Part of the Miami experience is leaving our city to explore South Florida beyond its borders. Whether its a roadtrip northward, southward or westward bound from Miami, you're bound to come across people, places, food and adventures that contribute to and are influenced by the Miami lifestyle. Most recently, we ventured to Hollywood where The Diplomat Beach Resort's oceanfront digs have been remodeled and outfitted with several new mouthwatering restaurants. There we joined the Fort Lauderdale Bloggers through a tour of Bristol's Burgers, Portico, and Diplomat Prime. Each concept's ambiance, menu, and price point was different. However, the quality service, commitment to good food, and incorporation of local ingredients—they source their produce and meats from Swank Farms and other Florida farms—was consistent throughout. Below we break down our thoughts and takeaways from each restaurant.
Location: West of Ocean Boulevard in Diplomat Landing
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m., happy hour at 5 p.m.
Vibe: Bristol's Burgers has a casual diner look with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the intracoastal waterway and a central bar with TVs.
Menu: Snacks, salads, burgers, slaws and sides perfect for paring with locally crafted brew from Concrete Beach, Cigar City and nearby neighbor Hollywood brewing. Click here for the full Bristol's Burger menu.
Favorites: From the menu, we loved the smoked buffalo wings, the double bacon burger and the smoked boneless rib sandwich which we paired with a delightfully Hollywood Brewing Pilsner. We're not a huge fan of bananas but we finished the brass monkey milkshake (peanut butter ice cream, banana and candied bacon caramel) in one gulp. Last but not least, they have a free play arcade at the front with a Big Buck Hunter. Who's up for challenging us to a game next weekend?
Location: Also within Diplomat Landing
Hours of Operation: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., happy hour at 5 p.m.
Vibe: Portico is a spacious wine and beer garden with only outdoor seating available at a series of picnic tables overlooking the intracoastal waterway.
Menu: Charcuterie spreads, salads and other bar bites (i.e., olives and green bean fries) to go with tap beer ($6/glass), tap wine ($7/glass), and specialty cocktails ($9/glass). They also serve some mm-mm good bruschetta and pizzas. Their menu is in flux but click here to get a general idea of their offerings.
Favorites: Every single bruschetta was delicious. That said, the standouts for us were the Philly roast pork bruschetta (with grilled broccoli, sharp provolone and Calabrian chili, inspired by the World Famous Italian Roast Pork sandwich from John's Roast Pork in Philly) and the porchetta bruschetta (with charred escarole, lemon and caper-parmesan aoli). We're huge fans of outdoor, waterfront spots so we can definitely see this place becoming a regular in our happy hour rotation.
Location: Inside The Diplomat's lobby (to your left as you walk in the main doors)
Hours of Operation: 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Vibe: Traditional steakhouse that has been serving high quality steaks and seafood in a fine dining setting since the hotel's initial inception. Diplomat Prime recently received a modern upgrade to breathe some new life into its look and its menu, including a pretty awesome steak knife that catches your eye as soon as you sit down.
Menu: Seafood, raw bar, steak and vegetable starters, entrées and sides ideal for celebrating any occasion accompanied with champagne, a velvety glass of wine or one of their new specialty cocktails. Click here for the full Diplomat Prime dinner menu.
Favorites: We love the finer things in life and our palate is no different. Every dish was exquisite but when it came to selecting a few dishes for seconds, we went after the lobster mac n' cheese, the Tomahawk steak, and the seafood tower—it's a tower for Pete's sake!