Fans of Pizzeria/Jerk Oceano will be overjoyed to know that a new restaurant with a similar concept has opened in the PO space near the Lantana bridge. The space has been spiffed up with a wash of grey paint, pretty pillows for the wooden benches, more normal-height tables and other details but the overall feeling is, happily, as it was before.
The new owners, Jeremy and Cindy Bearman, are New Yorkers who have relocated to Florida. Both worked in top-tier Manhattan restaurants--Jeremy at Rouge Tomate which was granted a Michelin star, and Cindy as pastry chef of one of my favorite spots, ABC Kitchen. Jeremy is as affable as they come, as are the staff members including Bill, our waiter. There seem to be more staff than under Dak's tenure. Happily, Jeremy will keep buying from the area's best farms including Swank and Green Cay. He will post the menu online and, as before, it will change daily to keep things interesting (and to keep us coming back!!)
Two of us shared the Farmer's Salad, a mix of soft lettuces with a green garlic dressing with chunks of a white Feta-like cheese.
From the humongous new black smoker we sampled a quartet of "sensational" (my partner's word, and I concur) meaty Berkshire pork ribs (does this mean I don't have to detour to eastern NC on the way north to get great pork??) dressed with a sauce bright with ginger beer and spices, and served with an excellent kohlrabi slaw.
An essential order when they are on the menu!
And then, the pizza. Dak must have passed on his skills because it was just about as great as before--we had the "Straight Shooter," Jeremy's version of a Margarita. There were two pizzas on the menu last night, the other being one with Hen of the Woods mushrooms and house-made ricotta that I would have tried had I not been so full.
If the Cherry Chocolate Chip cookies that we shared for dessert are any indication, the sweet course will be a must now that Cindy is behind the oven. These were some of the best cookies I've ever eaten!!
Prices are about what they were before; our dinner cost about $70 before tip--well worth the price.
And thank you, Jeremy, for adding a German Riesling to the wine-by-the-glass list.
After a brief hiatus, Lantana is back on the culinary map!