Hello Foodie Friends,
Waterstone Resort & Marina, a new, art-deco inspired waterfront resort with sophisticated coastal design and breath taking 180 degree views of Lake Boca and the Intracoastal Waterway (formerly the Boca Raton Bridge Hotel), recently welcomed Executive Chef Matt Mixon, who brings with him a new creative passion, innovative culinary vision and a new menu to Waterstone Resort & Marina and the onsite restaurants, Boca Landing and Waterstone Bar & Grill.
With a French and Italian family background, Chef Matt brings a new direction and creative cultural influences to the cuisine offered at Waterstone Resort & Marina. A graduate of the world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France studying advanced culinary arts, Chef Matt went on to become chef de tournot at PGA National Resort & Spa and banquet sous chef at the Boca Raton Resort & Club before joining Waterstone Resort & Marina.
“Mixon has a deep passion for what he does combined with superior education and experience,” says Greg Kaylor, Waterstone’s General Manager. “We are excited for him to join the Waterstone team and add his influences from his French and Italian heritage to our cuisine.” As executive chef, Matt will oversee all food & beverage outlets, including meetings and special events’ catering, weddings, in-room dining and the poolside dining at Waterstone Bar & Grill.
I toured the property when it first opened and had been back once for dinner, but was super excited when I received an invite from Waterstone’s PR firm to come back in and try out some of the new menu items since Chef Matt took over as Executive Chef.
Boca Landing restaurant provides guests with upscale dining in an art-inspired, water-centric atmosphere. Orchestrated with local ingredients, fresh flavors and dynamic textures, the menu features seafood caught off of Florida’s coast which is then prepared with influences from Chef Matt’s French and Italian heritage. The menu showcases creative small plates, a selection of fish and meats, prepared old school and delectable made-to-order side options which are easy-to-share.
Soon after we were shown to our table, Chef Matt came over to say hello and informed us that while we were free to order anything off the menu, if we were up for it, he’d love to present us with a tasting menu. We were definitely up for it, who wouldn’t be?!?
While we waited for Chef Matt to come out with the first course, my companion and I took a look at their Specialty Cocktails menu list. My companion decided on the Rhubarb Whitney, comprised of Grey Goose, cucumber agave, fresh lime and rhubarb bitters. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it because of the bitters, but I tried it and it was surprisingly very light and tasty. I ordered the Marina Champagne Cocktail made with JP Chenet Brut, ginger liqueur, strawberry puree and fresh mint. Not only was this a gorgeous looking drink but it tasted soooooooooo good!!! So much so that instead of switching to my usual beverage choice of wine with dinner, I stuck with this cocktail.
Our server, whose name also happened to be Matt, was very attentive to our needs and brought us out a cone of house made chips with a side of house made smoked fish dip. We were told that this is compliments of the house and is brought out in place of bread. Nice!
Chef Matt soon arrived with our first plate, a trio of some of their most popular apps. House made Burrata and Arugula Salad with Roasted Pepper, Basil and Balsamic Glaze; Black Kale Caesar made with Parmesan & creamy anchovy-black pepper vinaigrette; Fresh Crab Salad made with blue crab, arugula, hearts of palm, avocado & citrus vinaigrette. I liked each and every item on this plate. The textures and flavors were all incredibly well thought out and worked really cohesively together. The burrata was so fresh and creamy. My companion thought the kale salad was a little overdressed, but I thought it had the perfect amount. My favorite item on this plate might have been the crab salad though. The combination of the hearts of palm, avocado and crab was fantastic and I loved how the citrus gave it that extra punch of brightness really elevating the dish.
Next plate that Chef Matt presented us with was a trio of seafood specialties. Mofongo jerk mahi; Mango glazed salmon; Dijon panko crusted snapper.
Whenever I see the word “jerk” in an entree’s description, I know there’s likely going to be a level of heat that’s going to be a little too intense for my sensitive taste buds. One can never rely on someone else’s take on how hot something is or isn’t, it’s all relative. Case in point: I asked Chef Matt if this dish was going to be hot and he reassuringly nodded his head no. One bite in and I was fanning my mouth and reaching for my water glass. LOL! So, for those of you who like the heat/spiciness of jerk, you will want to give this one a try for sure. Now, I’m a huge fan of mofongo and I really enjoyed this component of the dish. I thought the salmon was season and cooked to perfection; I particularly enjoyed the light char on the top of the fish and the mango glaze. What took me by surprise was the yellowtail snapper. The dijon panko crust was amazing and the fish was so flavorful. I haven’t had snapper very often, preferring instead other fish like Chilean Sea Bass and Salmon, but when given a preparation like I had with this dish, I just may have to give it more plate time. Well at least here at Boca Landing. This snapper was, simply put, “delicious”.
While I had stuck with my Marina Champagne cocktail, my companion decided to switch to a glass of wine. He was in the mood for a Chardonnay and asked our server Matt for his recommendation. We were both impressed by what followed. Matt came back with a glass, told him what it was, where it was from and then proceeded to share with him some of the tasting notes as well.
Our final plate consisted of meats: a grilled filet mignon with a foie gras sauce and a pork belly. When I heard the words “foie gras” my eyes opened up real wide. I love me some foie gras, only I had envisioned a little heartier portion of this delicacy to appear on my plate but that was probably due to my own wishful thinking and not hearing the part about it being incorporated into the sauce. Still, the meat was season and cooked well and the sauce added depth to the flavor. The pork belly was very rich and by that, I mean fatty. But isn’t that what’s expected when one orders pork belly? Of course we weren’t expected to eat the whole thing (thank God), but the little bit we did eat was sooooo sinfully good.
At this point, as you can probably imagine, I am getting extremely full and out walks Chef Matt to see if we left room for dessert. I hesitantly said yes with the condition that he brings us out something small to try.
This is what he brought out. “The Beast”…There is NOTHING small about this dessert! (Thanks Chef Matt, hahaha) The fresh and warm chocolate chip cookie on top is paying homage to the Doubletree cookies that guests are treated to on their pillows each night. Row after row of this ginormous cake layered with chocolate and chocolate fudge, cookie crumbles, strawberries and then two scoops of delicious gelato; I was going to need a wheel chair to roll me out of there, or on second thought, having a room there would come in pretty handy (perhaps next time).
Before finishing dessert we were visited by yet another Matt (can you believe it? Three Matts in one night, all looking after us, what are the odds?) This one was the owner of the hotel. I had met Matt when his company had first purchased the property and I came for the media tour. It was nice to see Matt again, he’s a genuine, down to earth guy and you can tell he really takes an interest in the hotel and the restaurants, his staff and his guests.
My friend Edward, another server there at Boca Landing, offered to take us around the outside for a little tour. My companion hadn’t been to the property before and the first time I came the pool area hadn’t been finished yet so it was really a good idea and quite lovely as the sun was just setting.
Boca Landing has Happy Hour EVERY DAY from 4 – 7pm at the bar with half off Well Drinks, Featured House Wine & Draft Beers with select bar bites such as gourmet flatbreads, guacamole & chips, the half beet salad & hummus from $5-8.
Until we eat again…
I send you delicious wishes, xo