The back story:
Last year when my husband and I met some friends in Key Largo for a weekend getaway, we stopped at a restaurant called Morado Bay in Islamorada for a group dinner. It was during this dinner that I was introduced to an event called the”Full Moon Party,” which is hosted by the restaurant for every full moon. They have dinner, dancing, live music and circus acts, all under the stars and right on the sand. I heard it is a really great experience– especially if you’re with a group of friends. Unfortunately, I couldn’t convenience my friends to head out to the Keys again for another weekend trip…But, after countless hours searching for a similar experience closer to home, I came across the Pelican Grand Beach Resort.
For my birthday this year I really wanted to do something different and luckily, the Pelican Grand offered “An Evening Under the Moon,” which is similar to the “Full Moon Party” without the 2 hour drive to the Keys and fire-breathing circus acts. Now…I have a love/hate relationship with this resort. When I was looking for a wedding venue, the Pelican Grand was at the top of my list, and I tried endlessly to make it work despite some major roadblocks — also known as the catering manager. She was evil and because of her I went on my merry way never looking back again…until recently, when we headed back to the resort to have dinner under the moon (sans evil catering manager — I heard she no longer works there).
Here are a few highlights of the evening. The dining experience included:
- Culinary selections from a pre-fix menu created by Executive Chef, Todd Lough. (Everything was delicious!)
- Premier oceanfront verandah seating. (The views were beautiful! )
- Over sized telescopes positioned for viewing of the moon. (I don’t know how to use a telescope…and didn’t try to figure it out.)
- Table visits from Bea Kobran, astrologer, spiritual healer and intuitive readings. (Amazing! She told me some really great things.)
I started the evening with a cocktail — Cherry Blossom Fizz, a concoction of Effen Black Cherry, raspberries and Laurent-Perrier. It was refreshing, bubbly and not overpowering.
Our first course included a bacon wrapped date. The crispy bacon hugged a smoked date stuffed with a creamy morsel of cheese. (I’m not sure what kind of cheese –possible blue cheese, but don’t quote me)
For the small plate course guests have three options to choose from. I opted for the miso chicken salad. It was really good and all of the ingredients tasted fresh and blended well together. I especially liked the dressing, which was light and packed with flavor.
Intermezzo consisted of coconut sorbet. It was basically a party in your mouth, and I wanted a huge bowl of the coco-nutty goodness to take home.
Like the small plates, the main course included three delicious options to choose from. Since I do not eat seafood, the fire grilled churrasco steak was an obvious choice. And, amazing! The chive mashed potatoes (originally with butter poached lobster, but I had them nix the seafood) were creamy and delicious, and the steak was cooked to perfection with baby bok choy, crispy malanga and cilantro demi glaze. So good!
Last, but certainly not least was dessert. Each guest gets to pick one dessert item from the menu. My pick, the s’mores “La Playa, ” included molten dark chocolate, toasted marshmallows, fresh raspberries and warm graham crackers. And, my husband had the steamed banana bread pudding, which included vanilla creme anglaise, toasted coconut and shaved bitter sweet chocolate. Both were really good, but I think I liked the banana pudding a little better.
Overall, I really enjoyed my dinner at the Pelican Grand and highly recommend the “Evening Under the Stars” experience, especially if you are looking for a romantic and unique night out. The next event is scheduled for Wednesday, May 14 and the menu is posted online. At $75 per person, I think it is worth the splurge. The food was on point, the staff was friendly and you don’t feel rushed. You can stay and linger or eat and dash…whatever you choose. If you check it out, let me know what you think.
Pelican Grand Beach Resort — Ocean2000
2000 North Ocean Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
Price: $75 per person