Tag Archives: Ahi

Riverside Cafe – Restaurant Review

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

For my next tasting experience, I head to the island and to the historic Riverside Café!  This is just one of those places that define what Florida living is all about.  It’s located on the water, you can drive up in your boat, dock and get a bite to eat, and enjoy those spectacular sunsets!  Owners David and Ellen Lane took ownership of Riverside back in 2008.  David had been working at Riverside for over 24 years and his wife Ellen, 13 years as bartenders before taking ownership. They have a long history here and know this place and their customers very well.  Chef Brandon Howard is the creative genius in the kitchen and he seems to come up with some fun & creative dishes that keep the customers coming back for more.

Considering their location, I would consider this place truly a “hidden” gem, a local’s place if you will.  If you have not lived here long or are a tourist, I’m sure you passed by this place hundred times and did not know it was there.  Those of you that are more adept with technology I’m sure have found them and know what a treasure this place is to Vero.  Parking should not be too much of an issue with their main parking lot having quite a few spaces available, of which only a few are reserved for the Bait & Tackle shop located directly in front of the restaurant.  If the main lot is full, there is overflow just outside the lot with additional parking under the bridge.  As you enter the restaurant, you are instantly transported to old Florida with a cool laid-back vibe.  An interior dining room has several low top tables available if you prefer a quieter dining experience.  The main dining room has all high-top tables to help you better enjoy the 180-degree views of the water and plenty of seats available at the bar.  A stage is also in this room for live performances by local artists.  If you are lucky enough, Jake Owen may stop in for an impromptu performance from time to time.  If you would like to dine outside, they have a limited number of seats out on the dock so you may be in for a short wait if you prefer that option during peak hours.

 

Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat and drink!

Pina Colada – ($8.00) –  Pina Colada is my go-to drink because I love coconut, so we decided to try one.  Served frozen in a tall glass, finished with whipped cream and a cherry.  It was light and refreshing with just the right amount of coconut flavor.  For me, it only gets better as it melts and becomes creamier.

Ahi Tuna Nachos – ($16.99) – I’ve been told that this dish is not to be missed so I was glad to see it when they brought it out for us to try.  A bed of seaweed is laid on the plate, house-made wontons are fried and overlapped with each other.  A generous portion of Yellowfin tuna tartar is laid on top, then its garnished with a sweet soy glaze and a cucumber & wasabi cream sauce.  Does it taste as good as it looks?  YES!!!  The tuna was very fresh, the wontons provided a satisfying crunch, and the sauces added tons of additional flavor with little to no heat.  It was awesome!

Drunken Sautéed Mussels – ($13.99) – I’ve seen, tried, and been served mussels at quite a few places during my reviews, and I think this might just be one of, if not the best I’ve tried yet.  Fresh mussels are steamed in white wine and served with a lemon, thyme, roasted garlic, and butter sauce.  The broth was the star of the dish as it was creamy and full of flavor.  The mussels were also larger than I’ve seen at other places and were very tender.  Three rolls on the side were provided so you can soak up all of that wonderful broth.

Grouper Ruben – ($MP) – Nothing says Florida like a classic Grouper Ruben!  Fresh grouper is fried and layered between rye bread with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing.  Potato salad and a pickle were served alongside.  The rye bread was perfectly toasted, the coleslaw gave it that satisfying crunch, and the grouper was light, flaky, and fatty.  It was delicious!

Filet Mignon Sandwich – ($14.99) – OMG that looks so good!  Made with thinly sliced grass-fed filet mignon and layered with mozzarella cheese, sautéed onions, a roasted red pepper remoulade, and served on a brioche bun.  The filet was cooked to medium rare and was very tender, the sautéed onions were nice and sweet, and the red pepper remoulade paired perfectly with the filet.  The French fries are also worth a mention here because they were larger than normal and had a satisfying crunch on the outside, yet were soft and fluffy inside like mashed potatoes.  It was amazing!

Mahi Caprese – ($25.99) – They say we eat with our eyes first and I think I devoured this one without even taking a bite!  The grilled Mahi is topped with sliced locally grown tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction sauce.  Rice and steamed veggies were served alongside.  The Mahi filet was huge, it goes all the way up and is leaning on the rice.  It was perfectly grilled and still very moist and flaky.  I don’t usually talk about the sides too much but the steamed veggies with a creamy butter sauce were outstanding. 

Crème Brulee of the Day – ($6.99) – The day we visited just happened to be Grand Marnier flavored Crème Brulee day and I’m happy that it was.  This was the most flavorful and creamy version I’ve ever had.  The wife and I were fighting over the last few bites, it was that good.

