There is more to the Diplomat Resort & Spa, 3555 South Ocean Highway in Hollywood, Florida, than the ocean, beach, meeting rooms and spa.
Just off the lobby there happens to be a mighty fine restaurant waiting for you to experience. It is the Diplomat Prime Steakhouse and it specializes in prime beef. It is a Four Diamond restaurant and is open seven days for dinner only.
To get to the dining rooms (two of them) you walk through a finely adorned bar area. Dress is business attire or upscale casual. Executive chef, Gary Klinefelter, direct from St Croix, told me only prime meats dry aged are purchased. He was adamant about their strict adherence to the food quality.
They serve only USDA Grade Prime for every cut of beef. Only the top 2 percent of all beef is graded prime. The beef is cut to the exact weights shown on the menu. To me all this means is that what I tasted was indeed very good. The chefs are trained with the most modern equipment to produce the right amount of caramelization for extra flavor.
The hotel at one time, for a long time actually, was operated by Westin. Now Hilton has taken over. That will probably mean nothing to you, the diner. What’s important is what happens in the kitchen. Restaurant manager, Stefan Pauna, told me about 30 percent of the guests are locals. To my way of thinking, that’s a good number. It tells me the local folks come in for dinner when in reality most folks don’t think of hotel restaurants when making dinner plans. Total seating by the way is about 110.
Around late March or early April a new menu will be revealed. Many of the steaks will remain but more seafood items will be added. I did have a bit of steak, but for my main entrée I ordered the lobster. Hey it isn’t often I get lobster.
Loved it. And yes stone crabs are on the menu.
If you happen to drive up there is complimentary valet or you can park yourself. Oh yes, there’s the artwork. Honestly, to me Art is someone’s name. But I was told the artwork in the lounge, wine cellar and dining rooms is pretty spectacular. I was also impressed by the quality and knowledge of the wait staff. These folks aren’t from some oceanside beach cabana. All are well trained.
Eddie Applefeld is a Baltimore native and a graduate of Towson University. He has been in the broadcasting profession for over 30 years. Currently he is the Promotions Director of WCBM radio. Before that, he was part of the Rouse & Company show on WQSR, host of a cable TV show called Dining Out and adjunct instructor at Towson.