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Key Biscayne’s new waterfront beacon for dining and drink

On Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Lightkeepers, the casually elegant new restaurant and bar at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami will make its debut. Located just off the island’s gorgeous waters, Lightkeepers will feature a contemporary, coastal-inspired dining room, a cool, casual indoor/outdoor bar and a beverage program featuring unique, hand-crafted cocktails. The menu, executed by Executive Chef Raul A. Del Pozo, relies on locally sourced ingredients – cheeses from Winter Park, beef from Ocoee, and snapper from Key West. “Locally grown and caught ingredients are key to the quality and diversity of the menu,” says Del Pozo. “We use modern cooking techniques and charcoal and wood burning Josper ovens to enhance flavors.”

Named as an homage to the lighthouse keepers who watched over Key Biscayne’s historic Cape Florida Lighthouse in the 1800’s, Lightkeepers is poised to become a premier waterfront dining and imbibing destination for locals and visitors alike.

Highlighting the space is an open air, state of the art, stainless steel kitchen that overlooks the dining area and is also home to the raw bar. Breathtaking views of the Atlantic and pool-scape can be seen from almost every angle of the restaurant including the indoor/outdoor bar and private dining space. Plush crème leather booths and chairs are accompanied by wood tables detailed in brass trim. A color palette of creamy yellows and earthy blues and greens soften the space giving it a cozy, tropical, yet sophisticated feel. With an innovative craft cocktail program, delicious cuisine and a lively atmosphere, Lightkeepers makes for the perfect escape from the daily grind.

Dinner, served daily, will offer a bevy of land and sea options. Guests can be assured that the locally sourced options are the freshest and full of flavor. Raw bar ($18-$75) items include East and West Coast Oysters on the Half Shell, Key West Shrimp, Alaskan King Crab, Sasanian Caviar and Wahoo, Salmon and Hamachi Crudos .

Starters ($6-$19) like the smokey Keeper’s Wife’s Biscuits with Keez Beez honey butter and award-winning Grilled Spanish Octopus with poached cherry tomatoes, charcoal potatoes, grilled Brussels sprouts and saffron aioli will keep you wanting more. Fresh from the soil of South Florida, some Local Harvest ($13-$18) offerings include ¡Mas Verda! with Brussels leaves, green cabbage, avocado, asparagus, snap peas, pickled red onion, hazelnut and salsa verde; and Beets and Burrata with roasted and raw beets, Rocco’s Burrata, heirloom tomatoes, foraged mushrooms and pumpkin oil.

Featured Shoreline ($22-$32) dishes include Local Snapper with baby zucchini, sunchoke, kohlrabi and key lime preserve; Pappardelle with Cedar Key clams, roasted garlic, lemon butter and hazelnut gremolata; Florida Pompano with parsnip puree, coal roasted tomatoes and pine oil; and Grilled Salmon with snap peas, roasted corn, and cucumber emulsion.

A custom made charcoal oven imported from Spain, known as a Josper, is an additional feature of the kitchen. Cooking in a Josper combines the techniques of grilling and roasting into one. Off the Josper ($28-$45) highlights include the Whole Branzino with grilled citrus and beurre blanc; Lake Meadows Chicken with charred carrots and blackberry jus; Palmetto Creek Pork with smoked chorizo, white bean ragout and mustard molasses glaze; and grass fed and grass finished beef like the Petite Filet and Skirt Steak. While For the Table ($9) gluten free sides include items such as sepia crusted Charcoal Potatoes that are delicately prepared and come with roasted garlic aioli; Charred Cauliflower with caper butter and lemon aioli; and Crispy Brussels Sprouts with sweet chili and horseradish. Indulgent Desserts include items such as Keez Beez Honey Rum Cake with Mount Gay Special Edition Rum and coconut sorbet; Chocolate Plantain Cake with seasalt caramel ice cream; and a Bucket of Beignets with passion fruit and Valrhona chocolate dipping sauces.

The ingenious cocktail program is inspired by Florida’s rich history. Standouts ($13) include El Farito, “the little lighthouse,” comprised of St. Pete Gin, St-Germain Elderflower, fresh-pressed lime juice, house-made cranberry juice, mint and cucumber-infused syrup and Fever Tree soda; The Tequesta, in honor of the Tequesta Native American tribe of Florida, who called the Island of Key Biscayne home for thousands of years, made with Gracias A Dios Mezcal, fresh-pressed grapefruit and Three Chiles syrup. The John W.B. Thompson Smoked Old Fashioned, named after an assistant lighthouse keeper circa 1836, is made with Cask and Crew Rye, Laphroaig Islay Scotch, Santa Teresa Rhum Orange Liqueur, orange bitters and a dehydrated orange garnish.

Sourced from local breweries such as Miami Brewing Company in Homestead, Cigar City Brewing in Tampa and Inlet Brewing Company in Jupiter, Lightkeepers will offer beers ($9) on tap like Miami Vice IPA, Monk in the Trunk Organic Amber Ale and Big Rod Coconut Blonde Ale. Domestic bottles are available. Wine will also run the gamut with over one hundred options to choose from. From red, white and sparkling, it is a wine aficionado’s playground.    

Lightkeepers is located at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami at 455 Grand Bay Drive in Key Biscayne, Florida. Breakfast is served daily from 7AM – 11:30AM.  Dinner will be served Sunday – Thursday from 5PM – 10PM, Bar open until Midnight; Fridays and Saturday 5PM – 11PM, Bar open until 1AM. Lunch and brunch coming soon. Telephone: (305) 365-4156; www.lightkeepersmiami.com.

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