In every town, there are hidden gems of fine dining that the locals would prefer to keep all to themselves. Such a place is Kaluz, a so-chic, so-sophisticated and so-good Intracoastal eatery that any hope of keeping this find a secret disappeared within months of its opening back in 2013.
Sitting snug and classy just south of the East Commercial Blvd drawbridge, Kaluz is that special place for a romantic meal for two or the perfect venue to host a business dinner for 40. Either way, the setting is sleek and modern, with the lights set just low enough for everyone to enjoy the view of the yachts passing by all evening.
This luxury look doesn’t come cheap, of course. An appetizer of Tuna Tartare runs $17, but is easily enough for two. The sushi-grade tuna is perfectly presented with fresh avocado in a soy and sriracha sauce, complemented with crispy wontons. Equally as popular on the appetizer menu is the Coconut Shrimp ($19), delivered with a sweet mango compote drizzled with a cilantro olive oil.
The night we dined at Kaluz, a 100-foot yacht arrived and was placed under the competent control of the restaurant’s dock master who oversees their 220-foot dock. There, continuing rotating vessels fill the available space, availing their guests on-board service.
For the over-hungry or those from Texas, the 20-ounce Bone-In Ribeye ($41) with peppercorn steak sauce is a favorite, served with a loaded baked potato (which itself is big enough for a meal and is available as a side at $7). It comes sizzling hot and appropriately grand to your table with such style that you imagine all eyes are on you. Well, actually, they are.
No less flavorful is the Barrel Cut Filet Mignon ($37). This nine-ounce choice beef tenderloin is slathered with Béarnaise sauce and yet another loaded baked potato. The restaurant also has a 14-ounce Slow Roasted Prime Rib ($34) and a premium choice 16-ounce New York Strip Steak ($37) on its menu. Every cut of beef stands as testament to the restaurant’s Argentinian owner who runs a slew of Kansas Grills in South America.
For those wanting some lighter fare, we recommend the Thai Noodle & Shrimp Salad ($17), a dish we’ve had at both lunch and dinner. Its crisp green cabbage, arugula, mint and mango share the plate with chilled Thai noodles and jumbo shrimp that will wake up your tongue with a special hot glaze. Good flavor never grows old.
The restaurant is also well known for its classic Caesar Salad ($10). The dressing and croutons are house made, and the salad can be served with chicken or shrimp for an extra few dollars.
Flatbread Pizzas range in price from $13-$15, and are offered with Margherita, Barbecue Chicken, Steak and Portabella, Shrimp and Goat Cheese, or Italian Sausage and Peppers. As with the other dishes, this too can be shared around the table. Expect your server to encourage the move with individual small white plates delivered with the dish.
If you can find the room (and we always seem to), our favorite dessert is the Salted Caramel Brownie ($8) with vanilla ice cream, Dulce Leche and macadamia nuts. Decadent!
Kaluz offers indoor seating and outdoor dining on its dock deck. Each space has its own full service bar, with the outside bar and lounge area open an hour after the kitchen closes at 10 pm. (11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). Come often and tell them HotSpots! sent you.