Last month, chef Laurent Tourondel announced he will soon helm the kitchen as a partner in one of Fort Lauderdale’s best-known oceanfront restaurants.
Tourondel plans to transform the property's existing restaurant, Dune, into Dune by Laurent Tourondel. Touted as a unique, elevated dining experience, restaurant promises that the chef’s signature international influences will be the focus of the makeover.
"We’ve been eyeing Fort Lauderdale for some time and are excited to have acquired what we know is not only one of the most desirable beachfront restaurant properties in South Florida, but also the country," says Yoram Shemesh, who engaged Tourondel and Steven Carro of New York’s WeChef Hospitality to reimagine the restaurant.
Dune, which opened in late 2018, is the first East Coast venture for the Auberge Resort group. The restaurant, known for its stunning panoramic oceanfront views just steps from the beach, will undergo extensive renovations to both its 11,000 square feet of indoor space and the accompanying 5,000 square feet outdoors. The deal officially closed in early June 2021 and is set to reopen by fall.
When it opens, Dune by Laurent Tourondel will debut as one of Broward County's only celebrity chef-driven oceanfront restaurants, adding to the Tourondel's portfolio, joining his South Florida-based establishments LT Steak & Seafood and the Alley (both at the Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach), and Scusi Trattoria in Palm Beach Gardens.
Although Tourondel has not yet finished Dune's makeover, the chef tells New Times it will include an indoor sushi bar highlighting nigiri and several signature rolls.
"The menu will be influenced by South America and the Caribbean," Tourondel adds. "While the menu is not complete, it will be a completely different new concept exclusively for Dune by Laurent Tourondel."
Two signature dishes are currently in the works. One is a hearts-of-palm salad acceded with avocado and a lime-jalapeño dressing, the other a signature seafood ceviche with a coconut-milk leche de tigre.
The restaurant bills itself as a special-event venue capable of accommodating multiple social and corporate gatherings, including beachfront weddings and other special occasions with a capacity of as many as 500 people.
"The space is fantastic," says Tourondel, noting that the current glass wall overlooking the ocean will be moved closer to the beach to enhance the dining-room views. "It is my hope that many people will come for a casual dinner to appreciate all it has to offer."
Dune by Laurent Tourondel. 2200 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Opening fall 2021; dunefl.com.