Over the past several months, I know the city and local tourism industry have been anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Marriott on Pompano Beach. The big day finally happened on July 31, 2013. A bit later than expected – but honestly, no hotel ever opens the day originally planned. For me, it’s been fun to watch since I make my living in the hospitality sector.
Through a friend, I accepted an invitation to a charity tasting dinner at the Pompano Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Friday evening - complimentary dining with the proceeds (donations) going to the Broward Children’s Center*. Since the resort had only been open for 48 hours, it seemed like a creative way to give restaurant operations a full house and a chance to showcase the new restaurant. So off I went to dinner.
The first thing to see as I drove into the entrance is that the sign does indeed say Pompano Beach Oceanfront Marriott Resort & Spa. I’m confused why the Marriott website calls the hotel the Fort Lauderdale Pompano Beach Marriott. (How long will it take guests to figure out this hotel is not in Fort Lauderdale?)
Back to arrival, dropping my car under the porte-cochere, I was quickly greeted by 3 or 4 valet staff, all friendly with a bit of confusion as to where the bar was. But that’s ok – simply enter the hotel and walk east towards the ocean and you enter McCoy’s Restaurant & Bar. We decided to have a cocktail at the bar while waiting for our 8pm reservation.
The only negative for the evening was the condition and service at the bar. The bar was dirty and sticky with empty glasses, old checks and napkins strewn about. Behind the bar was a mess of bottles, papers and general disorganization. It took about 10 minutes for someone to say anything to us and it was in response to “hey, can someone take our order?” After that, things got better. I’m sure the initial kinks of opening will work themselves out shortly.
We were seated in the dining room of beiges, browns with accents of turquoise, floor to ceiling windows and tile floors pretty but quite loud. We were lucky to have been seated in an area served by Richard. Richard poured our wine, always kept us apprised of timing for the next course and in general just had a great personality – making it an enjoyable evening. Be sure to sit in his area if you visit – he works most evenings.
Appetizers we enjoyed were the salad and the fried calamari served over frieze, pine nuts with a sweet and sour glaze. For a main course, we couldn’t resist the Florida Pompano, which has a very short season and rarely featured on menus. It was delicious! Accompaniments were mashed boniato (a white Caribbean sweet potato) and garlic broccoli rabe. Dessert was cheesecake with fresh berries and a molten chocolate lava cake with chocolate shavings.
All in all a really nice evening. I look forward to visiting again soon.
*Broward Children’s Center is committed to providing the very best quality of care to the infants, children, and young adults with special healthcare needs. They provide an array of medical, educational, and daily living services designed to ensure that these individuals thrive and reach their greatest potential, both physically and mentally.