Beautiful Plates to Sample Across South Florida

Pelican Grand Beach Resort, Swan, and Cleo ensure an artful dining experience for patrons

Pelican Grand Beach Resort – FORT LAUDERDALE

February in South Florida is alfresco-dining weather. Combine the ideal climate with an extraordinary Sunday brunch, served ocean-side in Fort Lauderdale, and you’ve got a surefire winner. That description perfectly fits the Pelican Grand Beach Resort’s Ocean 2000. The Brunch Buffet here—for a mere $65 per person—is an all-encompassing feast for hungry guests whether their penchant is for sweet or savory. Fresh salads and seafood, including freshly shucked East Coast oysters, Gulf shrimp, crab claws, smoked salmon and whitefish dip, a hand-rolled sushi boat and a ceviche station, are a light and luscious way to start. Then there are the heartier offerings: Ocean 2000 Eggs Benedict on a cheese arepa with chimichurri béarnaise is not to be missed, and the same can be said of the Cinnamon-Nutella Brioche French Toast. The requisite made-to-order omelet station, hot waffles served right from the iron and a crepe station also tempt. BBQ Pork Buns, the Chef’s Chicken Selection and a Catch-of-the-Day make for ideal “lunch-style” options, as does the Pasta Station where you can design yours to include seafood, chicken, chorizo or vegetables—or all of the above. A carving board with meats and an antipasto station loaded with cheeses and charcuterie, assorted chutneys, artisanal breads and Baked Brie in Puff Pastry drizzled with lavender-scented honey and sprinkled with smoked sea salt round out the savory temptations, while sweet endings range from cakes and pies to mini eclairs and cream puffs and a chocolate fountain. Oh, and the price includes unlimited mimosas and a 50-item Bloody Mary bar. Bring a pair of trainers and walk the beach afterward—it’s totally worth it.

2000 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954.568.9431;


Swan – MIAMI

New (sort of) from hospitality bigwig and musician Pharrell Williams, the latest celeb-hotspot-slash-restaurant at which you absolutely must be seen is Swan and Bar Bevy, opened this past November. With a menu by Chef Jean Imbert, the two-story restaurant and bar was designed by San Francisco- and New York-based Ken Fulk, who took a tropical turn with the décor befitting the subtropical setting in which it’s located. Outdoors, a garden by South Florida’s longtime superstar landscape designer Raymond Jungles makes for lovely views, the centerpiece of which is a fountain designed by Kobi Karp Architecture. So it definitely is breathtaking—what of the food and drink? The emphasis of the former is on locally and sustainably sourced ingredients, with signature dishes including Snapper Sashimi with mango, serrano chili and pickled cumquats; Corn Corn Corn, a creamy polenta with popcorn and brown butter; and a simple Roasted Chicken with curry-carrot purée, buckwheat and vadouvan. Cocktails—a staple of the social Miamian’s diet—stand out, with concoctions such as the Kalahari, made with tequila, watermelon chili, ginger and lime; and Mon Cheri, a cherry-infused buffalo trace bourbon, vanilla, angostura and chocolate bitters. Upstairs, at Bar Bevy, billed “the restaurant’s discreet cocktail lounge,” the vibe and the experience change; there’s a DJ booth and a separate menu of creative cocktails that aren’t available downstairs at the restaurant. Even Grutman himself is mesmerized by the place. “From the second you step foot in the restaurant, you’re surrounded by amazing décor details and sick art work. I love the vibe, and I know Miami will too.”

90 NE 39th St., Miami Design District, 305.704.0994;




Chef Danny Elmaleh is certainly best known for his award-winning concept, Cleo—L.A., Las Vegas, New York, Baha Mar, Kuwait—and now there’s a South Beach location inside The Redbury South Beach, which has been placed in the capable hands of executive chef Richard Bennet. Following a recent aesthetic refresh, Cleo’s distinctly vibrant and celebrated menu will evoke a contemporary meze bar and offer its signature shared-plate, social dining experience. Drawn from a variety of influences, Cleo’s cuisine is a modern twist on the ingredients and cultures of the eastern and southern Mediterranean, with a collection of notable dishes prepared in a wood-burning oven. Along with Cleo’s established menu, Elmaleh will also draw upon the flavors of Miami, forging culinary touches that celebrate the local culture. Meats, seafood and vegetables, fresh salads, homemade Lafa flatbreads and a delectable raw bar, as well as a variety of vegetarian options are in the offing, with the highlights including Kibbeh Nayyeh, lamb tartare, bulgur, mint and Lebaneh; Moroccan Fried Chicken served with apricot mustard and harissa aioli; Falafel Tahini, Tabbouleh; and Grilled Branzino accompanied by cauliflower couscous, Lebaneh and zhoug, a hot sauce that originated in Yemeni cuisine. “Cleo is a concept close to my heart, and I love that we’re able to offer authentic Eastern Mediterranean cuisine in a unique setting that features sbe’s signature hip, fun environment,” says Chef Elmaleh. “Our very first Cleo was in a Redbury, so it’s exciting to return to our roots with this location.”

1776 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305.604.1776; the

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