Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ocean 2000

The ocean is a mystical thing and being near it amplifies the senses to degrees beyond compare. Pelican Grand Beach Resort, located at 2000 N. Ocean Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, has unveiled a new concept for their waterfront restaurant, Ocean2000, which capitalizes on a spectacular location and unites the regional flavors that influence our area. And when I say waterfront, I don't mean you can see the  ocean at a distance, but rather you can hear the waves as they crash against the shore, and smell the aroma of the sea as you take in the beauty of being steps away from the Atlantic Ocean.

With Chef Todd Lough
Executive Chef Todd Lough, who joined the team in April 2012, has revamped the menu to pay tribute to the local and seasonal offerings in South Florida. His vast experience in the culinary arts include exposure to Southwestern, Cajun, Mexican and Asian influences as well receiving a degree at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. He is creative and innovative in his style, and is known for his expertise in New American Fusion cuisine.

From the moment I stepped outside to the verandah and saw the rocking chairs looking on to the water, all I could think of was stepping out of my heels and putting my toes in the sand. The breeze was alluring and I could see the light of the moon illuminating the water. I took a peek to the indoor dining area, and found it just as beautiful, with its white leather booths, contemporary lighting, and beachy feel.

Pelican Brief at the forefront

Fresh Homemade Chorizo
Local Fish Ceviche
But let me bring myself back from the awesome view to the incredible food and libations. I started the evening with some sparkling bubbly and then on to a glass of their Pelican Brief, a sweet concoction of Veev, Pomegranate Juice and Blueberries. Yes, yes and yes. It was outstanding!  I tried several of their appetizers and small plates, and found the bold intensity of the ingredients to be consistent throughout each one. For example, the  Local Fish Ceviche, made with lime, cilantro and red onions stood out as a favorite; simple yet magnificent. The Fresh Homemade Chorizo dish was also intoxicating, combining the spicy taste of chorizo, with the distinct, rich flavor of manchego cheese and arugula. A sampler of charcuterie, cheeses and olives provided a glimpse into the variety and freshness Chef Lough has brought to the menu offerings at Ocean2000. 

Sampler of Delights
The entrees include options from land and sea, but following the focus of Lough, continue to make the most of the local coastline offerings. I indulged in a Florida Lobster Tail; incredibly tender and succulent, it was accompanied with a bearnaise chimichurri and ginger butter sauce. The combination of the two took the taste of the lobster to a whole new level. I also ordered a Caesar Salad, that redefines what a Caesar Salad should be. Why, you ask? Aside from being fresh and crisp, the croutons were made with polenta. I couldn't help but smile each time my fork captured yet another one.

Florida Lobster Tail

Sweet Endings
We ended the memorable experience with a series of desserts: Tiramisu, Bread Pudding and a Warm Brownie. It was a sweet ending to a spectacular meal and to top it off, the service was exemplary from beginning to end.  Although I didn't want the moment to come to a close, or to leave such a soothing place, I look forward to returning to Ocean2000 very soon for their Sunday brunch, and to enjoy the captivating setting that encompasses what South Florida is all about. For more information on Ocean2000, you can call 954-556-7667 or visit them online at

Ocean 2000 on Urbanspoon

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