New resort restaurant caters to locals, tourists

Outstanding views are only the first course at Lighthouse Grill at Faro Blanco Resort in Marathon. Housed in the shadow of the resort’s red-and-white striped historic lighthouse, the restaurant features a spacious indoor dining area, and big covered porch — all beautifully appointed — to showcase the Florida Keys fare.

“I like to think of our menu as American-style with a bit of a French influence,” said Mike Eyer, restaurant manager. “Of course, most of our dishes revolve around local seafood.”

The fish come in whole and are carefully filleted in the kitchen. Look for the chef’s special of the day. Both the pan-seared and grilled options are very good, but the star of the show is certainly the magnificent seafood itself — grouper, yellowtail and wahoo plucked from the waters just hours before being plated.

In the evenings, the restaurant serves venison, grilled in a cherry port wine sauce, and an oversized ultimate burger at lunch, a towering concoction of massive fried onion rings, short ribs and prime beef on a sourdough bun. The meals are seasoned with herbs grown on the property and the master touch of Executive Chef Urs Bieri and Executive Sous Chef Trevor Scott.

“The grilled Kurobuta center cut pork chop has a root beer demi-glaze and fresh herbs,” said Scott of the farm-raised stock whose equivalent is Kobe beef. “And the herb and garlic rack of lamb has garlic, rosemary and shallot flavors.”

Since it’s opening three months ago, the waterfront restaurant has already become a popular spot with both locals and visitors. Tourists enjoy the view and friendly bar service on the wide porch in the afternoon hours or an early dinner after a day in the sun. Locals flock there for functions such as corporate conferences in the private dining room and charity-driven cocktail and dinner events. As night falls, the restaurant’s main dining room is alive with chatter and the tinkle of silverware on porcelain. Bright red napkins, varnished oars and vintage paintings with spectacular blues and oranges are the colorful notes in the otherwise black and white environment.

Many patrons ease into the whole Lighthouse Grill experience by dropping by for happy hour between 4 and 6 p.m. The drinks are discounted by $2, making it possible to enjoy a domestic beer on a budget or shell out a little more for the signature Key Lime Martini. (The latter isn’t a crazy green, but the authentic creaminess of a real pie with a big kick from some Key Lime vodka and sweet and sour.) During happy hour, the bar menu is also discounted by 50 percent.

“The beef brisket tacos are almost a meal,” said Eyer. “And the bacon-wrapped shrimp and pepper-crusted beef tenderloin is also very popular on the bar menu.”

Like it says, the view is just the first course.


Box out:

Lighthouse Grill

Faro Blanco Resort

1194 Overseas Highway, Marathon


Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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