The who: Chef Dewey LoSasso (formerly of The Forge and North One 10) reinvents the in-house restaurant at the ritzy Acqualina Resort in Sunny Isles Beach.
The space: AQ occupies the opulent salon flanking the hotel’s lobby bar. Ample outdoor seating is available on a Romanesque patio with arched walkways and a gurgling infinity pool. There’s a small indoor market with wine and gourmet items for sale.
The dishes: Florida-inspired eats plus a short sushi menu (courtesy of North Miami Beach’s Hiro’s Yakko-san). LoSasso adheres to a Florida-centric ethos with items like local heirloom tomatoes, grouper cheeks and cured snapper. Prices are $6-$16 for starters, $15-$38 for mains.
Eclectic starters include spaghetti squash crostini and lobster panini. Vegetarians will be pleased: Almost half of the dozen entrées are of the veg-friendly variety, like Indonesian chili and pea risotto with pan-seared baby beets (called Peas, Peas, Peas Me, Baby).
For dessert, diners can enjoy homemade gelato or confections like French macarons, dessert tarts and cakes.
The bottom line: The Acqualina’s newest dining spot marries an opulent setting with a reasonably priced, Florida-centric menu.