FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – In the mood for some authentic Mexican food with a great ocean view? Lona Cocina Tequileria gives diners all of that and more at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Restaurant.
Guests can access both the inside and outside dining from either the hotel or just walk up from the beach.
"For sure, what people love here is the food, the drinks and the view of the beach," said Chef Jorge Gutierrez.
In addition to the amazing oceanfront setting, Lona, which means canvas, also overlooks a new art display.
Miami-based street artist Ruben Ubiera, known as Urban Ruben, has been commissioned by the hotel to paint a colorful tropical installation on the walk bridge connecting the beach to the main street. It can be seen from the restaurant and should be finished very soon.
"So what we are trying to do is connect everything with the city and city can feel we are giving back to the people what we are doing," explained Chef Gutierrez.
Gutierrez, who was born in Mexico, prepares a plethora of plates for the Taste of the Town tasting menu.
CBS4's Lisa Petrillo starts with crab enchiladas, filled with blue crab from Mexico, and cream cheese in a morito sauce.
Next, lobster quesadillas filled with butter-poached Maine lobster, chipotle aioli, red onion, cilantro in a flour tortilla.
"You put in the lobster, there's just so much elegance in this dish and then there's a tiny bit of a kick," said Petrillo.
"Everything around here is about how long is the process, that's why you can taste all that flavor," said Gutierrez.
Lona is known for its fresh and smooth signature guacamole, but it features three different kinds.
The traditional, lump crab and bacon & chicharron.
The drink menu is filled with agave centric cocktails. The classic margarita is always a favorite.
On to the steak tampiquena, a grilled skirt steak with Oaxaca cheese, white onion, guacamole, sweet peppers, refried beans and more.
"The only way you can try a very good Tampiquena if it's not here, is by taking a flight to Mexico, so that's why we like to offer a plate symbolic of Mexico," said Chef Gutierrez.
"There's so much going on without it being too much," said Petrillo.
Do not forget to leave room for dessert, especially the churros.
"These churros are so popular in the border around all of Mexico," he said.
Lona Cocina, located at 321 North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, is open 7-days a week for lunch and dinner and late night until 1:00 a.m. weekdays, 2:00 a.m. weekends.
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