Tag Archives: Curry

Blue Star – Restaurant Review

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

Beachiest Kids Photo Contest

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!

In Conclusion:

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 thefoodguy@verovine.com with your questions or comments.

Blue Star Website  |  Blue Star Facebook Page

Address2227 14th Ave, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 492-9057

Hours of Operation:  Monday – Saturday, 5:00 pm till 12:00 am, Closed on Sundays

Siam Orchid – Restaurant Review

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

Beachiest Kids Photo Contest

For my next tasting experience, I head to Miracle Mile and to Siam Orchid Thai & Sushi restaurant!  I’ve been writing for VeroVine.com now for 2 and a half years and believe it or not, this is the first Asian restaurant that I’ve reviewed.  Moving from the Midwest a little over 4 years ago, this type of cuisine was not as prevalent up there as it seems to be in the south.  I’ve had the opportunity to dine at a few locations across Vero and my love and knowledge of the cuisine has most certainly grown. 

While this place shares the same name and signage as a place in Orlando, they are independent of each other and I’m happy to report this place is locally owned.  The current owner, Beam Tk and his family operate this place and took over ownership back in November of 2016. They are located in the middle of one of the most confusing intersections in Vero.  As you drive down US Hwy 1 and take the right exit to go to Miracle Mile, they are in a small strip mall at the corner of 21st and 8th Ave.  Parking was not an issue for us although their lot is fairly small and at peak times for all businesses, it could fill up fast.  Upon entry into the restaurant, there is a sushi bar that you can sit at and watch the chef (Beam) at work, and the hostess stand is on the right as is the dining room.  The space is comfortable and minimally decorated with a mix of booths and tables.

 

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

Crab Angels – ($6.95) –  First time I’ve heard them called “Crab Angels”, I’m more familiar with the term Rangoons.  A wonton wrapper is filled with a seasoned cream cheese and crab mixture pinched together and fried until golden brown.  A sweet chili sauce was served alongside.  My dad and I always order these and these are some of the best I’ve had around town.  The way they are folded into “angels” allows for a lot more filling inside.  I should also mention that real crab meat was used, not the imitation crab meat like most places use.  They were fantastic!

House Sampler – ($15.95) –  I love sampler platters because it allows me to try a few different items that I may not have ordered on their own to see if I like them.  This one consists of Shrimp in a Blanket, Thai Crispy Rolls, Chicken Satay, Fried Dumplings, and Edamame.  Four different dipping sauces were served alongside.  Everything was perfectly cooked/fried and was quite tasty.  The dipping sauces added additional flavors to some already great items.  The only thing we didn’t like was the Edamame, but that is just a personal preference.

Super Crunch Roll (Tempura) – ($10.95) – This was an interesting twist on a sushi roll that I’ve not tried before.  The roll is made with Eel, Salmon, krab, scallions, cream cheese, then lightly tempura battered and flash fried.  It was served over Eel sauce.  The roll tasted like any other roll of this type only it had an interesting texture and crunch when you took a bite of it.  The tempura was lightly fried, not greasy at all, and added that richness you come to expect from this type of batter, which only added another layer of flavor to the roll.

Salmon Samba Sushi Burrito – ($12.95) – I have to admit, when I first saw this posted on their Facebook page, it did not seem appetizing to me, but after trying it, I can’t stop thinking about how good it actually was.  Inside the roll, you will find Tempura Salmon, Tempura Asparagus, Masago, Cucumber, Lettuce and Eel sauce.  Think of this as an oversized sushi roll that has not been sliced.  My biggest concern for this was would I be able to easily bite through the seaweed wrapper on the outside and it was easier than I thought it would be.  The flavor and texture were really good and I would definitely order this again on my next visit.

Shabu Shabu Hot Pot While this is not my first experience with Chinese Hot Pot, it has been many years since I’ve had it, so I was looking forward to trying it again.  Items are served a la carte and you choose what you want.  You are charged a per person broth price then you can add meatballs, dumplings, vegetables, meat of your choice including seafood options, with add-ons of noodles or tofu.  First off, the broth was amazing!  It’s made fresh in-house by Beam’s mother who works in the kitchen.  All of the ingredients that were provided were fresh and delicious!  If you have never tried this before, I highly recommend it.  It’s a new way to experience food and its fun for everyone at the table.

Yellow Curry – ($11.95) – I think most people have a misconception that Curry tends to be “spicy”, but it most cases it’s just “spiced” which gives it tons of flavor with only a little bit of heat which was the case with this one.  Made with yellow curry paste, it also has chicken, pineapple, potato, red and green bell peppers, and cashews.  The broth was smooth and creamy and had a bold, yet not too spicy flavor.  White rice was served alongside.

Mango with Sticky Rice – ($5.95) – To round out our meal, we were served a raspberry flavored sticky rice with sliced mango on the side.  The sticky rice had just the amount of sweetness and while the raspberry flavor was somewhat subtle, it was just the right amount.  The sliced mango was very fresh and had a wonderful citrus flavor.  As you can imagine what all we had to eat that we were fairly full at this point, but somehow the dessert seemed to disappear before the evening was over.

In Conclusion:

Most of the time my wife and I do these reviews alone, but this time we took 2 additional people with us and boy are we glad we did!  The amount of food served to us was staggering and we were very full by the end of the evening because it was all so good!  Now that we know this place is not a chain restaurant and run by a local family, we will now add it into our Asian restaurant rotation when we choose to dine out for this type of cuisine.  We had a wonderful experience and meal, so I suggest you stop by and check these guys out, I know you won’t be disappointed!

Siam Orchid Website  |  Siam Orchid Facebook Page

Address762 21st St, Vero Beach, FL 32960

Phone(772) 569-2829

Hours of Operation: 

Monday – Friday, 11:30am – 2:30pm and 4:30pm – 10:00pm,

Saturday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm and 4:30pm – 10:00pm

Sunday, 12:00pm – 3:00pm and 4:30pm – 9:00pm