Deerfield Beach’s premiere waterfront dining destination unveils new menu and stellar new team
Finding a great meal on the water isn’t always the easiest endeavor. But when entrepreneur Danielle Rosse launched Oceans 234 in 2001 – just steps from the surf in Deerfield Beach – she helped set the bar for upscale dining by the seaside. Since then it has become a South Florida mainstay, enjoyed a $1.8 million facelift and, now, giving devotees and the uninitiated ample reason to come ashore at 234: new lunch and dinner menus by recently-appointed executive chef Brian Cantrell and a splashy selection of libations by new beverage director Drew Shane. “Great restaurants evolve,” says Rosse, who first began working at the restaurant that would become Oceans 234 when she was 19. “It’s not about chasing trends or trying to get ahead of the next ‘hot new thing.’ My philosophy has always been to keep in touch with the times and your customers and deliver an amazing experience. I’m very excited about what Chef Brian and Drew have created and certain our guests will be thrilled with the new offerings.”
Created by Chef Cantrell, the new lunch and dinner menus at Oceans 234 encompass refined, familiar favorites and new creations. Lunch items skew toward seaside comfort food with First Things First (appetizers) such as Baja Fish Tacos ($15) with jicama slaw and rocoto pepper; The Smoked Fish Dip ($15) with pickled sweet and hot pepper, and Crab Potato Skins ($16) with spinach, bacon, Vermont white cheddar and truffle salt. Entrée Salads, Sushi and Raw Bar options abound as well as a menu of Simply Grilled selections from the sea (MP), served with coconut almond basmati rice, garlic green beans and papaya salsa. “When fish is cooked simply and properly, the best approach is to let it shine,” says Cantrell who hails from restaurants including Nemo, Prime 112, A Fish Called Avalon and Blue Moon Fish Co. “Less is more with a great piece of fish; the flavors are perfect when they’re enhanced by smart cooking. At Oceans 234 I am keeping preparations simple but looking for creative ways to deliver big flavors without heavy or buttery sauces, dressings and marinades.” Lunchtime meat and sandwich options run the gamut from local Fish and Chips ($19) – grouper beer battered, fried crisp and served with remoulade and purple slaw; Lobster Mac n Cheese ($37) with rigatoni, ½ pound of lobster meat and mascarpone cheese sauce, and Center Cut Filet Mignon ($39) with Yukon mash, haricot vert, mushroom ragout and crisp onion.
The dinner menu is an expansive affair, brimming with choices. Beyond Sushi and Raw Bar options, First Things First shareables include Grilled Octopus & Chorizo ($18) with fennel, tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, olives and black garlic vinaigrette; Lollipop Chicken Wings ($16) Korean BBQ-style, dressed with chopped scallions, sesame and sriracha; Chicken Tostadas ($12) with ahi panca, queso fresco and avocado and a Kale Caesar ($12), fresh kale tossed with garbanzo beans, baby heirloom tomatoes, chipotle pepitas and shaved parmesan. Land & Sea options include Pan Seared Salmon ($27) with wilted kale, white beans, grape tomatoes and truffle pea puree; Diver Scallops ($39) on butternut squash puree with curried cauliflower and Moroccan tapenade; Dijon Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb ($36), served with quinoa tabbouleh, Brussels sprouts and a cabernet reduction as well as Chicken Milanese ($19) with baby arugula, mozzarella, tomatoes and aged parmesan.
Compliments of pastry chef Maria O’Hara new dessert offerings include a decadent Chocolate Triology ($10) of Oreos baked between chocolate chip cookie dough and a creamy fudge brownie served with blackberry cabernet and chocolate ganache; Key Lime Pie ($10) served on a crisp macadamia crust, creamy meringue brulee and blueberry lime compote; Salted Caramel Cheesecake ($10) with berries and a caramel glass crisp; Espresso Crème brûlée ($10) topped with fresh berries as well as an assortment of Sorbets and Ice Cream ($8), such as mango, blackberry cabernet, vanilla and chocolate.
Formerly of Deck 84 and Apeiro in Delray Beach, beverage director Drew Shane brings extensive bar knowledge to the 234 team. “Location is a major point of consideration when developing a restaurant’s cocktail list,” notes Shane, who has experience in both high-volume chains and independently-owned gems. “Oceans 234 has one of the most gorgeous views, a fabulous location right off the ocean. We needed drinks that complemented the environment and the restaurant’s open design. Dark, aggressive spirits were not options. We went for bright flavors, great colors and easy drinkability.” Examples: Tropical Mule with bright peach undertones; Blood Orange Margarita; a peach-infused Sapphire Collins; Ketel One Citroen Palmer; two different kinds of adult lemonades (one with Jack Daniels, one with Tito’s vodka) as well as house-made White, Red and Rose Sangrias. “Nothing too fruity or too sweet,” adds Shane. “Even with the sangrias, we aimed for drinks that work apart from the food – at the bar during Happy Hour – or with a meal. I think we hit the target and I’m excited to see what our guests think.”
A new brunch menu is forthcoming as are details on the restaurant’s holiday programs. Part of last winter’s major renovation, Oceans 234 boasts a gorgeous, airy design. The restaurant seats 52 inside, 116 on the waterfront patio. The bar/lounge seats 30. The dining room was redesigned to accommodate private events/parties, with capabilities existing for drapery or temporary walls to ensure privacy. Literally steps from the sand Oceans 234 is a glass-enclosed jewel-box in the heart of Broward County.
An integral part of the team is general manager Tommy Mirisola, who has grown with the company for over seven years. His attention to detail and specific interest in hospitality are what has made Oceans 234 a stand out in the market. He ensures the each employee delivers the goods, literally and figuratively, for all guests; a key part of the restaurant’s success during this new chapter in the restaurant’s history.
The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30AM to 10PM; Friday and Saturday from 11:30AM to 11:00PM and Sundays from 10:00AM to 10:00PM.
234 North Oceans Boulevard in Deerfield Beach