King Crab City: Inside the Fontainebleau's "Water World"
The Fontainebleau has crabs, and it's exactly the type you're thinking -- king crab. These bad boys are the rulers of all crustaceans and an extreme delicacy not only in the States but also around the world. They make their way from the Nordic and Bering seas down to South Florida and currently reside in the Fontainebleau's underground facilities, dubbed "Water World," where all of the fresh catch from the resort's fishing boat, the BleauFish, lives until dinnertime.
Photos by Carla Torres King of the ocean.
It's more difficult to gain access to Water World than to get into LIV. With good reason -- there's more than $2 million worth of seafood down there. A chef must escort you, and even then another resort staff member has to unlock the gates.
The price to enter Water World is similar to LIV's cover charge on its busiest night of the year when David Guetta is spinning. You see, when you dine at any of the Fontainebleau's culinary venues, be it Scarpetta, Hakkasan, Michael Mina 74, La Côte, or FB Steakhouse, you can order a king crab for $600. The upside: Unlike seeing David Guetta, you actually get your money's worth. The multilegged creatures can serve a table of three to five as an appetizer or two to three as a more significant course, which doesn't make it so bad when splitting the cost.
What lurks in the shadows?
Each king crab order includes a visit to Water World, where guests can choose their crab. On a recent visit, the tanks were full of them. "We started out with a 100 and sold about 35 in just a week," said Fontainebleau executive chef Thomas Connell, who explained weekends are usually the nights when the crabs come out to play. Each fellow weighs just shy of eight pounds -- that's 800 pounds of crustacean. Holy crab.