Category Archives: Food

Baci Trattoria – Restaurant Review 2017

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie

As one of my all-time favorite places for breakfast in Vero, I was really excited for the opportunity to review Baci again.  Last year my friend and guest blogger, Eden Collona wrote the review and I was a bit jealous because the food and experience we had was so amazing.  The items on the menu are truly unique and tend to have funky names and a story behind them.  Getting to meet the owner, Karen Scott Fulchini was another highlight of my first visit.  Her warm greeting makes you feel like you are family and dining in her own home.  If you have an opportunity to sit down and dine with Karen, I highly recommend you do.  Her stories alone are worth the time to have a meal with her.

Located in Downtown Vero just off 14th Avenue in a strip mall, Baci is in the corner between the new VB American Bar & Grill (review coming soon) and Carmine & Lucia’s (review).  Parking is somewhat limited depending on the time of day you arrive, but there is street parking if you cannot find any spots in the parking lot.  While the inside air-conditioned space is limited, they do have an outdoor patio that has lots of space.  Even in the heat of summer, its shaded and lots of fans to keep the air moving.  The inside is nicely decorated and Italian inspired.  The staff does not seem to change that often, so it’s nice getting to know them and seeing them again each time you visit.

 

Now on to the food!  Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat!

Insalata Antipasti – ($13.00) – As someone who follows a very low carb diet at home, it’s nice to see a restaurant offer this as an option for someone like me.  The antipasti platter includes shaved prosciutto, genoa salami, mortadella, fresh mozzarella, provolone, and fire roasted peppers.  Portion size was large and quite the bargain for the quality of meats and cheeses served.  Two of my favorites on the platter were the mortadella and the fresh mozzarella. They were both superb! The fire roasted peppers were soft, sweet, garlicky, and went perfectly with the taralli croutons served alongside.

Fried Polenta Fingers – ($8.00) – We got our first taste of these at the Bacon Festival and immediately fell in love with them.  While these don’t have bacon in them, they do have parmesan cheese and are wonderful!  They have a certain richness to them, and the more you eat, the better the flavor gets.  You get two sauce options, either the tomato basil gravy or the spicy Italian pesto dipping sauce.  We had the Italian pesto sauce and it was a perfect match with the polenta.

Shrimp Emanuela – ($13.00) – The polenta at Baci seems to be taking a starring role lately due to customer request.  I know because I’m one of the customers that have requested it several times in other dishes and not just in the Primavera Benedict.  This dish was the inspiration of Chef Amy and she insisted we try it even though we just had the polenta fingers.  It contains two of the same polenta cakes that they use in the benedict and are topped with garlic butter shrimp, served over a bed of fresh spinach, and garnished with shaved parmesan cheese.  Additional garlic butter sauce was served alongside.  Such simple ingredients, yet they work so well together.  It was so good!

Peasant Grits Pot – ($10.00) – If you are really hungry, then might I suggest you give this one a try?  The pot is filled about a 1/3 of the way with their wonderful creamy grits, then topped with sautéed spinach, bacon, pimento cheese, two eggs cooked to order, and chopped chives as a garnish.  I ordered my eggs sunny side up because I figured the runny yolk would further enhance this dish.  The grits were nice and creamy, the bacon was crispy, and the eggs were perfectly cooked sunny side up.  It was delicious!

Holy Cannoli Pancakes – ($10.00) – HOLY CANNOLI BATMAN!!!  This right here is why I say that Baci is different.  Where else can you find something like this on the menu in Vero?  It’s made with 2 pancakes, with the top one folded back and stuffed with cannoli filling.  It’s then topped with more filling, a strawberry then drizzled with some chocolate sauce, and dusted with powdered sugar.  The pancakes were light and fluffy and I was surprised that it was not as rich as I thought it would be with all the cannoli filling.  What does make it rich is the chocolate sauce, so they only put a little bit over the top for garnish and give you a side of it so you can add as much as you desire.

