Drive down Ocean Drive on Hallandale and you just might miss this little hidden gem located right on the water. Juniper on the Water sits between two residential buildings on the waterfront at 1975 S Ocean Drive, Hallandale Beach. Offering breathtaking views of the waterfront, Juniper on the water offers a beautiful dining spot whether you go there day or night.
The creation of owners Scott and Sho, New Yorkers who made their way to South Florida and decided to embark on a culinary adventure turning a fantasy in to a unique reality serving up a mix of American-Mediterranean cuisine. Scott and Sho met while working at Midtown’s Mercadito and after 18-months of renovations and planning, Juniper on the Water was born. Both owners were no stranger to the restaurant scene having worked in every facet from back of house to front of house before delving into there new chapter as restauranteurs.
The beauty of Juniper on the Water is that it is away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday life and the casual dining space provides a great place to have dinner with friends or just watch the boats pass by on a romantic dinner for two.
When you walk in to Juniper you are greeted by a very friendly staff who make you feel at home. The servers are fully knowledgeable of dinner pairings and are quick to offer you the perfect drink to go with your meal. As an added bonus, Juniper has an experienced Sommelier on site making sure to have the best wines on the menu and work with the chef on what to add on the menu.
Once seated, if you decide to sit outdoors –which I highly recommend, you almost forget to look at the menu because you are captivated by the intercostal views. The service staff approach with freshly baked breads, warm from the oven. The selection of food has a little bit of everything with a main focus of fresh seafood. To start I suggest the Steamed Middle-neck Clams which are served in a white wine, onion crema and parsley pesto sauce with toasted crostini on the side for dipping. The clams taste fresh and the senses are only heightened when sitting oceanside. The sauce alone is so flavorful yet light and refreshing at the same time. I would literally drink the liquid from the bowl if not for my somewhat classy demure. Best part about it is that the serving is enough for two and just $11.
After fighting with your friends over who gets the last clam, it’s time to move on to the main course which I can tell you now that no matter what you choose, you will love every bite. I of coarse indulged and went for the Seafood Paella- pause, I am salivating as I re-experience this in my head, ok moving on. If not for anything else, you have to try this dish. It’s not your ordinary Paella. At Juniper they take a different approach and make their seafood paella with toasted Israeli couscous, clams, mussels, shrimp, fresh fish fillet, chorizo, green peas, and roasted bell peppers (again big enough to share, but I doubt you will want to).
The paella is perfectly seasoned, the couscous is cooked to just the right level and the flavors of the seafood topped with the pesto-YUMMM. Not dry, not too moist, but just right. The shrimp were sweet with a taste of the sea and the chorizo offered the saltyness you needed to balance the dish. It was a marriage of flavors that were completely in sync.
Also on the menu you’ll find fresh fish such as the Pan Roasted Salmon served with grape tomato and fennel served with herb barley, Whole Fish a La Plancha served with sliced fennel, orange, and arugula, Mahi Mahi served blackened with Moroccan couscous, and crispy kale.
If you’re looking for something other than seafood, Juniper also offers a Prime Boneless Ribeye that is a 14 oz. prime grilled steak, served with roasted vegetables and a side of green peppercorn, golden raisins, thyme, and a Cognac sauce. Or indulge in an 8 ounce 8 oz Filet Mignon served with a herbed compound butter accompanied with sautéed oyster mushrooms and chived mashed potatoes. If your looking for something other than steak and fish, you can also choose from lamb, pasta, octopus and other seafood dishes on the menu that are all just as delicious! My suggestion- return to Juniper until you’ve tried everything on the menu!
Just when you thought you couldn’t eat anymore, it’s dessert time! A MUST try is the Flourless Chocolate Cake– AHMAZING! This is a perfect match for the Port Wine they offer, it’s a balance of bitter and sweet when mixed together and if you don’t believe me, just ask their Sommelier and he’ll steer you in the right direction.
Juniper on the Water is a restaurant that you’ll want to keep coming back to over and over again. The ambiance is very inviting with a casual feel, but still has that fine dining quality.
Juniper on the Water is open from 4p. to 10p. and offers Happy Hour from 4pm-7pm Monday through Saturday and a special Brunch menu on Sundays. Also don’t miss their Clambake Tuesdays featuring a clambake dish complete with clams, mussels, shrimp, andouille sausage, red potatoes, and corn on the cob all in a delicious seafood base.
Juniper on Water
1975 S Ocean Dr.; Hallandale Beach, Florida