Laurent Tourondel's Surf and Turf
The chef opens new restaurants in Fort Lauderdale and New York City
For decades, South Florida and New York have had a strong connection. With many people visiting between the two — or even sharing dual residences, Miami has perhaps earned its nickname, the sixth borough.
Restaurateurs have also followed suit, with New York owners opening Florida outposts and (to a smaller extent) Miami chefs trying their hand at the Big Apple.
Chef Laurent Tourondel is one of the rare chefs who has found success in both cities. The French native, who was named Bon Appétit magazine’s Restaurateur of the Year in 2007, has had longtime restaurants in both New York City, including L’Amico and in Miami Beach at LT Steak and Seafood and the Alley — both inside the Betsy Hotel.
At the very end of 2021, Tourondel opened new restaurants in both Fort Lauderdale and Manhattan — each representative of the cities in which they reside — one specializes in seafood just steps from the gentle roar of the ocean, while the other offers a hearty steak-and-potatoes (with a touch of greens) menu in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.
Dune by Laurent Tourondel (2200 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), is a gorgeous restaurant that boasts a massive, covered outdoor deck directly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. During the pandemic, Tourondel took over the former Dune, giving both the menu and the decor a facelift. The restaurant, true to its name, offers a selection of seafood-centric dishes that includes sushi and sashimi, grilled branzino, and a piquant lobster Fra Diavolo served over a bed of pasta.
Tourondel tells Broken Palate that when the opportunity arose to take over the spot — located at the tony Auberge Residences on Fort Lauderdale Beach, he jumped at the chance. “The space is in such a good location and I really liked the bones and the layout of the restaurant. I didn’t have to think twice about it.”
The chef added that he kept the name — Dune — because it simply worked. “ We turned the name around and around and finally I said I just liked ‘Dune’,” says Tourondel, adding, “I couldn’t find a better name.”
Tourondel says that the restaurant offers simple fare prepared with the best ingredients he can find. “We source great fresh fish from Japan for the sushi and we’re working with local farms to get amazing vegetables.”
Almost simultaneously, Tourndel opened a carnivore’s dream: Skirt Steak (836 Sixth Ave., New York) has a one-sheet for a menu: For $28 you get a skirt steak, unlimited handmade fries, and a green salad. The only other options on the menu are rotating side dishes, a dessert that changes daily, and beverages.
Tourondel says that, while the two restaurants may seem different, they both have the same DNA. “I’m not trying to reinvent anything. I want to put good products on the plate.”