It’s a bit unusual to hear Diplomat Prime – the signature steakhouse at the historic Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla., referred to as a “hidden gem.’’ After all, Diplomat Prime has been one of South Florida’s top steakhouses for more than 16 years.
But “hidden gem’’ is what Diplomat Prime General Manager Michael Savitt calls it – and hidden gem is what is in the wake of the historic resort’s recent $100 million renovation that included the additions of two new restaurants – celebrity Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Point Royal and Monkitail, celebrity chef Michael Schulson’s ode to Japanese fare.
Point Royal, which features Zakarian’s take on Coastal American cuisine, and Monkitail, each have justifiably received rave reviews. But that doesn’t mean anyone should sleep on Diplomat Prime, which has a new look thanks to the overall renovation project.
“It was getting that ‘old man’ crusty steakhouse look,’’ Savitt said. “We made it better. We didn’t change the ‘bones’ of the restaurant, we just cleaned it up a little and gave it a fresh, new look.’’
And brought in a new executive chef with a familiar name to SoFla foodies – Nicolay Adinaguev – who came to Diplomat Prime from the acclaimed Steak 954 in Miami Beach. Adinaguev overhauled most of the previous menu, Savitt said, including elevating its seafood dishes and sides.
“He’s made the dishes a lot more complex and modern,’’ Savitt said.
For example, Adinaguev’s Maine Diver Scallops entrée comes with charred cauliflower, guanciale (pork jowl), pea purée, black garlic and pickled okra.
“When you get it all on your fork at one time, it’s just amazing,’’ Savitt said. “There is so much going on.’’
Each of the steaks at Diplomat Prime – from the eight-ounce Wagyu Filet Mignon to the mazing 28-ounce Porterhouse – have been dry-aged 48 days in the restaurants dry-aging room. Any of them go great with Diplomat Prime’s deep selection of sides – my favorite being the Duck Fat Steak Fries with lemon aioli, tarragon and cracked pepper.
“Our steaks are big and manly – like they should be at a steakhouse,’’ Savitt said. “Everything reflects a luxury steakhouse brand.’’
Diplomat Prime makes its breads, has at least three waiters who are also sommeliers and has a tucked-away private dining room. As another part of the renovation, Savitt said, larger dining tables were removed in favor of more smaller tables that seat only two guests each.
“We realized most of our reservations were parties of two,’’ Savitt said. “So the smaller tables gives us a lot more flexibility to get people into the restaurant.
“We are kind of a hidden gem. We’re in this huge hotel, but once you step inside, you don’t feel like you’re in a hotel.’’