Cheese board: Elements’ cheese board, made to share at the table, comes with the chef’s choice of cheeses, grapes, honeycomb and, figs. It’s served on handmade boards from a buttonwood tree that fell during Irma. DOUG FINGER/Keys Weekly

Nestled on the property of the Islander Resort, Elements Longue & Restaurant brings a new, sophisticated dining experience in an exquisite tropical ambience. 

Located toward the front of the Islander Resort at MM 82, Oceanside, the fine dining establishment began welcoming guests and locals in July. Outside, Elements’ sends its guests into a serene dining environment with an outdoor patio, which features a one-of-a-kind flaming fountain and lush landscaping. Inside, an aquatic themed dining room gives guests a memorable culinary experience. 

At Elements, the atmosphere is equally as unique as the menu presented by Executive Chef Andy Niedenthal. A 1988 graduate of the International Culinary Arts Institute in Baltimore, Niedenthal brings extensive dining knowledge and experience to Elements’ guests. He worked as executive chef for local restaurants including Pierre’s at Morada Bay, Checca Lodge and The Green Turtle Inn. In the Caribbean, he was executive chef for Peter Island Resort in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, Marinteau Bay Resort in Puerto Rico, Scrub Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands. He also had a stint as executive chef at The Marshall House in Savannah, Georgia, and consulting chef at Bambu in Miami. 

His list of achievements is also extensive and his television appearances include the Food Network special “Seafood Challenge” in 2015, the Travel Channel’s “The Very Best of Everything” in 2004 and CBS’ “The Morning Show” in 2001. 

Niedenthal presents an eclectic, contemporary menu showcasing the bounty of what Florida has to offer. His menu has a bit of Mediterranean flare, some Caribbean influence and modern American steakhouse. 

“We focus on the finest ingredients and let them shine through,” Niedenthal says. “We try to do as much fresh from Florida as we can.”

For starters, order a cheese board to the table that serve anywhere from two to a group of four. Indulge in the chef’s choice of sourced cheese from around the world with some grapes, figs, honeycomb and fresh baked bread on a board handmade by Niedenthal from a buttonwood tree that fell during Irma.  

Inside the Elements, the cocktail bar is stocked with a variety of European liquors and cocktail offerings. The menu also boasts an extensive wine list. 

Elements menu items are all about the finest ingredients and letting them shine through, Niedenthal says. Signature appetizer items include the pan-seared diver scallop served with goat cheese mashed potatoes, sherry vinegar brown butter, white truffle oil, frizzled leeks and chives. There’s also the herb seared tuna with hearts of palm hash, aged balsamic, black sea salt and chive oil. 

The signature snapper tiradito. Thinly sliced snapper is served up with shallot, scallions, Key lime and sour orange juice, hot peppers, celery leaves, black sea salt, blanched garlic, achiote chili oil and toasted corn nuts.

If you’re eyeing a salad, the signature avocado and fresh hearts of palm features heirloom tomatoes, baby cress, yellow tomato with a white balsamic sorbet. If you want a little seafood on your greens, go for the snapper tiradito. It features thinly sliced snapper with shallot, scallions, Key lime and sour orange juice, hot peppers, celery leaves, black sea salt, blanched garlic, achiote chili oil and toasted corn nuts. 

Elements’catch of the day, pompano pictured. The dish is served with roasted asparagus.

For main entrees, the bone-in filet mignon is tender and mouth watering. A 10-ounce prime beef tenderloin, it’s served with a fondant potato, Florida mushroom ragout and a pinot noir sauce. There’s also the herb roasted Murray Farms organic airline chicken breast that’s served with goat cheese mashed potatoes, grilled long stem artichoke and natural jus. 

House made ice creams, gelatos, sorbets and signature desserts are the perfect ending to the evening with some after dinner drinks and gourmet coffees to enjoy indoors or outside.  

Top off your dining experience at Elements with a Valrohona chocolate gnache tart, served up with maldon sea salt caramel, whipped cream and espresso anglaise.

If you’re desiring a relaxed dining experience with your significant other or family with some top-notch cuisine, stop in and enjoy the new restaurant in town.  Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 5-10 p.m. More information at islanderfloridakeys.com.

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