The who: The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne reinvents its in-house restaurant as Lightkeepers, serving Florida-centric coastal cuisine. The restaurant is named for the lighthouse keepers who watched over Key Biscayne’s historic Cape Florida Lighthouse in the 1800s. Executive chef Raul A. Del Pozo helms the kitchen.
The space: The indoor-outdoor space has been reconfigured with an open air, state-of-the-art stainless steel kitchen that overlooks the dining area and is also home to the raw bar. The dining room is outfitted in cream leather booths and wood tables detailed in brass trim. The outdoor patio remains as desirable as ever with views of the Atlantic and pool, available on the tiered terrace.
The dishes: Contemporary cooking with a focus on local and seasonal — the menu relies on locally sourced ingredients — cheeses from Winter Park, beef from Ocoee, and snapper from Key West. Meats and seafood are cooked on charcoal and wood-burning Josper ovens. Prices reflect the ritzy setting with starters at $13-$22 and mains $22-$39.
Start off with Keeper’s Wife’s Biscuits made with Keez Beez honey butter or the tomato fondue served in a cast iron pot and topped with goat cheese and accompanied by rustic bread. Salads are dressed with roasted calabaza and brown butter roasted peppita croutons while crudos like the escolar are glossed with pomelo, lime and fennel.
Josper grilled meats include a whole branzino, Florida spiny lobster tail, Lake Meadows chicken and Palmetto Creek pork. Seafood choices include local snapper with baby zucchini, sunchoke, kohlrabi and Key lime preserve, pappardelle with Cedar Key clams, roasted garlic, lemon butter and hazelnut gremolata and Florida Pompano with parsnip puree, coal roasted tomatoes and pine oil.
Desserts are generously portioned and can easily feed four with options like Chocolate Plantain Cake with seasalt caramel ice cream and a Bucket of Beignets with passion fruit and Valrhona chocolate dipping sauces.
Bottom line: The Ritz’s waterfront spot is reimagined now as a comfortable, Florida-inspired spot with Josper-grilled meats and seafood.
Lightkeepers at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne
455 Grand Bay Dr, Key Biscayne