With Mexican Sugar, Whiskey Cake, Sixty Vines and other lauded eateries under its belt, Front Burner Restaurant group recently added to its culinary collection with a new establishment in The Shops at Legacy. With a kitchen led by Chef Colleen O’Hare, The Keeper is doing upscale casual seafood in a class with its sister restaurants.
Nestled across the street from Mexican Sugar, large double doors with mermaid handles open to a waiting area with white tile, blue plush seating and a grand view of the entire establishment. Brass piping hides the wiring to an expansive amount of lighting. From a polished tube “chandelier” to the port lights along one of the back walls, the pipes snake their course around the restaurant like tentacles, set against nautical blues and whites to give a luxury, oceanic feel.
Chef O’Hare calls it “inspiration from the Pacific Rim with Americana.” If we had to give The Keeper a title for its style, it would be Art Deco-meets-Moby Dick.
The bar is one of the two focal points of the space, which previously housed Artin’s Grill before a complete renovation. Lined with tile and new brass, lit with soft bulkhead-style housing and stocked with enough rum to make any pirate’s head spin, the bar fits the theme perfectly with both its décor and tropical cocktail selection.
The open kitchen, visible from the main seating area, is the second focus. Glass windows show the process as each chef prepares dishes. There is even a separate window to the fish processing room, showing the cuts that will ultimately wind up on a plate. It’s a great way to focus on the quality of the fish as well. With an eye for sustainability, seasonality and trustworthy purveyors, Chef O’Hare proudly states, “This is really different, these are things we can’t get anywhere else.”
Guests don’t receive paper menus at The Keeper; instead an electronic tablet guides their dining selection. While slightly gimmicky, it does work well, with individuals not having to share a drink or dessert menu, plus it plays heavily into the kitchen’s whims. Because of the hyper-focus on fresh seafood, the menu is subject to change not only day by day, but “hour by hour,” states Chef O’Hare, depending on the purveyor’s catch.
The food reflects the quality for which Front Burner restaurants have come to be known. Fresh seafood is served in a variety of ways, from classic to exotic, with a unique balance of contemporary and Asian-inspired plates. Complete with a raw selection and a “landlubbers” category, one needn’t worry about bringing a group of hardcore shellfish connoisseurs and modest meat eaters together. With a motif as fresh as its catch, The Keeper offers guests their favorite dishes alongside unique twists. And guests can dine with a comfort in knowing that what they’re eating is not only the best of the best, but sourced with sustainability in mind.The Keeper >