FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – It’s a breath of fresh air at Dune, a sweeping indoor-outdoor dining venue located inside Auberge Beach Residences on Fort Lauderdale beach.
Designed by renowned New York firm Meyer Davis, Dune is relaxed, light, and warm with pale ocean hues, hand-carved woods, tropical plants, all framing Atlantic ocean views.
“It was designed to be more relaxed. We don’t want it to feel fussy. We are on the water, we want this place to feel comfortable, more of a neighborhood spot. We consider ourselves part of the neighborhood,” said Executive Chef Edgar Beas.
This is the first east coast restaurant from Auberge Resorts known first in Napa Valley.
Beas comes to Dune from Santa Fe where he was well regarded for his menu that incorporated sustainable ingredients as well as being a melting pot of flavors now considered American cuisine.
“It could be considered modern American or contemporary American food, because of the many cultures we have here in America,” said Beas.
Beas said what he likes about this menu is there’s something for everyone from fancy to fun.
“We have a beautiful bar and get early crowds too. If you want to do dollar oysters and a beer outside, that’s great too, that’s what I would do,” he said.
Back in the kitchen Beas prepared CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo’s tasting menu.
They began with Octopus a la Plancha with sofrito, patatas bravas, and a touch of green onion.
It’s very tender. It still has tentacles on them and then a nice crusty char on them,” Beas said.
“When you say tender, that’s an understatement,” replied Petrillo. “It is so tender and the crunch on the outside is terrific.”
Next, a whole roasted Branzino with charred lemon, sautéed hearts of palm, and housemade Vadouvan sauce.
“So we pan roast it and then baste it with butter. The unique thing about this is the sauce. It’s Moroccan carrot paste curry, sautéed hearts of palm and then add the charred lemon to it,” said Beas.
“It almost has an Indian flavor to it, I guess more of a French Moroccan, it is special, that is a really special dish,” said Petrillo.
Also on the menu, a mouth-watering rack of lamb seasoned with sumac, charred cucumber, tzatziki sauce, and warm olives.
And a Florida favorite, fresh grouper with fingerling potatoes, fennel, in warm shellfish vinaigrette, preserved lemon, and chorizo.
“So the grouper is a very forgiving fish, it’s very buttery and flaky and for me this my favorite,” Beas said.
“ I’m a grouper girl too and this has such nice flavor,” said Petrillo.
Dune, where beachfront dining is both elegant and uncomplicated.
It’s open 7 days a week for dinner only. For more info: dunefl.com.