When the team at Brimstone Restaurant Group first heard about the possibility of a beachfront restaurant in Pompano, the reaction was a bit meh. It was only when they checked it out – both the location of their potential restaurant and beachfront Pompano in general – that notions began to change.
“I always remember Pompano 20 years ago,” Andy Fox says. “When I came over and saw what the city had done … the beach was really cleaned up, it had a park setting to it. To get a chance to build a restaurant on the beach, no chance were we going to miss out on that.
“Originally, we didn’t know Pompano was doing this whole thing.”
The “whole thing” Fox refers to is the years’ long oceanfront refurbishment and redevelopment project the city has done along its main beachfront at and immediately north of Atlantic Boulevard.
“We really wanted to go to the beach,” says Fox, now director of operations at the new Beach House restaurant. They’ve got that wish, in a big way.
The developer behind the building talked about a downtown fishing village theme, and the original pitch to Brimstone was for them to do another Brimstone Woodfire Grill. (Brimstone Woodfire Grills are currently in Pembroke Pines and Doral.) The company had other ideas.
“We said we’ll bring that caliber and quality of food, and we’ll do it in a more beachside setting,” Fox says.
Then they got to researching. They looked at beach houses around the world, from California to Hawaii to Bali to Phuket.
“We looked at hotels and beach houses and restaurants, and spent about a year on Pinterest,” Fox says. They hired designers, and then ignored them.
The oars on the walls were custom made in Hawaii. Windows, doors and much of the furniture was made in Bali. The mismatched china and chairs are meant to evoke a beach house where you’ve just turned up for dinner.
“We wanted to feel homey, like you’re invited to my house; I happen to have a nice house at the beach,” Fox says.
Then there’s the rooftop bar. It’s configured with stadium-style seating so all the booths have their own view of the ocean. Tables are cut-out ice well; flip it to have drinks. High-backed chairs offer added privacy.
“You feel like you’re the only one there,” Fox says. “You have your own personal view of the ocean.”
So the view’s good and the furniture’s funky. How about the food?
“We tried to pull what spices and flair we could pull from different beaches,” Fox says. There’s the Costa Rican shrimp taco. The pork taco with Korean barbecue. The Hawaiian drunken ribeye (marinade with pinapple, ginger and soy). The blog on the Brimstone Restaurant Group’s website, Tales From the Road, offers clues as to where the global flavor comes from. The group’s owner Jeff Anderson, is a world traveler who likes to fly his own plane. The Costa Rican taco, for example, came after he called from there and said, oh my God, I’ve just had the best shrimp taco.
This, Fox says, sends the chefs into the kitchen where they research the taste he’s described until they find a flavor that hits.
“I may drive the chefs a little crazy with it,” he says, “but they get the chance to be creative.”
“We’re very, very passionate about food, and we’re proud of what we do,” he says. Fish gets delivered seven days a week. They cut their own steak and cook it on live oak.
“It’s challenging,” he says, “but we feel that it adds such better flavor.”
The Dish: Beach House Clams
- 1 tbsp. fresh shallots, minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh garlic, minced
- 2 oz. white wine
- 1 tsp. fresh oregano, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tsp. andouille sausage, minced
- 1 oz. butter
- 14 each littleneck clams
- 2 oz. chicken broth
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- Fresh bread, sliced
1. In a medium hot saute pan, add in the andouille sausage, garlic and shallots along with the oil.
2. Allow to saute for 1 min. allowing the garlic and shallots to lightly brown.
3. Add in the clams and continue to saute for an additional minute, making sure to stir throughout.
4. Add in the white wine and chicken broth. Immediately cover tightly.
5. Allow the clams to open. This will take several minutes.
6. Once clams start opening, add in remaining ingredients except bread.
7. Pile high into a serving bowl and serve with some fresh bread.