by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie
I’ll admit it, I’m a fine dining addict and The Tides has been on my shortlist of places to try for quite a while now. Having held the top spot on Trip Advisor as the #1 restaurant over the last few years, and as a Certificate of Excellence Winner 2015 – 2019, I was a little giddy to finally get a chance to review this place. I’ve tasted Executive Chef Leanne Kelleher’s food previously at the Taste of Vero and Vero’s Top Chef Challenge, so I knew I was in for a treat! Having been open for nearly two decades, they continually fill the restaurant night after night, even during the summer months. Reservations are highly recommended if you wish to get a table any time of the year.
The Tides is located on the island and one block west of Ocean Drive and is centrally located on Cardinal Drive. Since space is limited, they don’t have their own parking lot and you will need to park along Cardinal Drive. As you approach the restaurant, which appears to be an older converted house, you are greeted with lush landscaping and an outdoor patio for al fresco dining. As you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by slate-colored walls and white trim. Colorful artwork and greenery can be found throughout the dining room. White table cloths and beautifully set tables definitely set the mood for this fine dining experience.
Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to eat!
The first dish of the night for us to taste was this Peach & Burrata Salad! Fresh Georgia peaches were sliced and layered with Burrata cheese and garnished with fried Prosciutto and microgreens. The peaches were at their peak of freshness and paired perfectly with the delicate Burrata cheese. The saltiness of the Prosciutto added another element of flavor and texture to the dish.
The crab cakes are served Maryland style over a roasted corn sauce, a tomatillo salsa, chorizo cracklins, and garnished with microgreens and cilantro oil. The skill of the chef was quite evident in this dish because I’ve never seen such a perfectly shaped crab cake before in my life. The crab was very fresh and minimal filler was used to keep them together. One of my favorite dishes of the night!
The sweet tea brined center-cut pork chop was served over housemade pimento cheese grits and an apple bourbon sauce. The dish was garnished with a pickled mustard seed slaw. Every element on this plate was a winner. The pork chop was perfectly cooked and still very moist. The cheese grits were creamy and rich. The apple bourbon sauce was so good, we asked for an additional side of it and ended up fighting over the last few drops.
The Sterling Silver Angus filet is served with crispy smokehouse bacon and a caramelized onion confit with a peppercorn sauce. The filet is garnished with melted gorgonzola cheese and crispy shallot strings. All of these elements brought such a depth of flavor, we could not wait to take another bite. The filet was nearly fork-tender and the gorgonzola gave it a sharp and salty flavor that was just outstanding!
When it’s time for dessert, they have a platter they bring over to your table so you can see what the chef has made for the evening. There were so many good choices, we settled on the Oatmeal cake and the Berry Bread pudding. The oatmeal cake was dense but very moist. It reminded me a little of brown sugar oatmeal. The berry bread pudding was also an excellent choice. It had the typical bread pudding texture but had a bold berry flavor that we could not get enough of. Both desserts were fantastic!
The Tides has been a fine dining institution in Vero for nearly two decades and continues to pack the house every night. Chef Leanne Kelleher’s menu is fresh, creative and keeps diners coming back for more. Everything that we tasted on the night of the review was expertly prepared and very flavorful. If you have not had an opportunity to dine with them yet, then I highly suggest you make reservations soon, because I know you won’t be disappointed!
During the summer months, The Tides offers a Sunset menu that is available Sunday – Thursday between the hours of 4:30 pm till 5:30 pm. It’s a two-course menu with a special price. To see the special menu options, click here to visit their website for more information.
Address: 3103 Cardinal Dr, Vero Beach, FL 32963
Hours of Operation: Monday – Sunday, 5:00 pm till 10:00 pm
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