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Authenticity comes through at Lona on the beach.

Chef Pablo Salas kicks things into high gear at his Mexican concept restaurant Lona Cocina & Tequileria (at The Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach, 321 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd.) with a new menu to usher in spring. Chef de Cuisine Juan Carlos Peña is introducing recipes from his native Queretaro, Mexico for a dining experience that’s rich on heritage in an atmosphere that’s plenty lively. Take note: Don’t miss the Mariachi band every Wednesday.

Among the newest menu additions to an already packed menu are Hamachi Aguachile, prepared with fresh fish, guajillo, cucumber, pico de gallo, avocado and cilantro; and Nachos Guajillo topped with skirt steak, chipotle cheese sauce, beans, pickled red onion, cotija cheese, pickled Fresno peppers, avocado mousse, cilantro and sour cream.

Hamachi Aguachile – Photo credit: Ricardo Mejia

The Duck Carnitas entree (main photo) is enhanced by Peña’s Pink Mole, a recipe from Mexico’s Bajío region. The new dessert addition is to die for – Crème Brûlée made with orange and dulce de leche.

The ever-flowing drink menu gets an enhancement with the La Patrona served with a salted rim glass and made with Aviation gin, grapefruit, ginger, lemon, basil and club soda. In addition, tequila enthusiasts will delight in the flight of four different Patr?n cocktails: #1 Patr?n Reposado, Grand Marnier, lime and agave; #2 Patr?n Silver, Siete Misterios Mezcal, lime and agave; #3 Patr?n Silver, Aperol, orange, passionfruit and lime; and #4 Patr?n Reposado, pineapple, blue curacao and lime.

LA Patrona

Speaking of tequila—and they do a lot at Lona—don’t miss Chef Peña’s monthly tequila pairing dinners (the next one is Wednesday, March 20), where you may be lucky enough to get a taste of the restaurant’s own private label from Maestro Dobel tequila. Aged in French oak casks, the special limited edition is selected for Lona Cocina & Tequileria by Dobel’s maestro Tequilero.

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