In 2015, the team at the Diplomat recruited Zakarian and several other nationally recognized chefs to help rebrand its dining venues, including the new steakhouse Diplomat Prime and the soon-to-open Monkitail.
This is a return to South Florida for the chef, who has a number of ties to Miami Beach. Zakarian opened the Delano Hotel's restaurant Blue Door in the '90s, then returned to South Beach with Tudor House at the Dream South Beach Hotel, which closed in 2012. Zakarian also had a signature restaurant on the Norwegian Breakaway, which sails out of Port of Miami, for several years.
The Chopped judge and Iron Chef winner is chef/partner at the Lambs Club and the National in New York City, as well as at the Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City. Zakarian is also the author of Town/Country: 150 Recipes for Life Around the Table and host of the Sirius XM radio show Food Talk, which premiered at the 2013 South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Zakarian tells New Times he hopes to elevate the Broward food scene through his new restaurant and bar, Point Royal, which he describes as a modern take on a coastal-influenced brasserie.
"South Florida has earned a reputation over the last few years for its growing food scene. The quality and accessibility is something we've really seen take off in places like Miami Beach, but with a more recent push farther north into places like Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach," Zakarian says. "With Point Royal, we're trying to bring a new level of sophistication to Hollywood and Hallandale Beach."
"With Point Royal, we're trying to bring a new level of sophistication to Hollywood and Hallandale Beach."
Point Royal will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. When it launches this weekend, the restaurant will also give patrons a chance to indulge in the property's only raw bar, offered alongside a menu reflecting Zakarian's brand of modern American cuisine, complemented by a central bar preparing juice-based cocktails while also boasting the resort's largest wine list.
Several seafood towers, ranging in price from $45 to $165, will offer everything from oysters and poached prawn to cold-poached lobster, Alaskan king crab legs, and stone crab claws.
The menu continues with small plates, available for $14 to $25 apiece, including ricotta-and-blue-crab dumplings accented with celery and caviar in a lemon-butter fondue, and a Louisiana-style seafood gumbo with shrimp, crab, and oysters. Grilled items, priced at $19 to $36, might feature spiced Chatham-sourced cod, Florida snapper, and Atlantic-caught tuna, as well as a prime flatiron steak or organic heritage chicken.
Main plates will give guests a true taste of Zakarian's cuisine. Priced at $27 to $35, dishes include shrimp 'n' grits featuring house-made shrimp andouille sausage, artisan Anson Mills grits, and pickled mushrooms; a chowder of roasted diver scallops and smoked fish seasoned with fennel; pomegranate-glazed short ribs; and a butter-poached lobster roll.
"This restaurant is everything I love, with a tremendous push for some of the freshest and most sophisticated seafood available in South Florida," Zakarian says. "Point Royal will be a comfortable eatery that really functions on a number of different levels, from breakfast and take-out to dinner and cocktails at the bar, with exceptional quality and a beautiful, vibrant atmosphere."