In Conclusion:

I can’t believe it’s been nearly 4 years since I first visited Riverside Café.  I’m kicking myself now for waiting so long to come back and rediscover it.  I do enough of these reviews that I don’t always appreciate the food as much as I should when I’m at the restaurant, but when I’m writing the review and looking back at the photos, I then realize how good it really was.  The food, the atmosphere, and the possibility that Jake Owen could stop by for an impromptu concert is reason enough to stop by and check these guys out, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Riverside Cafe Website  |  Riverside Cafe Menu  |  Riverside Cafe Facebook Page

Address3341 Bridge Plaza Dr, Vero Beach, FL 32963

Phone(772) 234-5550

Hours:  11:00am – 10:00pm, 7 days a week

The Green Marlin – Restaurant Review

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

My next Tasting Experience review takes me to The Green Marlin!  One of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings in 2017, at least for me, was The Green Marlin.  Owner, Louis Kolbauer also owns Chive, whose slogan is “Quick Creative Cuisine”, so I could not wait to see what he has in store for an actual sit-down restaurant. 

Located in the old Outback Steakhouse building just off US Hwy 1, only the outside seems to be reminiscent of the old restaurant with the white siding and the trademark green roof.  While I never visited the old Outback, the inside seems to have undergone a transformation to make it a totally new space.  The large bar is a beautiful centerpiece upon entry with green accent lighting. The bar itself offers plenty of seating along with several high top tables.  The dining room is composed of lightly stained wood booths and tables that are comfortable and spacious. The abundance of fish décor throughout the restaurant lets you know the direction he is going with the menu.  While the parking lot seems quite small, their location at the front of the shopping mall does allow for ample overflow. 

So, does this new restaurant live up to the hype? 

Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat and find out!

Ahi Tuna Bomb – ($8.95) – This appetizer was suggested to us since its one of their best sellers.  The Ahi Tuna is marinated in soy sauce and tahini, then wrapped with basil, then rolled in an egg roll wrapper and deep fried.  It’s garnished with a Sriracha & Wasabi Aioli and topped with sesame seeds.  The tuna was served rare in the middle which helps keep it moist and tender.  The egg roll wrapper had a nice crunch to it which added a nice texture.  The two sauces were a nice touch, adding additional flavor without bringing much heat to the dish. 

Raw Oysters Sampler Platter – ($21.95) –  If you know me personally, then you know that I’m not a fan of raw oysters.  In the interest of the article, and since they are known for many raw items on the menu, I decided to give them a try.  Our sampler platter had four varieties on it.  They were Dirty, Sushi Style, Ceviche, and Asian.  The oysters were very fresh and the toppings added bold flavors and different textures, making them palatable for someone like me that is normally not a fan.  If you are a fan, then I think you would be impressed with their selections.

Guinness Beef Tenderloin Stew – ($14.95) – With all of the cooler weather we have had lately, this sounded like a good option to try and it definitely hit the spot.  Grass-fed beef tenderloin is slow cooked with carrots, celery, and Guinness stout.  A generous dollop of mashed potatoes was served on top.  First of all, the bowl it’s served in is huge!  I think a basketball would fit comfortably in it.  The stew was thick, rich and beefy.  If you’re not a fan of beer, don’t worry, the flavor is subtle enough you can’t really taste it, but it does add a certain richness to the broth.  The potatoes had a few lumps in them so you know they were real.

Chicago Burger – ($10.95) – Now that’s one colorful burger!  An 8 oz. patty of fresh never frozen steak burger is accentuated with banana peppers, diced red peppers, sliced tomatoes, red onions, and leaf lettuce on a grilled bun.  The burger patty was cooked to a perfect medium and was very juicy.  I like the addition of the banana peppers, it gave it some crunch and a pop of flavor.  It was delicious!

Mahi & Scallop Cake Dinner – ($18.95) – Two of my favorite kinds of seafood in one dish, YES, please!  Butter poached Mahi and Scallops are combined with light panko, bell peppers, scallions, and onions, then pan fried until golden brown.  Each cake was about 4 inches in diameter and had the texture of what you would expect from a crab cake.  The outside had a slight crunch and the inside was soft and tender.   Rice and beans were served alongside.

Chocolate Cake – I was a little disappointed to find out they were out of their Grapefruit Pie, which is very much just like a key lime pie, only they use grapefruit juice instead of key lime.  We decided to go for the chocolate cake to finish out our meal and it was an excellent choice.  It was light, fluffy, and not too rich, a wonderful way to round out the evening. 

In Conclusion:

So, did The Green Marlin live up to the hype?  It absolutely did!  There is something here to please just about any palate.  Unique and creative dishes that I’ve not seen on other menus will keep diners coming back.  It’s also nice to see another place with a salad bar too.  I can’t wait to head back with my family and have another meal, so I recommend you check them out, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Have you tried The Green Marlin?  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.

Curious as to what it takes to bring you one of my reviews?  Check out the video below of a time-lapse video I took while doing this review!  2 hours compressed down to just under 3 minutes!  Enjoy!

The Green Marlin  |  Website  |  Menu  |  Facebook

Address1475 US Hwy 1, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 999-5248