By Mitchell Nover
Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is a pretty regal man. Not only is he a Food Network noble, but everything about him just has an air of stateliness about it — from his style to his slow and steady speech cadence. Anyway, all of this is to say that there’s no surprise his new venture at the Diplomat Beach Resort, Point Royal (3555 S Ocean Dr, Hollywood), personifies that same majestic vibe, offering guests a classically elegant look and an elevated dining experience.
Menu highlights: Featuring his approachable American cuisine, a lively raw bar, and cocktails with local flavor, Point Royal follows in the footsteps of the sophisticated taste and signature style that Chef Zakarian has perfected throughout his 30+ year career as a chef/restaurateur.
The dinner menu, which is what I tried, features snacks, starters, items to share, and a variety of meat, seafood and poultry entrees, including a daily catch and raw bar selections. Highlights from my meal include the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare (avocado, chili-sesame seed vinaigrette), Grilled Spanish Octopus (pickled Fresno, celery, roasted garlic yogurt), Ora King Salmon (fregula, grilled maitake mushrooms, mustard chicken jus), Broccolini & Heirloom Grain Salad (Thai peanut sauce, mint, radish, scallion), Parmigiano Crusted Potatoes (sea salt, rosemary), and Key Lime Pavlova (crispy meringue, key lime gelée, graham cracker crumble).
Standout dish: The Fresh Spaghetti is a dish fit for a king, fitting for a restaurant called Point Royal. The pasta is made in-house, and is delightfully al dente (with just the right bite to it) and mixed with Maine sea urchin, Calabrian chili sofrito, tomato, and bottarga fish roe. The dish hits all the right notes — salty, savory, sweet, and full of umami magic.
Are we boozing? We most certainly are, and we’re feeling fancy about it. Point Royal’s cocktail menu is just as classy as the rest of the the experience. Featuring mostly classic cocktails with subtle local twists, the drinks pack a punch flavor-wise, but won’t knock you on your ass. These are quality cocktails. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list that’s worth exploring. I recommend starting with a cocktail during your appetizer course and then switching over to a glass of wine (or bottle, depending on who you’re with) to enjoy with your mains.
Mitch’s take: Hollywood is generally on the far reaches of my Miami comfort zone, and I honestly don’t make it “all the way” up there too often. That said, The Diplomat Beach Resort has recently gone under an impressive renovation and revamp of its dining program, of which Point Royal is a cornerstone. In addition to a number of other new and improved establishments, like Counter Point (also a Geoffrey Zakarian venture), Bristol’s Burgers, Portico, and Diplomat Prime, Point Royal now reigns supreme in Hollywood.