Award-winning Miami chef Timon Balloo is taking his talents north to open his latest restaurant concept in Broward County.
Balloo has long been an advocate of Florida cookery, taking home two major nominations in the food world including "The People’s Choice Best New Chef" by Food & Wine and "Best Chef: South" by the James Beard Foundation.
Best known for his vibrant, global-inspired fare, Balloo will add to a flavor-forward lineup of new dishes when he opens The Katherine in the former Foxy Brown space located at 723 E. Broward Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
The establishment marks the third in Balloo's growing restaurant portfolio where he is patriarch to a group of family-focused brands including Mrs. Balloo, which pays homage to his wife with the food truck permanently parked at The Wharf Fort Lauderdale, and Balloo Wallah, a to-go-only eatery in Miami that honors his West Indian roots.
The announcement also comes just weeks after Balloo took residence at Miami International Airport’s American Airlines Flagship Lounge, where he serves up his hallmark favorite dishes for local and international travelers.
"It’s an exciting time to try new things,” says Balloo, about his recent growth. “I’ve always been intentional in my food, but now more than ever living in this pandemic era, I try to be equally as intentional in my business practice. Above all I’m guided by what feels authentic – and that has allowed me to expand into concepts that I historically might have shied away from."
When it opens in December, The Katherine will offer an intimate 1,350-square-feet space that Balloo and his family have modestly refreshed to reflect the new energy of the space and a statement of change, while respecting the history of the area and community.
The menu is easy to navigate with straight forward selections, honoring chef’s sentiment that a good meal is a gateway to creating memories. There is a common thread-focus given to seafood and vegetables.
Guests can select from local raw seafood dishes like a Yellowtail Hamachi with charred and pickled mushrooms, sesame and shiso as well as garden selections like Harissa Roasted Carrots with tahini and hazelnut granola and an English Cucumber Wedge topped with bleu cheese-ranch dressing, crumbled bacon and egg yolk.Starters begin to narrow in on those comfort food favorites Balloo prizes with lick-your-fingers-good Clam Chowder Fries with clams, bacon and salsa verde, Lamb Meatballs with whipped chickpeas, fennel and sumac and a Calabaza Squash Panzanella with burrata and citrus vinaigrette.
His main plate offerings advocate for his hometown pride with a Creamy Florida Corn Risotto and Crispy Florida Snapper with nuoc nam dressing and green papaya salad. Balloo’s ability to perfect the quintessential homecooked dinner, a roast chicken, is what catapulted his career and the Jerk Chicken Thighs with roasted bread fruit and coconut milk braised kale pay perfect homage to his past and present success. And what would a neighborhood spot be without an All-Day Burger ($18) with smashed-style double beef patties, American cheese and a sweet pickle remoulade.
To end the meal, The Katherine menu features three desserts: Chocolate Death with dark chocolate cremeux, cake crumble and mint-chip ice cream, Burnt Caramel French Toast Torrejas with maple-bourbon apples and vanilla ice cream, and a special Daily Sundae showcasing Balloo’s whim of delicious things piled high for a youthfully-inspired dessert worthy of adults.
The beverage program will include a selection of beer and wine, highlighting local beer from breweries like Wynwood Brewing, Funky Buddha and Broski Ciderworks. The natural wine selection includes skin contact bottles from Europe, the U.S. and South America, as well as sparkling, white and red options from both Old and New World vineyards.
The Katherine will also offer Thai-Style Michelada, Florida Citrus Fresca, a sparkling house-made beverage, and red and white sangrias.The Katherine’s dining room is decorated in lush, natural materials; has touches of emerald green and gold; and hanging plants in terracotta planters. Guests will be able to sit either at the bar, inside the dining room or enjoy the South Florida weather on the patio. The refresh building façade of minimalistic white paint symbolizes a fresh start and captures the pure goodness of just how far good food, done well will carry.
The Katherine. 723 E. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; open Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; TheKatherineRestaurant.com or follow the restaurant on Instagram @TheKatherineRestaurant.