Dune is a new beachfront restaurant by Auberge Resorts Collection, which boasts a collection of highly acclaimed restaurants focussed on its Napa Valley roots. Fly For Foods, sat for dinner at Dune to see if it could live up to these high standards.
I had just been caught in a crazy Florida thunderstorm and walked in to the restaurant looking like a drowned dog half expecting the staff to turn me away at the door. They welcomed me openly offering pashmina shawls to keep warm and dry and promptly pointed me to a table. The restaurant itself is beautiful, casually elegant, open warm and welcoming.
The excellent server for the day greeted me and handed the menu. She was brilliant from the start and remained so throughout the meal. Obviously motivated and knowledgable, she settled me quickly and without delay had me enjoying an amazing bottle of red wine before taking her time to go through the menu. She exuded confidence and so I trusted my selections to her.
To start she recommended the Crab Spätzle. I love Spätzle – these Germanic egg noodles are soul satisfying and so flavourful when they soak up all the delicious broths and seasonings they are served with. Paired with crab, chili flake and lemon, this should have been a sure winner. Not at Dune. The plate arrived glistening. Glistening from the insane amount of oil! Simply tilting the plate allowed about a quarter cup of oil to pool. I couldn’t eat this! A total shame.
The Spätzle was apologetically removed and the Rack of Lamb main course brought out. A generous portion of grilled lamb seasoned with sumac served with Tzatziki and charred cucumber. The dish was plated well and the lamb cooked to a tender “medium”. The sumac crust, however, was excessively charred and extremely bitter needing a lot of tzatziki to balance it out. Sadly, the subtlety of the sumac flavoring was lost and the dish tasted like burnt meat drenched in yogurt.
Perhaps the dessert could save some face for the restaurant. Again sadly not. It was suggested that I try some strawberry granola concoction that was so unremarkable that I can not even remember it’s name! It was just a messy mix of strawberry sorbet, fresh strawberries and granola. A dish that reminded me of a breakfast I’d have before a day long hike when camping – certainly not worthy of a fine dining establishment.
Dune has recently opened in Fort Lauderdale. It has an amazing dining room with stellar wines relaxing views and excellent service. Sadly, the food is unmemorable and distinctly sub-par. The restaurant has immense potential and, hopefully, they will see this and realize it because, at present, Dune is distinctly average.
The numbers then…
Triple ‘F’ Factor 0/1