Jan Norris: Food and Florida

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EatBeat: Spoto’s Oakwood Grill to Close; Becomes Water Bar & Grill in Fall

May 28th, 2011 · No Comments

Oakwood Grill designed as steakhouse

John Spoto can’t stay still too long. He’s on the move with a re-do of Spoto’s Oakwood Grill. The PGA Commons restaurant is closing May 31 and will be made over as the Water Bar & Grill – a seafood grill and bar.

The Oakwood Grill, which began as a steakhouse and changed into a neightborhood American grill with casual favorites such as meatloaf and ribs along with the steaks, has much more competition than when it opened 6-1/2 years ago, John Spoto said.

Diners tastes changed, too. “What I saw here is that we were selling more seafood than meat,” he said. Fresh, modern seafood “is what the community wants from us.”

Whole fish filleted in-house

“What we’re going to do differently is bring in different fish in their whole form. We’ll fillet and portion them here. Most other restaurants, including Spoto’s Oyster Bar, brings in fish already filleted. The main reason for doing it is that we want to make all our own stocks for our sauces and soups here,” he said.

The oak wood-burning grill will remain, along with landlubber favorites such as filets, New York strips, wood-roasted chicken and veal meatloaf. Flatbreads, salads and sandwiches will round out the menu. “We don’t want to disappoint any of our diners. People will be able to come in and enjoy the restaurant with these choices.”

Spoto's Oyster Bar remains as is

Spoto’s Oyster Bar, also in The Commons, will still own the raw bar scene – as well as the acclaimed clam chowder, though Spoto said one shucked oyster and one clam will be on the Water Bar’s appetizer menu daily.

New look and uniforms

Along with the new concept, Spoto will remodel the restaurant. “It will have a contemporary look to match the food – stainless steel, glass and water-themed accents will replace the dark woods and brick walls. The staff will wear more contemporary uniforms reflecting the modern style.

The Oakwood Grill will close after dinner Tuesday, May 31, and is planned to reopen as the Water Bar & Grill October 1, Spoto said. Dinner service is first, and lunch will follow in a few weeks.

Oakwood Grill

  • 4610 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
  • 561-776-5778; www.oakwoodgrill.com
  • Open for lunch and dinner through May 31

Spoto’s Oyster Bar

  • 4650 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
  • 561-776-9448; www.spotosoysterbar.com
  • Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m.






Tags: The Eat Beat: Restaurant News

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