by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine
As a follow up to my review of Maison Martinique, I was invited back to The Caribbean Court Boutique Hotel to experience their piano bar, Havana Nights, and their new piano player Brian Blatz. Located on the second floor of the hotel is a cozy, yet romantic space to have a drink, enjoy an appetizer, or an entire meal. The bar has its own specific menu, but also offers the full menu from the restaurant downstairs as well. Chef Chet Perotti and Chef Patrick Hughes were still fairly new to the kitchen during my first visit. I gave them 4 forks on food last time so I was excited to see what they would bring to the table this time to possibly earn that 5th fork.
There is a separate entrance up a flight of stairs outside to get to the bar, or you can enter the restaurant and take the back stairway up to it. There are tables, booths, and leather covered chairs at the bar for seating. Along with some colorful Cuban artwork, the chair inserts and pillows in the booths give the place a nice splash of color and make it feel somewhat tropical. One of the reasons why I was asked to come back was to see their new piano player, Brian Blatz. From classic standards to Elton John, Billy Joel and the Beatles, I think Brian could play just about anything and he sings too! Check out the link below to view the video I took of Brian while I was there. Or better yet, head on over beachside on Monday, Friday or Saturday night and enjoy Brian live!
Lets dive right in and see what this piano bar has to offer!
The Big O (Oprah’s Favorite) – ($7.00*) – We asked our waiter what some of the more popular drinks are on the menu, and this one was suggested to us. It’s made with champagne, equal parts of Cointreau, and pomegranate liqueur. It was a little bubbly from the champagne, had a nice bright citrus flavor and was very refreshing. It was garnished with an orange ring that had the fruit removed from the middle. *This price reflects the Martini Monday special.
Chocolate Martini – ($7.00*) – This martini was also suggested to us as a popular choice amongst other guests. It’s made with vanilla vodka, Godiva dark chocolate, Godiva white chocolate, and chocolate rum. It was very smooth and had a very rich dark chocolate flavor. The alcohol flavor was very minimal, so be careful with these, they go down easy. *This price reflects the Martini Monday special.
Lychee Martini – ($7.00*) – As we were having our drinks this evening, we were chatting on Facebook with our friends about our experience at Havana Nights. We received several suggestions to try this martini, so we asked our waiter to bring us one. It’s made with Belvedere vodka, Lychee liqueur, shaken and served chilled. I tend to like my drinks a little sweeter and this one was not as sweet as the last two we tried. It had a nice lychee flavor, but was a bit to bitter for my personal taste. *This price reflects the Martini Monday special.
Pan Seared Caribbean Crab Cakes – ($16.00) – Crab cakes are always a good choice and these were exceptional. They are made with jumbo lump crab meat that is blended with fresh herbs, multi-colored peppers, and a hint of Caribbean spice. They were perfectly seasoned and the sear added a satisfying crunch. The sauce on the plate was made with roasted garlic, lime juice, and a little bit of jalapeño. Sliced lemon, tomato and lettuce completed the garnish.
Seafood al Forno – ($36.00) – I love seafood and this dish has all of my favorites in it. This dish consists of diced jumbo shrimp, scallops, lobster meat, and is topped with their shrimp and crab stuffing. It is then baked to a golden brown in a scallop shell and served over lettuce. The seafood was perfectly cooked and the shrimp and crab stuffing mix had the perfect blend of herbs, spices, and parmesan cheese. It was garnished with chopped parsley and two lemon wedges. A truly fantastic seafood dish!
Grilled Filet Mignon 6 oz – ($28.00) – My wife joined me for this review and filet is one of her favorites, so we were happy to see the chef bring this dish out to us. The dish consists of a 6 oz (also available in 8 oz) filet that has been fire grilled to a perfect medium and seasoned to perfection. Its topped with a small lobster tail, and a gorgonzola reduction sauce over the top. Sides were mashed potatoes and broccoli with sliced carrots. The filet was one of the most tender I have ever eaten, and the gorgonzola sauce was the perfect match for the steak. It was creamy and had a wonderfully bold cheese flavor. We were fighting over the last few bites of steak and the sauce, because it was that good!
We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Havana Nights. From the atmosphere, the music, the food and drink, they were all wonderful! I might go as far as to say one of, if not the best fine dining experiences I have had to date in Vero Beach. They have really made some great improvements in the kitchen in the short time since I was there last and without a doubt, they earned that 5th fork!
Atmosphere – 5 Forks
Service – 5 Forks
Food – 5 Forks
Ratings Scale Legend:
1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent
Rip Tide Menu – $27.00 – 3 Courses – All Night Long!
1605 Ocean Dr, Vero Beach, FL 32963
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