Old school steakhouse done right in a historic hotel right on the ocean is an experience above and beyond. The Diplomat has serious chops—and porterhouse and lobster tail—in the Diplomat Prime Steak & Seafood, a classy, high-end, serious food, and décor destination.
Back in the 1950s, this ritzy promenade hotel thrived with entertainment from actor-comedian Jackie Gleason, Frank Sinatra, Joan Rivers, Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., Gabe Kaplan, Peggy Lee, Don Rickles, and many more made the scene at this big, swank, glorious celebrity-spotter joint.
Lawrence Welk filmed his first TV show in 1962 at The Diplomat, and every U.S. president since 1974 has attended conventions here. I met Joe Biden 3 years ago and stayed there a few times for weekend art-related getaways.
Once you enter, the stunning lobby features a five-story, 60-foot atrium surrounded by waterfalls. Beyond the lobby is an outdoor infinity-edged pool that splashes into a 240-foot lagoon pool below. At night they light firepits for pre or after-dinner lounging.
The top choice for dining is Diplomat Prime, helmed by Executive Chef Rashaad Abdool who sets a standard for seafood and steakhouse fine-dining with top-tier offerings. Prime has earned four 4-Diamond Awards and is the highest-rated steakhouse in South Florida for many delicious reasons.
Chef Rashaad Abdool has reimagined a classic menu of prime dry-aged beef, seasonally-driven seafood dishes both broiled and on ice platters, sides, and sauces. A variety of over 500 old-world and new-world wines are available by the glass or bottle, with classic cocktails—martinis, old fashions, daquiris—that complement the steakhouse fare. Inspired by the hotel’s history through the 1950s, the design of the 108-seat restaurant incorporates elements of dark wood sophistication, high ceilings, dramatic lighting, overstuffed couches, and chairs.
With a degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Chef Rashaad has worked at several notable restaurants in South Florida, like Stephen Starr’s Steak 954, where he held the position of executive sous chef.
At Diplomat Prime, Rashaad has focused on keeping the menu delicate, approachable, and unique. Under his oversight, you choose from a selection of featured aged prime beef. Waiters can help recommend the choices if you are sharing a steak for the table, as we did with a huge porterhouse that had a filet mignon included. We added a lobster tail for the classic surf and turf meal, and some choice sides to go with it.
Starting with hot rolls and butter with sea salt, we followed with a sweet/tart Baby Beet Salad. We then moved on to the steak and lobster with truffle mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, both sides are plenty to share and then some. For the steak, there was a side of Au Poivre sauce and a lemony butter carafe for the lobster tails.
Everything was expertly cooked and presented with a flourish by knowledgeable waiters. A dangerous-looking serrated steak knife with a bone handle was a stylish touch, as were the garnishes and swift service.
The dessert menu has just the essentials of Key Lime Pie, Cheesecake, and a Chocolate Mousse we had to try. Served on a dark chocolate smeared platter, the rich coated mousse was accompanied by a duo of cardamon nougat and a scoop of lemon sorbet, an imaginative pairing that held different taste sensations with every bite.
The Diplomat Beach Resort has been renovated and modernized several times since the 50s. Now, it is the largest oceanfront resort in Broward County with amazing oceanfront views, two sun-drenched pools, 26 poolside cabanas, two fitness centers, and 209,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space. With more than 1,000 guest rooms including two Penthouse suites, it’s a mega wonder on its own.
You can swing by for the day and check out other eats that range from beachside casual to the popular Asian Monkitail. Cruise the lobby gift shop, and there’s usually a special event pop-up happening for mega sports or political events.
The Diplomat Marina allows you to pull up your yacht for the day, overnight or longer. Complimentary dockage is available when dining within the resort’s eateries.
There’s a grand, old-world feel about The Diplomat, where history and modernity stretch out on the Atlantic. Prime surf and turf indeed.
Online at www.Diplomatresort.com
Luxe, decadent dining for the New Year at Diplomat Prime