In the heart of South Florida, a culinary revolution is underway as the esteemed Washington DC chef/restaurateur Ryan Ratino, brings his award-winning menus to this vibrant region for the very first time.
With an unparalleled passion for creating culinary masterpieces, Chef Ryan Ratino has captured the hearts and palates of diners in the nation’s capital, and now he is ready to conquer South Florida. His highly anticipated new restaurant, MAASS, opened its doors late last month at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, instantly becoming a beacon of culinary excellence in the sun-soaked paradise.
Ratino and the award-winning team behind Washington, DC’s Hive Hospitality’s two Michelin-starred JONT and one Michelin-starred Bresca, have come to South Florida fueled by a desire to introduce their unique flair and innovative techniques to a new audience. Having spent years honing his craft in the bustling kitchens of Washington DC, he felt compelled to share his culinary artistry with a community known for its discerning taste and appreciation for fine dining.
“Fort Hospitality is elated to collaborate with talented Chef Ratino and his team, offering an extraordinary and memorable experience that delights the palate and the senses,” said Keith Space, President of Fort Hospitality. MAASS is Hive Hospitality’s first concept outside of Washington, DC and marks a new chapter for the restaurant group and the return of Chef Ryan Ratino to Florida, where he attended Le Cordon Bleu.
MAASS is more than just a restaurant; it is a testament to Chef Ratino’s unwavering commitment to culinary excellence. The moment guests step into the sleek and sophisticated establishment, they are transported to a world of gastronomic delights. The ambiance is one of understated elegance, with warm lighting and a contemporary design that perfectly complements the culinary journey that awaits.
The restaurateur and team aim to craft memorable experiences for their guests. “We want to bring our guests this European dining experience, with a presentation akin to a choreographed dance, with cart and tray service to finish dishes tableside, whether it’s adding a sauce, shaving truffles, or deboning fish. We are not just delivering food to the table; we are taking a bit more time to share details about the dish and put the finishing touches right in front of our guests’ eyes.”
Despite MAASS being a fine dining establishment, Ryan Ratino emphasizes the restaurant’s approachability. “We may be cooking at a high level, but we also want our diners to feel good enough to laugh, bring their friends, and have a good time, so it’s not that buttoned up. We also don’t want this to be a special occasion type of place — we want people to be able to come back often and discover what we have to offer.”
The dining room was designed by London-based Tara Bernerd & Partners, the vision for MAASS was conceived to create a seamless flow from indoor to outdoor, capitalizing on the stunning oceanfront views from both the dining room and a lush, intimate outdoor garden. The restaurant’s thoughtful design elements intermingle Florida’s tropical modernism with its yachting heritage.
Ratino and his team worked closely with noted consultant Russ Stilwell to design the kitchen. “We have two high powered spectacular Molteni suites to support our exciting menus,” Ratino explained. The contemporary wood-fire concept is inspired by the techniques of Europe and Japan and features a seasonal menu that showcases ingredients sourced from the finest markets across these two regions. In addition to an expansive wine program, MAASS’ artful, innovative cocktail menu is inspired by the “Venice of America” spirit of Fort Lauderdale and pays homage to some of the most infamous boats and yachts in pop culture.
That firepower in the kitchen is set to support Ratino and Executive chef Jordan Kaiser led culinary teams as they aim to create an immersive guest experience that channels the dining culture of Europe’s most exciting gastronomic cities. “We have a great respect for South Florida’s hospitality culture and are honored to join the community amongst the many talented chefs we have come to call friends over the past few years,” Ratino concluded. “With MAASS, we hope to bring something inspired and well curated to the market to showcase the collaborative efforts of these three very detail-oriented individuals.”
The opening of MAASS in Fort Lauderdale, at the luxurious Four Seasons hotel, signifies the start of an exhilarating and bustling year for Hive. This milestone event is just the beginning of an exciting journey that will see Hive expand its horizons and set its sights on opening a groundbreaking new concept in a prestigious Marriott property in southern California later this year.