Key Biscayne is one of those pretty parts of Miami that is rarely explored or talked about, at least not nearly as much as it should be.
It is home to tons of Miami history and El Farito, one of Miami’s oldest lighthouses. Lightkeepers, named as an homage to the lighthouse keepers who watched over Key Biscayne’s historic Cape Florida Lighthouse in the 1800’s, opened at The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne just a few months ago. It’s located just off the waters of Key Biscayne and has a contemporary, coastal-inspired dining room and a casual indoor/outdoor bar.
The menu, executed by Executive Chef Raul A. Del Pozo, relies on locally sourced ingredients – cheeses from Winter Park, beef from Ocoee, and snapper from Key West. “Locally grown and caught ingredients are key to the quality and diversity of the menu,” says Del Pozo. “We use modern cooking techniques and charcoal and wood burning Josper ovens to enhance flavors.”
Dinner at Lightkeepers is definitely a treat. They’ve got a full menu with so many options it’s difficult to decide. The raw bar has items such as East and West Coast Oysters on the Half Shell, Key West Shrimp, Alaskan King Crab, Sasanian Caviar and Wahoo, Salmon and Hamachi Crudos. If you want more of a selection go for the Seafood Tower that’s got everything from Key West Shrimp to King Crab Legs and tons of dipping sauces.
The Keeper’s Wife’s Biscuits are infused with bacon and served with Keez Beez honey butter. Four come to an order and you’re probably not going to want to share. They’ve got locally harvested dishes including ¡Mas Verda! with brussels leaves, green cabbage, avocado, asparagus, snap peas, pickled red onion, hazelnut and salsa verde; and Beets and Burrata with roasted and raw beets, Rocco’s Burrata, heirloom tomatoes, foraged mushrooms and pumpkin oil. The beets are so fresh and the creamy burrata is the perfect complement to the veggies.
Lightkeepers is one of the few restaurants in Miami with a Josper oven. A custom made charcoal oven imported from Spain, known as a Josper, means the cooking combines the techniques of grilling and roasting into one. Off the Josper highlights include the Whole Branzino with grilled citrus and beurre blanc; Lake Meadows Chicken with charred carrots and blackberry jus; Palmetto Creek Pork with smoked chorizo, white bean ragout and mustard molasses glaze; and grass fed and grass finished beef like the Petite Filet and Skirt Steak. Pair those with some dishes meant for the table to share like their gluten free sides include items such as sepia crusted Charcoal Potatoes that are delicately prepared and come with roasted garlic aioli; Charred Cauliflower with caper butter and lemon aioli; and Crispy Brussels Sprouts with sweet chili and horseradish.
It’s not possible to have such an incredible dinner without having desserts to match it. The Chocolate Plantain Cake with sea salt caramel ice cream is huge with four thick layers of chocolate cake and rich chocolate icing. The Key Lime Pie Cheesecake was a work of art and one of those “so pretty you almost don’t want to eat it” but so glad you did desserts. Then there was the Bucket of Beignets with passion fruit and Valrhona chocolate dipping sauces. Pastry Chef Levi Richard is killing it with his dessert menu. I’ve been dreaming of the cheesecake ever since!
LIghtkeepers is a perfect place for cocktails and their outdoor bar is a gorgeous spot to sip them. The cocktail menu keeps things fun and historical with cocktails inspired by Florida’s rich history. Interesting cocktails include El Farito, “the little lighthouse,” comprised of St. Pete Gin, St-Germain Elderflower, fresh-pressed lime juice, house-made cranberry juice, mint and cucumber-infused syrup and Fever Tree soda; The Tequesta, in honor of the Tequesta Native American tribe of Florida, who called the Island of Key Biscayne home for thousands of years, made with Gracias A Dios Mezcal, fresh-pressed grapefruit and Three Chiles syrup. The John W.B. Thompson Smoked Old Fashioned, named after an assistant lighthouse keeper circa 1836, is made with Cask and Crew Rye, Laphroaig Islay Scotch, Santa Teresa Rhum Orange Liqueur, orange bitters and a dehydrated orange garnish.
If you want to enjoy dinner somewhere with a killer view, nice breezes, and BUCKETS of beignets – well Lightkeepers is here to make your dreams come true!
455 Grand Bay Dr
Key Biscayne, FL 33149