Gavin Pera’s culinary mission at Burlock Coast Seafood & Spirits can be summed up in three words: “Keep it simple.’’
Burlock Coast, which opened last year, pays homage to the creativity of Prohibition era rum runners. It features outstanding service and casual indoor and outdoor seating options, the latter of which overlooks Fort Lauderdale Beach and is ideal for people watching. It’s also ideal for getting to know the locals – in regards to everything from beef to poultry to veggies.
“We get great products – great beef, great pork, great kale….’’ said Pera, executive chef at Burlock Coast, the signature restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale. “We just want to show respect to the food and the local ingredients.
“Every Thursday and Friday we get in huge shipments from local farms. That’s what dictates what’s on the menu because there is so much of it and it’s so abundant. Focusing on what the farmers bring us truly makes us seasonal. The coolest thing about working with farms locally is that it’s really a community. Some people might grow this and say, “I know someone who grows that.’ So it really spreads.
“You’re not going to see dried spices in our cupboard, so when you come here, it’s all about the flavor and doing things as simple as possible.’’
And yes, simple can be delicious. The Lake Meadow Half Chicken with black-eyed peas, carrots, bacon and petite chard, is a great example.
“I love that dish,’’ Pera said. “It’s simple and cooks with great flavor.’’
The New York Steak with roasted spring vegetables is another favorite that shows off great flavors. On the seafood side, try the Snapper with red quinoa and market squash.
Burlock Coast also has an extensive raw bar that features outstanding oyster with citrus champagne mignonette and grilled crab cocktail served with mango mustard.
My favorite? The New York Steak, for sure, but as for an appetizer (or even as a meal), you can’t beat charcuterie plate with artisanal cheeses that’s among the best in South Florida.
“We have a great cheese program,’’ Pera said. “We really focus on domestic artisanal cheeses from all over. They come in all the time, so if you come in five nights per week, you’ll get different cheeses each night.’’
It doesn’t get more simple – or delicious.