Lido Restaurant at The Surf Club Debuts at Oceanfront Icon
The grandeur of The Surf Club’s fabled ballroom, once home to the 20th century’s most talked about parties and culinary affairs, is continuing its legacy as “a place of endless laughter for people with good taste seeking good times.” With the launch of Lido Restaurant at The Surf Club, a new dining experience featuring simple and genuine Mediterranean cuisine by Executive Chef Antonio Mermolia, The Surf Club, also home to The Champagne Bar and Four Seasons Hotel and Residences at The Surf Club, celebrates the enduring appeal of its heritage.
Once the name of The Surf Club’s restaurant prior to its reimagination by owner Fort Partners, a namesake chosen for its ability to evoke the leisurely lifestyle of an Italian summer, Lido represents the connection between Venice and Miami: beautiful pools, soft sandy beaches, unhurried afternoons spent on scenic verandas, both places so vividly tethered to the tales of their pasts. Now, led by Mermolia, born and raised in Southern Italy to a long family line of chefs and hoteliers, Chef’s sprezzatura style of familiar classics is the embodiment of Lido.
With its Mediterranean revival-style architecture, from the arched mahogany dining room and the ocean view Lido Terrace to the palm-fringed Champagne Bar, each space retains its soulful allure, with the glamour of The Surf Club’s early years still hanging in the air. “It is generous and comfortable, not stiff or uptight. It fosters a sense of belonging,” says Nadim Ashi, Founder of Fort Partners. “For its original members, The Surf Club was not just a social life, but a time-honoured stomping ground where everyone knew your name and looked forward to seeing you every day. This is what you experience at Lido Restaurant and The Champagne Bar; places that draw you in time and time again.”
Lido’s menu celebrates its home as the best oceanfront dining experience in the Miami Beaches. Showcasing sea-centric, organic and sustainable ingredients meticulously selected from exceptional artisans both near and far, the focus is on mastering simplicity. “The marvel of Lido’s food is the art behind the scenes,” says Chef Mermolia. “I seek to make every dish understandable, where my attention is on sourcing the world’s best ingredients and then treating each one with just what is needed to reveal its essence.” The inspiration is rooted in chef’s Southern Italian culture, where exceptional ingredients, mostly fish and vegetables, are respected and cooked to perfection without too much manipulation. “Even if you’ve tried pasta pomodoro everywhere, many times in your life, I love the challenge to get you to feel that this one is as close as one can get to your favourite childhood memory.” Menu highlights include:
- Tartare di Tonno - Northe Atlantic yellowfin tuna, burrata toasted sesame seeds, basil
- Japanese Ricciola - hand-cut hamachi, tangerine, mint
- Scampo Battuto al Cotello - langoustine tartare, lemon, basil
- Caviar and oyster selections
- Zuppetta Fredda - chilled tomato gazpacho, heirloom tomatoes
- Prosciutto Zuarina - 24-month aged prosciutto di parma, fig jam, pita bread
- Cantabrico Anchovies - butter, golden brioche bun
Pizza (72-hour fermented dough)
- Sua Regina Margherita - mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, basil
- Emiliana - Robiola cheese, Parmigiana Reggiano, prosciutto di parma, arugula
- Tartufo Nero di Stagione – mozzarella, seasonal truffle
- Sogliola alla Scapece - lemon sole, charred zucchini
- Merluzzo Cileno – roasted sea bass, golden mashed potatoes
- Tagliata di Carne – New York strip steak crispy potato, infused basil lime beef jus
- Vesuvio al Pomodorino – eliche pasta, cherry tomatoes, basil
- Mezzaluna al Funghi – house-made shitake mushroom ravioli, jus
- Spaghetto e Vongole – spaghetti pasta, market clams, parsley
On Sundays beginning December 20, 2020, Lido’s sun-kissed terrace sets the scene for the La Dolce Vita Brunch with live music and Southern Italian traditions served tableside. The alfresco experience begins with an aperitivo and assortment of charcuterie, cheeses and hand-cut crudo served family-style. To follow, Chef Mermolia shares his Napoleta-style pizza paired with crisp mixed greens. For the main course, Mediterranean takes on classic brunch favourites include an Italian pancake with Macedonian fruit, whipped cream and honey, or a coastal-inspired whole branzino with roasted local vegetables. For the finale, the Dulcis in Fundo dessert room marries nostalgia and celebration through house-made confections.
Lido’s cocktail program stems from The Champagne Bar, an admired locale since 2017 known for its imaginative cocktails and adored cast of characters, found just through Lido’s historic archways. Head Bartender Valentino Longo leads the beverage program guided by a quote he finds most inspirational, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Aptly credited to Leonardo da Vinci, Longo, an artist of his own craft, believes that less is more. “We want to achieve complex flavours by using simple ingredients, creating different layers of preparation, where a guest may never know how much passion and attention goes into each layer, but they will surely taste it.”
Take for example the Essenza Negroni, a signature and sophisticated blend of three different gins, vermouth, bitters and two sherries; or the Decisive Moment, Longo’s award-winning cocktail comprised of Bombay Sapphire gin, lactic sherry blend, Italicus bergamot liqueur, coconut olive oil and coffee balsamic vinegar.
Much of The Champagne Bar’s aura also comes from the luminaries and celebrities who frequented The Surf Club in its original heyday, including such extraordinary guests as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the story behind the bar’s Duke and Duchess cocktail made with Foss Marai prosecco, peach purée and elderflower foam. The Surf Club Martini, its signature, is a twist on a classic 1884 Turf Club Martini, considered the grandfather of the martini as the first drink to mix gin and vermouth together.
Lido Restaurant at The Surf Club is now open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday Brunch (Brunch beginning December 20, 2020). Reservations are recommended and can be made on Open Table or by calling 1 786 482 2280.
Four Seasons is proud to introduce Lead With Care, an enhanced global health and safety program grounded in the principles of care, trust and service.
Four Seasons Hotel The Surf Club, Surfside, Florida