Steelpan Kitchen & Bar is a Caribbean fusion restaurant specializing in Caribbean-American fusion cuisine. Located inside the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, Steelpan is open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a menu that offers items influenced by the diverse Caribbean cultures represented in South Florida. Sitting across from the beach, listening to Caribbean music while enjoying cocktails and awaiting island-inspired cuisine is a fantastic way to start any day.
While the menu boasts items such as “Beach Bowls,” “Playful Plates,” “Seaside Delights” and “Surfside Favorites,” I tried Chef Kevin Baker’s breakfast recommendations of steak & eggs, tropical pancakes and island French toast.
Steak and Eggs
Steelpan’s steak & eggs dish features thinly cut skirt steak, two eggs sunny side up, poblano crema with tomato and cucumber salad, and “smashed potatoes,” which remain firm, kept in their skin and well-seasoned.
The “tropical pancakes are a triple-layered, fluffy, moist and decadent pancake stack covered with pineapple-banana brûlée and plantains. The stack is topped off with sweet and creamy Captain Morgan cinnamon glaze.
Island French Toast
Steelpan’s island French toast isn’t ordinary in any way. Closer in size to a loaf than to a traditional piece of bread, each slice is stuffed with warm, sweet guava filling, cream cheese, plus cinnamon dust and tart, seasonal berries. Lastly, the dish is topped off with whipped cream and fresh mint. The breakfast items have all proven to be visually appealing and equally enjoyable.
On their lunch menu is another of their signature dishes, the whole baked snapper, which consists of the entire fish deboned and placed atop a banana leaf wrap. The fish, delightfully infused with lemon, is fresh, buttery and flavorful. The plate is served with grilled slices of lemon and quick pickled vegetables, including a sautéed medley of green, yellow and red peppers and sliced carrots. It has a hint of heat from pepperoncini and the roasted potatoes with Caribbean seasoning.
Returning to Steelpan to go through their lunch and dinner menu options — which also include ceviche, chowder, jerk options, shrimp, dumplings and their desserts such as the Pineapple Upside Down Cake — is mandatory. The chef’s creations are truly outstanding.