Friday, April 27, 2007
Pelican Hotel Cafe
The Pelican Hotel exudes cool to a higher degree than its Art Deco counterparts on Ocean Drive. This is due to the fact that it is the only hotel in the world owned and operated by Diesel, the apparel company. The brand's quirky vintage aesthetic combined with a refined trend radar make it a welcome attraction to the relaxed South Beach hipsters that feel at home at the Hotel's casual cafe. Interesting door handles are one thing, quality food is another. While there are a plethora of restaurants to choose from on the Ocean Drive strip, the Pelican distinguishes itself with earnestly good food, purity of ingredients and a penchant for bold flavors.
There's plenty to choose from on the extensive menu from salads and pastas to substantial fish and seafood entrees. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Stefano Zen, who mingles Mediterranean cuisine with Italian gestures in an effort to highlight the best of both worlds. A normally pedestrian Caprese salad (left) is given upscale treatment with creamy mozzarella and perfectly ripe tomatoes. The seared tuna salad (top) is a melange of moist fish, crisp endives , kalamata olives and hearts of palm. Several of the Pelican's pasta dishes are homemade including the standout spinach-ricotta ravioli nestled in a parmesan cream sauce flecked with mint.
I am a bit obsessed with french fries of late and the Pelican's rustic wedges did not disappoint. With the just right amount of salt and crunch, they were refreshing change form the usual shoestrings so ubiquitous these days. The Pelican's outdoor porch is nestled comfortably above the fray of Ocean Drive, though the indoor dining room features much of the hotel's inventive decor. One thing is certain, the chocolate cake at the Pelican goes best with a view of the beach and the scoop of the vanilla ice cream that accompanies it.
The Cafe at the Pelican Hotel
826 Ocean Drive, South Beach