Fabulous food, wonderful prices and a picture-perfect view! If this is your idea of a wonderful evening out, then make the Patio Bar and Grill on the beach in Deerfield your next stop. You will not be disappointed. The outside portion of the restaurant is open and very relaxed, while the inside is beautifully done in browns and copper tones and feels just a little more upscale casual. Inside or out, the view of the ocean is magnificent and the breeze only adds to the romance of the setting.
Manager Julian Felder accompanied us to our table and gave us some background on the restaurant. Completely remodeled and reopened in Dec. 2007, the restaurant offers something for everyone. Entertainment is offered nightly and begins at 1 p.m. on weekends. The music ranges from reggae and island to top 40. They also offer a Frank Sinatra-style crooner, an acoustic guitar performer and even karaoke on Sunday nights. Relax and listen, sing along or get up and perform. There is something for everyone to enjoy.
The menu offers over 52 choices (excluding dessert) and 40 of these are under $10. Chef “Pat” Pasquale Lena is incredible. He worked closely with Chef Ernie Porco to establish the extensive menu and produce many of the delicious offerings. However, Chef Pat has continued to use his unique talent to create some signature dishes just for the Patio Bar and Grill.
Oysters Rockefeller and Clams Casino are two of the nine choices on the raw bar portion of the menu. Louisiana Shrimp Cakes were suggested as our starting appetizer. These cakes are Chef Pat’s answer to the crab cake. They were beautifully plated and served with a remoulade sauce that offered just a touch of heat at the finish. The Shrimp Cakes were pan seared to a crispy finish and bursting with shrimp and flavor. Next, we sampled the shrimp and crab flatbread. Tortilla bread covered with shrimp, crab, scallions and parmesan cheese was grilled and served warm — the combination of texture and flavor was fantastic. Finally, we ordered the steak chimi-churra crostini — flank steak on a toasted baguette drizzled with chimichurra sauce. The steak was juicy and tender, the bread crisp and the chimichurra sauce added just the right touch to make this my personal favorite of the three appetizers. Also available on the appetizer menu are fish and chips, chicken tenders, Black Angus sliders and even gator bites for the more adventurous. Chef Pat has created more than 26 original sauces and four house dressings for the restaurant. We chose a Caesar salad made with his homemade, white balsamic Caesar dressing that was rich and creamy and a wonderful compliment to the greens.
My husband selected the gorgonzola-crusted steak–a grilled New York strip steak baked with gorgonzola and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. The steak was tender and juicy and cooked to perfection. It was served with garlic roasted red potatoes and delicious caramelized red onions. I ordered the Hawaiian Grouper and can’t wait to return and have it again. The grouper was pan-seared and caramelized with a sweet garlic chili glaze (just a hint of heat) and accompanied by a side of spinach-and-leek mashed potatoes. The subtle flavor mix of the spinach and leek potatoes with the mild heat of the grouper was perfect. Just when we thought we couldn’t eat another bite, Chef Pat encouraged us to try the chocolate ganache cake. This rich, moist cake was filled with layers of cake and chocolate mousse and topped with chocolate ganache. It was incredibly sinful. However, we managed to finish it. You just couldn’t stop eating it. Cheesecake, Key West tart and Bananas Foster round out the dessert selections. The Patio Bar and Grill offers a large selection of red and white wines, and champagne and sparkling wines. Appetizers, salads, soups, sandwiches, main entrees and desserts are all available on this diverse menu. Wino Wednesdays offers a red and a white wine paired with two different entrees chosen by Chef Pat.
Assistant manager, Paul Risi, joined us for part of our dinner and then gave us a tour of the outdoor patio bar. At least half of the staff has been with the patio grill for over 15 years and it showed in the wonderful service and attentive manner in which we were treated. Whether it’s a special occasion or just an evening out with friends, this is one local spot that is not to be missed. The Patio Bar and Grill is located across from the fishing pier on Ocean Drive in Deerfield Beach. 954-428-2850. Until we eat again…