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HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) — This week’s Taste of the Town is a mixed vibe of contemporary meets nostalgia. Deep blues, warm woods, brick walls and throwback pictures of beach days gone by.
It is all at JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, named after singer-songwriter Jimmy “William” Buffett. It is an upscale restaurant inside Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort.
In the kitchen, Chef Kon mans the workings each night, showing CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo some of his tricks.
“We put this on the flat top first to sear the juice,” the chef explains.
Meanwhile, Chef Carlo Sernaglia is the “concept” chef for all of JWB Prime Steak and Seafood restaurants.
“What is the concept and the look of the place?” Lisa asks Chef Sernaglia.
“Nostalgic Florida,” he explains. “We tried to recreate the feeling of what Florida is about. Also, Jimmy’s background. He comes quite often. As a matter of fact, he likes to show up and visit us and he gets his fresh fish,” the chef continues. “He enjoys coming around, he has own suite.”
The restaurant opened in January 2016, with its luxe-meets-laid back feel becoming a favorite of locals and hotels guest alike.
“We noticed we have a lot of locals that come back for the experience. So not only hotel guests. To our surprise, the majority of guests are coming from outside,” says Chef Sernaglia.
JWB offers a contemporary menu of fresh seafood including spear-caught fish, led by one main fisherman.
“It’s the beauty of the spearfish program,” the chef says. “It’s really sustainable when you have fish it’s caught locally in Palm Beach or Jupiter.”
There is also a complete raw bar and of course, the prime steaks sizzling throughout the kitchen.
The chef chooses a 22-ounce prime bone-in ribeye to demonstrate how it has so much flavor with just simple salt on top.
The steak is served with potatoes au gratin made with gruyere and parmesan cheese.
“These are nice and flash fried and seasoned with vinegar and pickled custards,” he details. “Crunchy nice and they sell a lot too. It’s comfort food.”
The Brussels sprouts also immediately grab your attention.
“Try and see if you like,” he offers Petrillo.
“Oh mama! You can fry it pan sear it,” says Petrillo, and chef proudly asks her, “Those are unbelievable good no?”
“I’m keeping those as a bowl on the side. Don’t touch them,” she warns, smiling.
Next the ceviche, with a host of fresh herbs, veggies and fresh yellowtail.
“It absorbs the flavor,” says Petrillo, taking in a spoonful. “I’m tasting the Leche de Tigre. The crunch of the corn. It’s just a party of fun on that fish right there. Mmmhmm!”
Finally the fresh catch fish of the day: grilled triple tail.
“The fish has a real sear on the outside that holds in flavor. And you see so it doesn’t dry out,” says the chef. “What we do its simplicity when you have a fresh fish you don’t need to do much to it. The fish needs to speak for itself.”
Chef Sernaglia tops it off by signing the book he wrote, “Margaritaville: The Cookbook”.
JWB Prime Steak and Seafood in Hollywood is open seven days a week.