Just a few months ago, 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 after an 8 month long period of having no restaurant in its location during renovations. Located just off the island’s gorgeous waters, Lightkeepers 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.”
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.
Lightkeepers is open for dinner every day. Guests can be assured that the locally sourced options are the freshest and full of flavor. We suggest starting with a few raw bar items. Some of your options include East and West Coast Oysters on the Half Shell, Key West Shrimp, Alaskan King Crab, Sasanian Caviar and Wahoo, Salmon and Hamachi Crudos. They’ve got an impressive Seafood Tower that is the perfect starter for a hungry table.
The appetizers can be found in the section called Starters with must have dishes like the smokey Keeper’s Wife’s Biscuits with Keez Beez honey butter and award-winning Grilled Spanish Octopus with poached cherry tomatoes, charcoal potatoes, grilled Brussels sprouts and saffron aioli will keep you wanting more. 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. Both dishes are as pretty as they are delicious. But whatever you do – make sure you order the Tomato Fondue topped with goat cheese and served with garlic oil and crisp rosemary bread.
When it comes to entrees we definitely recommend getting something that’s been made in the 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.
Of course dinner wouldn’t be complete without an indulgent dessert or two. The outstanding dessert menu features the Keez Beez Honey Rum Cake with Mount Gay Special Edition Rum and coconut sorbet; Chocolate Plantain Cake with sea salt caramel ice cream; and a Bucket of Beignets with passion fruit and Valrhona chocolate dipping sauces. Yes, you read that right – BUCKET of beignets. Don’t skip order them, you’re gonna ask for a bigger bucket. Trust us.