by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie
For my next Tasting Experience, I head back to downtown Vero Beach and to Blue Star! Even if you are familiar with 14th Avenue in Vero, how many of you know that Blue Star exists and where it’s located? Just like everyone else, I have passed by it only a handful of times because it’s at the far end of the 14th Ave, a little bit past Pocahontas Park. With a very unassuming looking blue building, I would never have guessed that this was a fine dining establishment. Is this place worth adding to your fine dining restaurant rotation? Keep reading to find out!
Parking was quite easy since this is one of the few restaurants on 14th Ave that has its own parking lot. Upon entry, you step right into what I would describe as a very intimate, romantic, dimly lit dining room. There is a full-service bar with 6 stools, or if you prefer, a mixture of tables and booths throughout the dining room. They also have a couch and a few chairs if you prefer a more informal seating arrangement to just have a glass of wine or just hang out and wait for your table to be ready. There is a grand piano in the corner and they do have live performers most evenings. Chef Kitty Wagner runs the kitchen and began her career as a Pastry Chef. She has traveled extensively to further her career, working at many different restaurants to gain valuable experience. She has owned a few other restaurants around Vero and has won many Readers Choice awards. Most notably, the Indian River Chamber of Commerce Industry Award for Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013. She also has participated in Dancing with Vero’s Stars in 2014.
Now let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat!
Gazpacho – ($8.00) – A chilled soup is a wonderful way to start your meal on a warm summer evening! It’s made with tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, onions, tomato juice, and cubanelle peppers. The gazpacho was slightly chilled and very refreshing. While tomato was the predominant flavor, you could still taste all the other ingredients used to make it.
Blue Star Chopped Salad – ($14.00) – Wow, what a beautiful presentation! This salad contains iceberg lettuce, red and yellow tomatoes, broccoli and topped with crumbled bacon. The dressing is made with avocado and their house made Stilton blue cheese dressing. Everything was beyond fresh. The dressing was smooth and creamy. You could most certainly taste the Stilton blue cheese in the dressing.
Coconut Curried Fresh Catch – ($36.00) – Fresh fish is one of the many reasons why I moved to Florida and this one confirms my decision! Yellow Tail was the fresh fish of the day and was so moist, I had to check and make sure it was fish. Never have I ever eaten fish that was this moist. Middle Neck clams were served alongside with steamed Asian vegetables over jasmine rice. The curry broth was both sweet and savory with a touch of heat on the back end.
Gio Cato – ($9.00) – This Pinot Grigio is made from grapes hand-selected from some of the best sites along the Italian border in Slovenia. It is bright and crisp, with aromas of delicious green apple, acacia flower, and almonds. A perfect summer wine and pairs nicely with just about everything. We enjoyed the house suggestion with all of the dishes in this review.
Chinese 5 Spiced Duck Breast – ($34.00) – Duck is one of my favorite proteins, so I was happy to see this dish brought out for us to try. The duck breast was seasoned with Chinese 5 spice seasoning and seared to a perfect medium internal temperature. The fat was perfectly rendered and the duck was nice and tender. The blueberry coulis sauce paired nicely with the duck. The corn pudding served alongside was quite interesting. It had whole corn kernels in it and had a similar texture to a Crème Brulee.
Low Country Shrimp & Grits – ($32.00) – I’ve tasted several renditions of this around Vero, and I must say I think this is the best one I’ve had yet. Two perfectly cooked and seasoned jumbo shrimps are placed over aged cheddar grits, then topped with sautéed bell peppers, onions, bacon, and dressed in a lemon and Sriracha glaze. The grits were very creamy and had a bold cheddar flavor. The peppers, onions, and bacon had a sweet, salty, and spicy flavor that we could just not get enough of.
Roasted Pineapple Brown Butter Tart – ($8.00) – I love pineapple, so my dessert choice was obvious! Pineapple is roasted, then layered in the middle of this brown butter tart. Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and a raspberry was served alongside. The crust was light and flaky and flavor-wise, it reminded me of a pineapple upside down cake. It was delicious!
This place took me by surprise. I did not know what to expect when I walked in the door since I’ve not seen any reviews about it and no one from our Vero Beach Foodie group has posted or talked about it before. All of the food is freshly prepared from scratch and artistically plated, so it not only tastes great, but it also looks fantastic too. If you are in the mood for something different, then head down to the Blue Star and give these guys a try, I know you won’t be disappointed!
Have you tried Blue Star? What has your experience been with them? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at email@example.com with your questions or comments.
Address: 2227 14th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960
Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday, 5:00 pm till 12:00 am, Closed on Sundays