One of the perks of living in Florida is having access to some of the best seafood in the world. But after 7 years of living here (or as the kids are calling it these days, 7 minutes in heaven, or at least that’s what I think they are referring to when they say that??) you get a little spoiled and continue to expect the best of the best when it comes to seafood. So when I was invited in to Point Royal at The Diplomat in Hollywood, I had high expectations. And unlike my bank account at this age, I was not disappointed – in fact, I was blown away. I can start with the fact that the atmosphere and decor was so grand that I immediately knew that this now was not the waste of makeup and a killer outfit.
Dress by Venus
Feeling so sassy and fancy immediately put me in the mood for one of their signature cocktails. I chose the N.A.F.T.A. which I can only guess stands for “No Actin a Fool – Time for Alcohol” – because THIS is a mix done right. Anejo Tequila, Maple Syrup, and Orange Bitters, perfectly blended, it will start your night off right. Hope you Ubered.
One of our first appetizers of the night was the Yellowfin Tuna Tartar with Avocado, and a Chili-sesame Seed Vinaigrette. Unlike my personality, this dish was quite simple. But that was the beauty of it – it allowed the tuna to stand out on it’s on with just a kick of flavor from the vinaigrette.
Point Royal wouldn’t put “royal” in their title without giving you a platter made for a King and Queen (which side note may be how I finally trap my favorite Gingie, Prince Harry. I see you Har Bear. You will be mine. Can’t wait to rule England together.) The Diplomat Tower is a castle of seafood and consists of 6 Oysters, 6 Clams, an 8 oz. King Crab, 3 Pink Shrimp, and a 1/2 Maine Lobster. Go big or go home – this insanely fresh raw seafood is a huge hit and so tasty that you don’t even need to dip it in butter, cocktail sauce – not anything. Quite like Channing Tatum, it’s best enjoyed naked.
I was actually quite surprised that my favorite dish of the night was the house-made shrimp sausage corndogs with shrimp remoulade, a newer dish. It was so flavorful and fulfilling and unexpected, and such a satisfying indulgence. I couldn’t stop digging in for more. Miss out on this one and you’re no better than the people who fast forward the commercials during the Superbowl. Like, really?! Get your ish together.
It wouldn’t be a total seafood experience without ordering some octopus, a dish that has become so common in South Florida that it’s more prevalent than “models” on Instagram. Point Royal serves their Spanish style with Pickled Fresno Chili, Celery, Fennel, Mint, Basil, and Roasted Garlic Yogurt. Again, I say that octopus is on almost every menu in the area, so the creative accompaniments were quite welcome. If you’re going to do octopus, this is without a doubt one of the ones to beat.
Even before I arrived, whilst perusing the menu (they even got me using fancy wording, look at me now!) I was drooling over the Ricotta Dumplings with Alaskan King Crab and Lemon Butter. This baby did not disappoint, and that’s an understatement. Another one of my fave dishes of the night, and great for sharing. Unless you’re with me. DO NOT touch my Ricotta Dumplings. Please get your own. And thank you. Look, I even have manners now!
We were told that the Butter Poached Lobster Roll is a MUST, and so I MUSTered up more of an appetite to fit this dish in, which is accompanied by a MUSTard sauce. Ok. Fine. My puns are awful. But this dish, with its generous portion of lobster, is not.
Point Royal is clearly the place to go for seafood, but if you’re craving meat, they also have some great options. The one that stood out to me most was the Pomegranate Glazed Short Rib, served with Watercress & Heirloom Carrot Salad and Swank Farms Pickled Vegetables. Talk about unique. I love visiting restaurants that are doing dishes that no one else does, and no one else can compare to. This is one of those dishes. The short rib was so extremely tender and it was truly a burst of flavor.
Our final entrée is difficult for me to talk about because in a way, I still feel like an amateur fish eater in the fact that I struggle still with seeing the fish’s face before I eat it. This is the Snapper, with salmoriglio sauce (garlic, oregano, parsley, olive oil) and watercress, and seasoned with a house-made rub of peppercorns, Aleppo and coconut sugar. For a simple fish, this is a TON of difference flavors added to it, which again, is very unique – I’m used to a fish like this being simply grilled and served with sides. So from one fish face hater to another, if you can get past the controversial presentation, I urge you to, because the intense flavor is worth it. If not, maybe have a few more of those N.A.F.T.A.s, and you won’t even notice!
Of course with the entrees, some side dishes needed to be ordered. And if you’re gonna do a side dish, it’s gotta be the Crawfish Mac and Cheese. It’s made with Smoked Gouda, Scallions, and Breadcrumbs, and it will rock your world. I’m supposed to be this food blogger that can write about food, but this dish has no words. Trust me, you won’t either, because your mouth will be way too busy stuffing your face full of cheesy seafood-y carb-y goodness.
Another side is the Parmesan Crusted Potatoes. Now to me, potatoes are like opinions – you should have a lot of them, and everyone prefers different things. These potatoes were very crispy, whereas I typically prefer mine more mushy (or really just in French fry form but that’s neither here nor there.) But that’s not to say that they’re bad, in fact for my Eating Partner In Crime (E.P.I.C.) Shaina, this was one of her favorite dishes. The flavor on the potatoes is definitely on point, so if you like your potatoes on the crisp side, then this is a must for you.
The final side that we chose was the Crispy Brussel Sprouts. I was intrigued by their description alone: Mustard Crème FraÎche, Candied Pecans, Green Apple. What a menagerie of flavors! It’s always refreshing to see a twist on Brussels sprouts – I swear if I see another restaurant offering maple bacon Brussels, I’m going to roll my eyes so hard that they’ll go in to the back of my head.
There’s no sweeter end to a meal like this than a round of desserts. We were treated to the Chocolate Pudding with Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut Praline, Coco Nibs, and Cinnamon Ice Cream, and the Sticky Toffee Cake with Candied Pecans and Orange-Rum Glaze. They were both so heavenly that my stomach forceably made room for quite a few bites of each!
Whether you’re a Princess or a Pauper, dining at Point Royal will surely make you feel like royalty. Just make sure you schedule a horse drawn carriage to drag your full bloated self home after the huge meal!
And don’t forget, if you really want your wallet to go far, they offer Happy (Oyster) Hour, available at the bar daily from 5:30-7:30pm and features a special kictchen menu (I’m definitely looking forward to the Avocado Toast with Tuna Tartar and The Oyster Po’ Boy), deals on items from the raw bar, $7 select specialty cocktails and wine, and $4 select beer!
***I received complimentary noms in exchange for this post, however, you cannot bribe me with food, so all opinions are my own.