While many restaurants have been barely holding on, Oceans 234 recently spent $130,000 on renovations, adding a full sushi bar, updating the decor and enhancing a sound system that keeps the Deerfield Beach destination rocking, even in its 10th year.
Judging by the crowds, owners Danielle Williams and Joe and Lois Pallaria have reason to celebrate. Visit on a Saturday night and attractive female bartenders in corset tops can barely keep up with the demands of the young, hip crowd here for the vibe and the DJ (on Fridays and Sundays, there’s live music). You’d think the place was nothing more than another beach bar scene, but Oceans 234 also pays attention to its menu, with a boost from new executive chef Victor Franco, who spent years as a sous chef for top South Florida toques like Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello and Allen Susser.
Ambience: It’s right on the beach, just steps from the pier, a prime spot to take visitors — with a caveat. If you, or they, hate high-decibel dining experiences — in other words, you want to have a conversation with your friends or family members — come early or better yet, stop by early during midweek to take advantage of the location without the noise. Best to grab one of the 175 seats on the sprawling patio (compared to the 35 inside).
- Crunchy coconut shrimp
- Pistachio mahi mahi
- Delectable, fresh-shucked Blue Point oysters served with cocktail sauce & a tangy vinegar- and wine-based mignonette
- The Rapture sushi roll – tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, scallions, asparagus, masago and shiso leaves, wrapped in soy paper
- Bracingly clean salmon sashimi
- Lobster mac ‘n cheese – a sweet-tasting Bahamian lobster tail nestled in a bed of noodles in an ultra-rich sauce of mascarpone, cheddar and Swiss
- Tropical grilled swordfish – a supple and moist thick-cut fillet with perfectly seared grill marks set upon coconut macadamia rice with pineapple salsa
- The New York strip – a hefty 12-ounce center-cut that’s buttery tender at medium rare, even richer with a gorgonzola demi-glace over pancetta, spinach and roasted garlic herb potatoes
- A scrumptious apple crisp elegantly served with a cinnamon stick set afire at the tip
- Divine chardonnay poached pear with a chocolate almond ganache