Baleen is located in the LaPlaya Hotel, right on the beach, with a gorgeous setting. As with many hotel restaurants, this won’t be an inexpensive meal. However, the quality of the food is excellent, and this would be a special occasion restaurant with its memorable views of the beach and gulf.
We shared a beautifully unusual presentation of a wedge salad. It was a half round of iceberg lettuce with a hole scooped out of the middle, filled with blue cheese, pancetta, tomato, and cucumber, resting on a pool of cilantro buttermilk dressing. Delicious. The salad was accompanied by a cylindrical tower of bread, with a crispy crust and a soft, herb flavored interior.
Entrees were a wonderful grouper with bacon and artichoke mashed potatoes with sautéed spinach nestled underneath, and caper lemon sauce, and a whole, perfectly fried crispy snapper. I also ordered a side of sautéed forest mushrooms, with a very woodsy taste.
Dessert was spectacular. Chocolate monkey cake-dark chocolate cake stuffed with white chocolate and topped with bananas foster ice cream, caramelized bananas, and chocolate and raspberry sauce.