The Balcony, an upscale two-story restaurant that features an open-air rooftop and balcony on Fort Lauderdale’s trendy Las Olas Boulevard, opened May 4. It features New Orleans-style cuisine, including tapas-style small plates, craft cocktails and live music. Owned by the PDKN Restaurant Group and led by Executive Chef Simon Porter, the restaurant will incorporate the dynamic tastes of New Orleans, which blends French, Spanish, West African, Amerindian, German, Italian, Irish and Vietnamese influences and ingredients.
Located at 1309 E. Las Olas Boulevard, The Balcony offers the taste and lively atmosphere of New Orleans in South Florida. The menu includes unique and New Orleans-inspired dishes such as:
- Shreveport Smoked Gumbo: Skillet braised chicken, andouille sausage, fried okra, pepper, onion, carrot, celery in a rich vegetable broth ($10)
- Alligator & Shrimp Jambalaya: Andouille sausage, smoked chicken, red beans, tomato, garlic crostini ($18)
- Baked Porterville Bay Oysters Bienville: Shrimp, bacon, mushroom, cheese with a Meyer lemon-green onion relish ($16)
- Natchitoches Pies: Adena Ranch grass-fed all-natural beef, vegetables with bayou hot sauce ($16)
- Fried Green Tomatoes: Ciabatta and corn-crusted, cayenne barbecue aioli ($12)
- Southern Confit Duck Cobb: Point Reyes bleu cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, heirloom tomato, egg, romaine lettuce tossed in a creamy Cajun vinaigrette ($18)
The beverage menus include specialty New Orleans-inspired cocktails such as Milk Punch, The Balcony Sazerac and French 75 Cristo, in addition to craft beers and an extensive wine list. As a special start to the evening, every table is greeted with a complimentary Gruet sparkling wine toast upon being seated. Wine aficionados will love the restaurant’s comprehensive wine selection, which is on display in a wine gallery. For the true VIP experience, a limited quantity of private wine lockers are available for purchase.
A few of The Balcony’s additional features include an all-you-can-eat Saturday crawfish boil for $35 per person, and a Sunday Jazz Brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with live music and mimosas and Bloody Mary’s for $5 each.
Executive Chef Porter spent an extensive amount of time in New Orleans researching its cuisine, and brings over 25 years of international culinary experience to The Balcony. Originally from Cambridge, England, Chef Porter has worked at many prestigious restaurants in England, as well as in Switzerland and Belgium at Michelin star restaurants. In addition, he has worked onboard 5-star ships for Cunard and Seabourn cruise lines, allowing him to experience many parts of the world’s cultures and cuisines. Most recently, he worked at The Ritz-Carlton in Puerto Rico. Chef Porter joined PDKN Restaurant Group in April 2017.
“At The Balcony, we present unique and sophisticated food for the soul, as well as a welcoming New Orleans-style ambience and hospitality,” says Chef Porter. “By incorporating various cuisines to bring out the best NOLA fare, we are happy to offer our guests a truly unforgettable dining experience.”
Reminiscent of a scene from a New Orleans street car, the restaurant leaves no detail overlooked in both its interior and exterior spaces, right down to the stylish staff uniforms. Decorative tiles, showpiece chandeliers, red booths and a hammered tin ceiling are all carefully selected pieces that effortlessly work together to create an elegant yet inviting atmosphere. A large dining room on the ground floor incudes a stage for live music and a full bar with TVs, accessorized by brick barrel vaults where branded wine barrels are on display.
On the second floor, an airy rooftop bar is designed to entertain guests all year long with a weather-sensing shuttered roof to protect from rain and sun. A large central bar serves The Balcony’s signature libations, which can be enjoyed at surrounding booths. At the front of the restaurant a wrought iron balcony overlooks Las Olas Blvd. offering guests the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail.