Point Taken: Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian and master mixologist Brian Van Flandern discuss the finer details about their new concepts, Point Royal and Counter Point.
By Nila Do Simon
Photography by Patrick Chin
What about the Hollywood Beach’s Diplomat Beach Resort attracted you to open two dining concepts there?
Zakarian: It is a classic grand dame ready for its new time in the sun. It’s such a stunner of a property, and I am honored to be part of the renovation. It is also nice to be out of South Beach. It’s wonderfully outside of the pack.
What inspired the cocktail/beverage menu at Point Royal?
Zakarian: We are a coastal American restaurant with a giant raw bar. We also have a phenomenal burger and steak. It’s a fun, light-hearted restaurant that is perfectly suited to being at a seaside resort. The beverage program matches this approach. We have a phenomenal wine list, but I expect the bucket of beers with our custom bottle opener to be a big hit as well.
Van Flandern: The cocktail program was created to showcase 1950s- and 1960s-style Tiki-, Polynesian- and Caribbean-themed cocktails with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and various styles of quality rum.
How would you define your role as master mixologist of Point Royal?
Van Flandern: I am charged with presenting a story or historical context for each recipe. I regard it as my responsibility to present the chef with as many options as possible so that he can choose from—and tweak—those options to determine which ones work best for the venue.
What cocktails are you excited to present to the Point Royal diner?
Van Flandern: While there are many wonderful esoteric recipes, I am excited by our reinvention of the frozen cocktail. Using quality spirits and fresh ingredients, we have created the freshest, best-tasting pina colada available in South Florida.
Zakarian: I guarantee these will be the best blended drinks you have ever had. Our fresh, house-made pina colada is incredible! Van Flandern: While the craft cocktail movement has been well established for years, it has only recently taken hold in Broward County, and the cocktail offerings at Point Royal are quite unlike anything locals are used to drinking.
What’s your perfect cocktail experience?
Van Flandern: Ideally, our guest starts the evening with a light citrus-based cocktail, such as our fresh mai tai or fog cutter, followed by appetizers and either a glass of Champagne or an appropriate wine selection from our curated wine list. Then finish the meal with a real-chocolate chocolate martini… nothing too sweet.
How does Counter Point, your quick-serve coffee and juice bar, complement Point Royal?
Zakarian: It acts as a bustling hub in the lobby that people can use all day, every day. Do you know how many espressos I drink every day? I plan to be a customer at that counter at least once an hour!
Originally appeared in the Spring 2017 Issue.