There aren’t many things I love more than a good brunch. Carrot cake, though, is one of them.
I thought I already knew where the best carrot cake in Fort Lauderdale was. The food at the old Lester’s Diner is just OK, but the milkshakes and the cake slices – especially the carrot cake – are enormous and amazingly decadent. The perfect pick-me-up when you feel like treating yourself. I thought for sure that the restaurant’s slice of carrot cake was unmatched in South Florida.
I was wrong.
Beauty & the Feast‘s carrot cake is absolutely divine – perfectly spiced, layered with cream cheese icing and paired with homemade coconut gelato. Ugh. I can’t. Wait to go back for it, that is. The cake is the work of Pastry Chef Donna Silverthorn, who makes all the desserts and pastries in-house.
The gorgeous new restaurant at The Atlantic Hotel on Fort Lauderdale Beach, initially lured me in the Ferris Bueller quotes on its wall and its brunch. At $29 for all-you-can-eat small plates and omelets, pastries, fruit and more, I can’t think of a better value brunch spot in Fort Lauderdale. (Plus, add bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys for $15.)
You know those expensive brunch buffets with lavish steak, lamb chop and chicken small plates that are prepared ahead of time and then sit out for hours, getting soggy and cold? Beauty & the Feast is not like that. Guests can order a few small plates at a time from the server, who sends the order to the kitchen and brings them out fresh. Small plates include red velvet pancakes, pineapple mascarpone French toast, seafood paella, barbecue and ribs, these awesome meatballs served with ricotta and tomato “gravy,” … you name it. The dishes are all sized perfectly to allow just a taste, so it really is possible to try a ton and not get full. Which is really important if you want to go all out and order a slice of carrot cake for dessert, like I did.
Executive Chef Jeff Vincent came over to say hi as I finishing up my slice of carrot cake, and he is one of the most down to earth chefs I’ve met. (Not to mention uber talented.) He was super patient with my myriad questions about his restaurant, and also gave me a huge incentive to go back: the restaurant hosts weekly “Pig & Pint” nights. Every Thursday from 5 p.m., the restaurant offers $5 pints and $15 all-you-can-eat slow-roasted, pulled pork. I haven’t heard of any other restaurant in Fort Lauderdale that does this and quite honestly, I can’t think of a better way to spend a Thursday night.
Images courtesy of Beauty & the Feast