Geoffrey Zakarian tempts you to Broward with fruits of the sea

The who: Celebrity chef, restaurateur and television star Geoffrey Zakarian opens Point Royal in the newly revamped Diplomat Beach Resort. Zakarian opened the Delano Hotel’s restaurant Blue Door in the ’90s, then returned to South Beach with Tudor House at the Dream South Beach Hotel, which closed in 2012.

The space: A cavernous palace of oceanic delights. The 220-seat features 30-foot ceilings, a warm color palate of golds, whites and blues, custom-made banquettes in a mix of navy and natural tones, woven dining chairs and hand-painted table tops. The outdoor seating showcases a mix of custom chairs and benches, varied in color with natural steel and woven materials, all grounded by a fireplace.

The dishes: Coastal American cuisine. There’s an extensive raw bar with a rotating selection of East and West Coast oysters, littleneck clams, Alaskan king crab legs, and stone crab claws. Prices are skewed to the well-heeled with starters $14 to $25 and mains $27 to $42.

Start things off with raw marinated items, including a choice of Colorado lamb or tuna tartare; hamachi crudo with cranberry relish, cucumber, and apple; and marinated bay scallops in a melon broth.

Small plates of ricotta-and-blue-crab dumplings accented with celery and caviar in a lemon-butter fondue, and a Louisiana-style seafood gumbo with shrimp, crab, and oysters play with brasserie classics. Those looking to keep things simple can get grilled items such as Florida snapper and Atlantic-caught tuna, as well as a prime flatiron steak or organic heritage chicken. But if you’re there for Zakarian’s cuisine go for composed mains such as shrimp ‘n’ grits featuring house-made shrimp andouille sausage, artisan Anson Mills grits, and pickled mushrooms; a chowder of roasted diver scallops and smoked fish seasoned with fennel and pomegranate-glazed short ribs.

Desserts keep things decadent with a chocolate budino with cinnamon ice cream, a key lime pavlova and caramel toffee tiramesu.

Bottom line: It’s worth the trek to Broward to see Geoffrey Zakarian’s return to South Florida with this ode to the bounty of the sea.

Point Royal

3555 S Ocean Dr, Hollywood