In Conclusion:

Why do I love Baci so much?  Because it’s different, and in this case, different is good.  While they do still have some classic Italian dishes on the menu, they also don’t follow the rules of what an Italian restaurant is expected to serve and have created some truly unique dishes.  While spaghetti may have had a hand in building this place, stuffing it into a gigantic meatball and covering it with Sunday gravy is what keeps people coming back time and time again.

Have you tried Baci Trattoria?  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 thefoodguy@verovine.com with your questions or comments.

Atmosphere – 5 Forks

Service – 5 Forks

Food – 5 Forks

Rating Scale Legend:

1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent

Website | Facebook Page

Address1918 14th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 794-4747

Open Daily from 7:00am – 3:00pm

Vero Vine Top Nine Lunch Spots in Sebastian

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Squid Lips Overwater Grill

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Mo-Bay Grill

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Tiki Bar and Grill

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Earl’s Hideaway

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Woody’s Barbecue

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Las Palmas Cuban

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Captian Hirams

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Taste of Asia

Taste of Asia takes great pride in what they do; they have created an authentic experience, bringing cuisine from their home country to the Treasure Coast. Family owned, Taste of Asia has the vision to create contemporary Asian cuisine with a healthy edge. With “The Healthier, the Better” as their motto, they blend together tastes and aromas and textures and colors to create a truly sensual experience, offering you the opportunity to savor the flavors of the East right here in Sebastian. More Details.

 

Cobb’s Landing – Restaurant Review

by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine

My next tasting experience takes me to down to Fort Pierce and this time to Cobb’s Landing.  I’ve passed by and parked near this place quite a few times when attending the Farmers Market and did not realize it was more than just a bar.  In fact, it’s a fine dining restaurant.  Executive Chef David Gould runs the kitchen and tries to use as many local and seasonal items as possible when creating his dishes.  They do change the menu 3 times per year following the seasonal change and I’m here to check out their summer menu and see what they have to offer.

They are located off North Indian River Drive and Avenue A near the roundabout next to Marina Square.  They do have limited street parking, but plenty of additional spaces are available across the street in Marina Square.  It’s also located next to the Fort Pierce Marina and just a short walk from the Original Tiki Bar & Restaurant.  As you walk in the front door the hostess stand is on your left and a large bar on your right.  The main dining room is open to the outside but they do have the zippered window coverings that can be closed if the weather takes a turn for the worse.  They also have a dining room with A/C if you would prefer to dine inside.

Now Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat and drink!

Pineapple Jalapeno Margarita – This is one of the newer drinks that is not on the menu yet, so they wanted us to try it.  They infuse tequila with pineapple, jalapenos (seeds removed), and then let that mixture sit for a few days to allow the flavors to bloom.  The margarita is then assembled with a few fresh slices of Jalapeno, muddled with the infused tequila, Cointreau, and poured over ice in a glass that has a cilantro sugared rim.  This cocktail is one that could get you in trouble because it does not have a heavy alcohol taste and goes down easy.  It was sweeter than it was sour, the jalapeno slices added more flavor than heat, and the cilantro sugared rim had an herby scent.  It was quite refreshing!

Lockhart Punch –  This is another new drink that is not on the menu yet, but should be shortly.  It is made by muddling several blackberries with simple syrup.  Then they add ice, vodka, Natalie’s Orange Juice, lemon juice, and a touch of Grenadine.  They shake the cocktail and finish it up with a blackberry and mint leaf garnish.  This one also went down easy, but it was a little bit too sour for my taste.  If that’s your thing, then you should give this one a try.

