Restaurants & Bars 8

Farewell, Norman van Aken

Gabled | Mar 18, 200812:10 PM

First he leaves us in Coral Gables. Now he's leaving the Keys, too. I'm not sure if it's in me to head up to Orlando (if he's still got his place there)...

Here's the press release:

Tavern N Town, the restaurant at Key West’s Beachside Resort & Conference Center, which opened October 2007, has been repositioned, according to Beachside developer Robert Spottswood. The concept has been changed, and James Beard Award winning chef Norman Van Aken is no longer at the helm.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for Norman; however, his creative vision doesn’t coincide with what we feel Beachside Resort needs at this time. Our parting is amicable, and Norman is remaining on as a consulting corporate chef for Spottswood Hotels. In that position, he will be exploring our participation in high end food and wine events and other culinary projects we have slated for the Florida Keys,” Spottswood said.

“We’ve created a simple steak and fish house menu for Beachside that adheres to the high standards of quality that Van Aken instilled in the project. The new menu at Tavern N Town focuses on wood-grilled local fish, prime steaks, poultry and savory daily specials, along with steakhouse-style side dishes and a menu of small plates, served in a beautiful but laid back atmosphere,” according to Spottswood.

Van Aken continues to oversee his acclaimed restaurant, Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, while also conducting culinary demos and seminars across the country, finalizing his memoir, and launching his own line of signature cookware on QVC.

Beachside Resort & Conference Center is located at the entrance to Key West at 3841 North Roosevelt Boulevard. Tavern is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner; Town is available for special events and catered private parties. For reservations, call 305-296-3676. www.beachsidekeywest.com

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