Introducing Latitudes: Palm Beach County’s Best New Restaurant
Craving a culinary adventure that celebrates the flavors and seafaring traditions of Florida’s East Coast? Lucky for you, Opal just stood up another signature Latitudes at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa – the only oceanfront restaurant in Jupiter, Florida. And it’s one that locals are already loving.
There’s no better sign of a restaurant renovation done well when longtime, loyal local patrons of the former establishment are quickly sold on the new experience. Since officially opening in May of 2023, such has been the case for Latitudes – the newly renovated and nautically inspired restaurant at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa – that now occupies what was formerly Sinclair’s Ocean Grill Restaurant. “Sinclair’s was here for about 15 years. A lot of locals chose this location to celebrate their major milestones – anniversaries, birthdays, retirements – time and time again, over their favorite meals,” says Opal Regional Executive Chef Andy Gayler. “That can mean a lot to a person.”
Still, it seems as though any skepticism starts to melt away as soon as they hit the host desk, which, punctuated by a billboard-sized mural of a schooner in the midst of a sailing adventure sets the scene for the exhilarating culinary journey that’s to follow. And once they’ve sampled the seafood-inspired menu, highlighting modern American coastal flavors, any doubt has all but dried up. “The Palm Beaches are known for some world-class restaurants,” adds Gayler, “so to have a local – on their way out – shake our hand and say ‘hey, this may be the best new restaurant in the area,’ that really strikes a chord.”
NOT JUST NAUTICAL, BUT A NEW LEVEL OF NAUTICAL
If the name Latitudes sounds familiar, that’s because it’s a signature Opal restaurant – just as Drift Kitchen & Bar and La Bella Vita are – and a fan-favorite dining experience within our collection. While Jupiter’s iteration is the newest, the other four Latitudes locations can be found at Opal properties, The Resort at Longboat Key Club near Sarasota, Florida; Delray Sands Resort in Delray Beach, Florida; Sunset Key Cottages in Key West, Florida; and Wentworth by the Sea near Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
While all five locations boast seaworthy décor, don’t let that lead you to believe these restaurants are carbon copies of each other. A few of the show-stopping design elements of Jupiter’s Latitudes include a driftwood host desk, encircled by vertically-strung ropes that are reminiscent of the sailing lines uses to haul a boat’s mainsail; flooring that transitions from blonde wood to Spanish tile to coastal-cool carpet; ceilings and walls lined in shiplap paneling; and living green walls embedded with pieces of undulating driftwood, resembling sculptures shaped by the hands of mother nature. Think nautical, just taken to a whole new and oh-so-modern level.
LIGHT & AIRY SPACES THAT LET YOU PICK YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
Since Latitudes is the sole restaurant in Jupiter set on the ocean, naturally the individual spaces pay tribute to the sea in their own unique ways. The first space you see upon walking in is the cozy Coastal Lounge and neighboring bar, with ceilings topped with wooden cutouts resembling waves or woven rope reminiscent of sailing line.
But the stars of the show, when you take a seat in this particular space, are the interactive spaces: the Spirit Room and Chef’s Seafood Galley (after all, we love a good, open-concept chef bar). Centered between the lounge and U-shaped black quartz bar, the lit-up Spirit Room is entirely enclosed in glass, so guests can watch bartenders prep and experiment with different kinds of cocktail infusions, syrups, shrubs, garnishes, and more. Then just around the further right-hand corner of the bar, you’ll find the Chef’s Seafood Galley, where a showcase of shellfish, local stone crab (when in season), oysters, jumbo shrimp, Alaskan king crab, lobster, and more all sit on a mountain of shaved ice, giving guests a front-row seat to the culinary team in motion as they prep and prepare. In fact, it’s where you get to witness the iced shellfish towers being built (learn more about Latitudes’ signature seafood towers in our blog post “How to Make a Restaurant-Worthy Seafood Tower”).
Next, the restaurant opens up to the Mainsail Dining Room, consisting of intimate four-top tables and a handful of semi-circle booths snuggled into corners, followed by a private dining area nestled in the back portion of the restaurant that overlooks the pool deck. Just outside and running the length of the Mainsail Dining Room, the sweeping verandah set beside the resort’s serene stretch of beach is the perfect place to soak up the colors of sunset over an equally colorful sundowner cocktail.
A MENU WITH DISHES & DRINKS THAT SELL THEMSELVES
“Fresh, local, and lively” is the official tagline for the restaurant (serving breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and late-night bites), but you really see that come through in the masterful dinner and drink menus. When asked about the dishes that guests have most been drawn to, Gayler’s list runs long, referencing a creative crab-stuffed avocado appetizer, a beautiful skillet focaccia served with their house-made wild blueberry butter and parmesan fonduta, and oysters harvested from the Indian River Lagoon an hour north in Sebastian that are said to rival some of the best in the Northeast. And he’s quick to give credit where credit is due: praising Executive Chef Ricky Gopeesingh, who carefully crafted the menu to be a feast for more than just your taste buds: “The way he arranges our famous two-tiered seafood towers – a beautiful symphony of oysters, Maine lobster tail, Gulf shrimp, Alaskan king crab – it makes the eyes of every patron it passes instantly go wide.”
But, when pressured to single out a top seller, Gayler points to what’s known as the “Simply Prepared Fish” section of the menu. Featuring five to six local fish – which rotate depending on what’s caught that day (think grouper, snapper, South Florida branzino) – guests get to select how they want their catch prepared (grilled, sautéed, pan-seared), followed by their choice of accompaniments: citrus salsa, whipped potatoes, market-select veggie medley, lemon and saffron risotto, and more. “They get to custom make their dream dish, a real ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ experience,” says Gayler.
He’s also careful to note that it’s not all just surf here; there’s plenty of turf between the steak frites and all-natural beef tenderloin to free-range chicken dressed in a Florida sour orange, garlic, and honey glaze.
Guests are also delighted by the cocktail menu dreamed up by the resort’s food and beverage director, Brandon Burk. That’s not just because it’s creative, but because everything is made in front of you. We’re talking everything hand-shaken (no blenders), plenty of muddling, and the use of fun equipment like dehydrators for garnishes, cream whippers for creating foamy and flavorful toppers, and even smokers. For a real show, we suggest ordering The Blueberry Fog, a blend of Stoli Blueberry, house-made sour mix, and St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur topped with foam made from egg white, blueberry purée, and (more) St-Germain. Or try The Smoky Draper, a spin on an Old Fashioned featuring Woodford Reserve bourbon, blackberry brandy, and orange zest syrup poured over an ice tier, then infused with smoke using what’s known as a “smoke gun.”
“Whenever we make one of those, it creates a ripple effect through the restaurant,” says Gayler. “Meaning one person will order it, others will see it, and the next thing we know, it’s those cocktails being ordered, one after another, all night.”