Chicken and Bacon Quesadilla – ($12.00) – Quesadillas are quite popular and on a lot of restaurant menus, but this one stands out from the rest.  It’s made with herb roasted chicken, bacon jam, goat cheese, and fire roasted peppers.  An avocado cilantro cream sauce was served alongside.  The flour tortilla was perfectly grilled and crispy, the bacon jam added a slightly sweet and smoky flavor, and the goat cheese was creamy and was not as tangy as I expected it to be.  It was very good.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Shrimp – ($20.00) – This is a perfect summer salad, light, fresh and filling with the shrimp addition.  Sliced heirloom tomatoes are tossed in herbs, olive oil & balsamic vinegar dressing and topped with feta cheese, capers, Kalamata olives & pistachio streusel.  The shrimp was an extra charge (included in the price above) and paired nicely with the salad.  The shrimp are wood grilled and seasoned very well.  They tasted like Hibachi shrimp you get at one of the restaurants where they cook in front of you.  The lettuce was crisp, the tomatoes were nice and sweet, and the streusel crumbles added a different texture than I’ve ever had on a salad before.  It crumbled like a pecan sandy cookie, yet was salty because of the olives it contained.

Artisan BLT – ($14.00) – This was an interesting twist on an old favorite.  It’s made with chive and parmesan crusted sourdough grilled bread with Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, micro cucumber greens, yellow and red vine ripened tomatoes.  The bread was thick like Texas toast and had the texture of French toast.  All ingredients were very fresh and the sandwich was quite tasty.

Wood Grilled Rack of Elk – ($28.00) – This dish was a special on the night we visited so the Chef wanted us to try it.  It’s a frenched rack of Elk served with a green peppercorn, Cognac, and demi cream sauce.  The elk rack was served over Irish cheddar & white truffle whipped potatoes.  Roasted carrots and mini zucchini were served alongside.  The elk was fork tender and cooked to a perfect medium.  The sauce was rich and quite flavorful.  The potatoes were not to be taken lightly either, they were just as much a star of this dish as the elk was.  They were rich, buttery, and had a subtle truffle flavor.  A truly fantastic dish!

Seasons Best Veggie Pasta with Grilled Swordfish – ($32.00) –  This one is quite the feast for the eyes with all the different colors.  It’s made with sautéed summer vegetables, wild mushrooms, and tossed in a lemon butter sauce with parmesan cheese.  Vegetables include zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, red onion, and watermelon radish. We had grilled swordfish added on top (included in the price above).  The pasta was cooked to al dente and the sauce was so creamy, it almost seemed like an alfredo.  The grilled swordfish was spectacular!  It was perfectly seasoned, wood grilled, and the sear marks on top were as perfect as I have ever seen before on grilled fish.  The texture was almost chicken like and was fork tender.  Hands down, my favorite dish of the night!

Summertime Ice Cream Sandwich – ($8.00) – Make sure you have a few people with you when you order this because it’s HUGE!  The cookies were at least 3 inches in diameter and the ice cream filling must have been 2 inches thick.  It’s served over chocolate and caramel drizzles and topped with whipped cream and berries.  The cookies had a large amount of chocolate in them, so when they were frozen with the ice cream, it makes it a little difficult to cut into it, so we allowed it to melt a little bit and it was easier to eat.  It was rich, creamy, and it hit the spot after all that we ate.  A perfect summer dessert to round out our meal.

In Conclusion:

This place caught me by surprise.  I was expecting your typical bar food since that was my first impression of the place when passing by on the street. While the atmosphere does not say fine dining, the food certainly did.  Chef David Gould took very good care of us and presented us with several dishes from the menu that gave us an overall view of their offerings.  All the food is freshly prepared to order and served artistically on the plate, so it not only tastes good, it also looks good too.  If you are in the mood for something different, then head on down to Fort Pierce and give these guys a try!

Have you tried Cobb’s Landing?  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 thefoodguy@verovine.com with your questions or comments.

Atmosphere – 4 Forks

Service – 5 Forks

Food – 5 Forks

Rating Scale Legend:

1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent

Cobb’s Landing Website | Menu | Facebook Page

Address200 N Indian River Dr, Fort Pierce, FL 34950

Phone(772) 460-9014

Open Daily from 11:00 am till 10:00 pm, Friday, and Saturday till 11:00 pm.  Happy Hour from 4:00 pm till 7:00 pm everyday