1500 Degrees

 

3.5 stars for the Eden Roc's "excellent" new spot

1500 degrees

Victoria Pesce Elliott

As simple and dramatic as a bonfire, Paula DaSilva’s cooking at the Eden Roc is attracting sophisticated diners like moths to a flame. Picture windows overlooking the pool deck lend a tropical feel, but for an even better view, cast your gaze at the smoothly running open kitchen, where Dean Max protégé DaSilva operates a gleaming, stainless steel asador at the scorching temperature that gives the restaurant its name. The Brazilian-born chef, who trained at the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute, clearly knows how to handle heat. And though this is most definitely a steak house — male guests outnumber females four to one — it is much more. You get the sense that only the best ingredients are allowed in DaSilva’s kitchen.

Ambience: The space is handsome in a clean and modern, if generic, way. Cushy, leatherlike white chairs on spindly espresso-colored legs are paired with cozy banquettes and snow-white marble tables, all bracketed by glittery amber-toned chandeliers and slate-gray floors. The soundtrack could use some work. Though much is made of the fact that Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra stayed and played here in their heyday, I could have sworn we heard a Muzak version of Let It Be during one of our several meals.

What Worked

  • Pearly, pristine bites of raw corvina marinated ever so briefly in lime juice, celery, shallots, chile pepper and olive oil
  • Tender, tasty charred octopus tentacles braised, grilled and tossed in a lemony pepper oil dressing with earthy, quartered artichoke hearts
  • Boldly seasoned dishes – expect thumb-sized bits of smoky bacon, nubs of peppery chorizo and lots of salt and pepper
  • A divine side of brussels sprouts in a creamy, grainy mustard sauce finished with sherry vinegar (to cut the richness) and bits of olives (to add more acid tones)
  • A decadent Vidalia onion cooked in cream and stuffed with melty Gruyere potatoes
  • An impressive prime, fist-sized picahna with a vibrant but not too garlicky chimichurri
  • A meltingly marbled Florida Wagyu rib-eye with a blackened char and a perfectly pink, juicy center
  • Penny-sized clams
  • Buttery mussels
  • A whole fried yellowtail snapper over ham-flecked beluga lentils,
  • Sticky toffee cake with vanilla ice cream and a vanilla toffee sauce
  • A respectable, if limited, cheese platter with house-made jams and chutneys is
  • A well-chosen international wine list

What Didn’t Work

  • Well-intentioned, but timid and distracted staff
  • Cold and no-show dishes

 

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