Ocean 60 - Cultured Beach Cuisine
Table Talk by Leigh Cort
CULTURED BEACH CUISINE
Lucky us! There is a marvelous restaurant in Atlantic Beach that has been treating patrons to dinner and special parties for many years. Ocean 60 entered the scene in 2001 ~ Where the familiar and the unexpected make delicious partners ~ Where the daily buzz includes a tempting array of signature dishes that evolve nightly. And many you’ve never tasted before.
Owners Chef Danny Groshell and wife Mariela are responsible for one of Atlantic Beach’s acclaimed restaurants that is steps from the ocean. They’re as passionate about each other as they are about their guests’ delight in dining. Chef’s kitchen is a beautifully run culinary sanctuary while Mariela’s warmth and sense of style makes parties, evening ala carte dining and corporate events a charming personal affair.
Danny’s gastronomic ‘style’ mirrors his childhood travels of international art, culture and cuisine. His mother Dorothy shared her exuberance for life and a distinctive zest for food, bringing his career into focus while attending the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, NY. He loved studying it all, indulging in a curriculum that spanned the globe and inspired him to embrace each country’s unique contributions to today’s dining landscape.
Chef’s secret recipe for success began when Ocean 60 opened in his favorite beach area. Locals have long known this address but they aren’t the only guests soaking up the sophistication of the perfectly lit dining room or going casual at the bar.
Atlantic Beach is a Bohemian neighborhood comprised of artists, musicians, unique and open-minded people who love to live the moment. Ocean 60 fits into this environment throughout each season whether they’re ‘Dancing in the Streets’, attending 3rd Thursday Art Walk or lining up for Thanksgiving bash at Pete’s Bar!
Latin-American artist Enrique Mora’s contemporary paintings dress up the two open dining rooms. His vivacious colors and voluptuous shapes frequently focus on the many roles of woman – as mother, wife, friend, fighter and lover. Mariela’s Cuban heritage blends beautifully with the rotating exhibit that is as colorfully flamboyant as Chef’s dishes.
Chef Groshell’s eyes light up when he states “I love to meet my guests. They bring each night to life for me. Ocean 60 is where we invite our guests to come into our ‘Home’. Knowing what they enjoy, knowing how creative I can be on their behalf is what keeps me fresh and enthusiastic each day. And Mariela is my inspiration. Being with each other every day is often total poetry. We enjoy collaborating together.
When you come to dine, you’ll notice there is an unpretentious yet celebratory bill of fare. Dishes on the menu will look familiar to you from meat loaf to grouper, from ribeye to mussels. But Chef Danny Groshell’s twist is omnipresent. He describes it as American Regional with an emphasis on Classical French. No doubt every day brings a creative reinvention of the obvious.
One night it’s a seared Grouper. Seared Diver Shot Grouper with a Sundried Tomato, Grand Marnier Meuniere & Citrus Tossed Artisan Greens ($26).
Another night, it’s a richly succulent Rosemary Grilled Ribeye & Crab Mac. Grilled Ribeye topped with charred onions and wild mushrooms, crumbled blue cheese, Marsala wine demi-glace served over Orecchiette crab mac and cheese. For steak lovers it doesn’t get better than this ($29).
In a market where it’s not easy to be different, Ocean 60 makes a welcome splash with this ‘anything but typical’ restaurant staffed with caring employees who understand the nature of the business they’re in. The servers know how to bring a dish to life, making menu selection a mouth-watering adventure. The restaurant offers all of the comforts of fine cuisine in a trendy beach setting.
The ultimate ‘beach beauty’ is Cobia. Calypso Grilled Cobia over Crispy Fried Yucca, Roasted Spring Onions & Pepper Medley drizzled with Cilantro Chimichurri Beurre Blanc ($25).
Guests are surprised when they find out that the parking challenge of Atlantic Beach is always solved at Ocean 60. If you don’t find a spot quickly, guests can park at The Sea Horse hotel across the street for $5. Bring your parking ticket to the restaurant and your server will take $5 off of your dinner!
For music fans, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll hear a widely diverse collection of live music on weekends that ranges from acoustic Latin guitar and soulful sounds to solo piano and popular groups; it’s lively without being bold – to please the dinner and late-night crowd. The changing music line-up is listed on the Ocean 60 website.
Mariela is proficient in event planning and has wow-ed many patrons who enjoy attending monthly themed dinner parties. The restaurant offers great flexibility with serving nightly ala carte dining in one room and hosting private eventa in the other ~ especially when a corporate group selects Ocean 60 for a daytime meeting.
It’s not a surprise to learn that Chef Danny Groshell’s award-winning cuisine has been acknowledged for 11 consecutive years in the Top 25 of Jacksonville Magazine AND in Florida Trend’s Top 500 Restaurants in Florida for 7 years. The restaurant’s participation in philanthropic events is another side of the Groshell’s philosophy. They’re a beautiful addition to the local dining ‘scene’ assuring us that it’s alive and very well. I’m counting the days until their next ‘Tapas Tuesday’. Let’s meet in the bar!
Bartender Jeff Oxley’s unnamed martini that some call a YUM!
60 Ocean Boulevard
Atlantic Beach, Florida
Serving Dinner Monday thru Saturday from 5:00pm
See website for:
Happy Hour Specials