attract locals; Tsukuro opened its doors on February 8.
The new spot is bringing Asian-inpired eats and upscale decor to the strip.
Translating to "Where the moon arrives over the water," the space has been designed to offer guests prime views of the Atlantic in a modern albeit comfortable setting.
"Designer Karen Hanlon was asked to create an environment incorporating the type of service we have with the feeling we wanted to have," says marketing director Arianne Glassman. "We wanted to have separate little spaces, but with everything flowing together; traditional Asian in a modern sense."
The two story glass-encosed structure offers stacked seating with a soothing black and grey interior with bursts of red, orange, and teal, creating a comfortable, contemporary vibe.
The concept is based on small plates with a strong emphasis on seafood, including a raw bar along with sushi, sashimi and rolls ($5 to $17).
The bulk of the menu consists of pan Asian plates that are brought to the table as ready. Options range from traditional items like Korean-Style ribs ($8) to Chinese-style roasted duck (half $28/whole $49) to fusion dishes slow-braised oxtail spring rolls ($9) to crispy whole fish (market price).
Executive chef Dy'Ante Reddick conceived much of the menu, but he plans to continue adding new dishes as the restaurant settles in, such as steamed buns, additional desserts, and bento box lunch specials.
"We're still working on the menu," says Glassman. "We wanted to make sure every item was perfected. We wanted to come out quietly to acclimate the staff to each-other and the space."
The bar program is comprised of a large selection of wine, sake, and craft cocktails, such as, the Blushing Geisha ($11), Nolet's Gin, elderflower, grapefruit juice, mint, and prosecco; Japanese Old Fashioned ($14), Hibiki Single Malt, citrus zest, and aromatic bitters; and Red Lotus ($11), Absolut, Domaine de Canton, prosecco, and basil.
The restaurant offers valet service in the back for $10 with validation from any of the spots in the group. It is $25 without validation.
Tsukuro is located at 225 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-523-1407, or visit facebook.com/TsukuroFL.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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