I’ve always liked the food and Lobby and Bar and Bistro. Unfortunately, for me it is like a middle child that often gets forgotten. Lobby has a new chef and I was invited to sample some of his tasty new treats. Chef Justin Kurtz has spent a considerable amount of time working for the Ritz-Carlton and also served as the executive chef at Chateau Elan Resort.
There’s a good mix of craft cocktails all priced at $12. Some of the more interesting sounding ones were the White Whiskey Punch, Ginger Blossom (made with vodka, ginger beer and muddled strawberries) sounds like a fun twist on a Moscow Mule. My choice was the Cucumber Collins with vodka, muddled cucumbers and thyme which was very refreshing.
Rather than indulge in a second cocktail I moved on to wine. There’s definitely a nice selection wines by the glass including Malbecs and Tempranillos, perfect to go with the spice of many of the dishes you’ll find on Lobby’s menu. However, I wasn’t really in love with either of the wines I sampled.
Lobby’s menu is divided into three sections: Small Plates (average price / dish $5), Shared Pates (average price / dish $12) and Large Plates (average price / dish $29). With each section the choices get slimmer, with the Large Plates section only having five choices. But that’s okay, because I guarantee by the time you make it through the first two, you’ll only have room to share an entree, which is exactly what happened to me and my hubs.
Chef asked if he could just select things on the menu to have us try. When a chef suggest this, I never turn him down. Note the first dish (Cucumber and Green Apple Caprese salad pictured above) is a half portion of what would normally be served. I thought this was an incredible, yet simple twist on your normal caprese salad. The green apple (only slightly tart) and mint added such a wonderful change from normal tomato and basil. And what a deal for just $5.
Another new favorite at Lobby Bar and Bistro? The Fried Egg. But this is no ordinary fried egg. It has a mustard base, but with the jamon serrano and fried bread crumbs it seem like a cross between a deviled egg and a scotch egg. Who would think so much pleasure could come from something so small? Another starter we sampled, the scallops with creamed corn (pictured at the top of the page) was quite good too and seems almost like a holdover from the last menu.
Under the shared plates we stuck to chilled seafood with Shrimp Cocktail Veracruz and Tuna Ceviche. We did sample the Duck Confit Flat Bread as well, and it was pretty disappointing. There seemed to be little duck and the “roasted grapes” had an overall displeasing taste. While I’m a slut for Tuna Ceviche, and Lobby’s with dates, grapefruit, pistachio and sweet potatoes sounded so promising, I’m a fennel hater and it seemed particularly overpowering in this dish.
Too full to share an entree each, we shared the Blackened Salmon. With charred corn and tomato coulis, the dish had a pretty smokey flavor. While I did love it, the smokiness might not be palatable for everyone. All throughout the menu there are touches of peppers and spice, which shows the chef’s proclivity to south of the border foods, probably from his time spent working in South Beach.
Disclosure: This was a complimentary meal. But the opinions expressed are my own.