15 Steps: Superior Seafood and Seasonal Cuisine in a Confused Space
Photo by billwisserphoto.com Pan roasted halibut with a coriander seed pop.
On a recent Sunday, two guests stand in front of a muted TV set near the entry of 15 Steps inside the Eden Roc hotel. They're laughing at America's Funniest Home Videos.
Rich amber lighting and plush leather seating fill the center of this first-floor restaurant. An out-of-place communal picnic table sits near an open kitchen. And a row of small tables off to the side is paired with one conventional chair and one enormously high-backed white leather throne.
In this mecca of mismatches, the strong Lapidus old-fashioned, named for the hotel's famed architect, Morris Lapidus, is served with bourbon, amarena cherry syrup, and chocolate mole bitters. It costs exactly as much -- $16 -- as a Squeeze Me, made with Stoli Blueberry, mint, and "handcrafted lemonade." The evening I was there, Tropicana lemonade was poured from a carton.
When entering, you might even be unclear about where you are dining. The collage mural in the entry reads "1500 Degrees."
Last summer, the Eden Roc, owned by Eden Roc LLLP, changed management from Marriott International to Destination Hotels & Resorts, a hospitality management company specializing in independent luxury hotels. In the shuffle, chef Paula DaSilva, who made a name for herself at the Eden Roc's signature restaurant, 1500 Degrees, returned to her old home, 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale. Her replacement was 3030 Ocean's chef de cuisine, Jeremy Ford. The name of the restaurant was also changed from 1500 Degrees to 15 Steps, which was chosen to reflect the number of steps it takes to get a fish from boat to table.
Despite the upheaval, the farm focus and dining room décor remain intact. As a restaurant in an iconic hotel with a revolving door of guests, it has served meals during the entire process.