by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine and Vero Beach Foodie
I got a call from the restaurant manager a few weeks ago asking me to come back and check out their summer menu. If you read my previous review of The Wave, you know that I jumped at the opportunity to go back and try the new menu items. While the food at the previous review was amazing, they have really stepped up their game and I was quite impressed with the changes. Dare I say that one of the dishes served to us during this updated review will make my Top 10 Best Dishes list this year? Keep reading to see if you can figure out which one it might be.
The Wave Kitchen & Bar is located inside Costa d’ Este Beach Resort & Spa. Owned by seven-time Grammy Award-winning musical artist Gloria Estefan and her husband Emilio Estefan, the resort brings Miami chic, sophistication, and the Estefan’s personal taste and style throughout the resort. It’s centrally located on Ocean Drive in what is known as the “Hamptons of Miami”.
The resort is hard to miss as you drive past it on Ocean Drive due to the geometrical architecture of the covered entrance and the waterfall in front of it. The landscaping is always well maintained and very tropical. While their parking lot is mostly reserved for valet parking, there are a few spots that you can still self-park. As you enter through the front door, you walk directly into the lobby. The restaurant is just a few steps away to the right and through a stone arch with only their logo to identify what it is. The hostess stand is on your right and is made up of wood, metal, and glass. You will notice in the middle of the dining room there is a large table surrounded by black bead walls. This is their VIP table for special events and can host up to 14 guests. Gloria and family have been known to use this area for their family gatherings while staying at the resort. Once you walk past the VIP table the next thing that draws your attention will be the view of the pool deck, the Cabana bar, and of course the ocean view. Blue accent lighting is used throughout the resort and it’s quite stunning once the sun has set.
Now on to the food! Let’s jump right in and see what I had to eat!
Shrimp & Crab Ceviche – ($19.00) – One dish that The Wave is very well known for is their Ceviche, and this new twist was exceptional. Made with fresh shrimp and crab meat, it also contains corn, red onion, jalapeno, tomato, cilantro, and fresh citrus juices. Plantain chips are served alongside. All of the ingredients were beyond fresh and the citrus juices gave it a very bright and tangy flavor. One thing that stood out to me in this dish was how precisely the ingredients were diced. You could tell that a chef with years of experience took great care when crafting this dish.
Barbeque Shrimp – ($15.00) – Up next for us to taste is this New Orleans inspired dish. Eight shrimp sourced from the Gulf of Mexico to make sure it’s as authentic as possible, are grilled and then tossed in a sauce made from amber beer, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, and rosemary. A biscuit is served alongside. The shrimp were quite large and perfectly cooked. The sauce had a mild, yet flavorful kick to it, and was very good.
Seasonal Greens – ($13.00) – A summer menu is not complete without a salad option! With romaine lettuce as the base, it also includes snow peas, tomatoes, radish, and cucumber, and garnished with pea tendrils on top. All of the veggies were farm fresh, the lettuce was nice and crisp, and the tomatoes were the sweetest I’ve tasted yet this season. The salad was tossed with a Meyer lemon dressing and had a nice pop of flavor.
Pan Roasted Florida Grouper – ($35.00) – Grouper is my all-time favorite fish, so I was happy to see this brought out for us to try. The dish consists of a pan-roasted 7 oz. grouper filet served over a charred corn succotash with a lobster tomato sauce and garnished with crispy leeks on top. First off, the grouper was awesome! It was light, flaky, and fatty, just as this cut of fish should be. The dish had lots of colors, a mixture of flavors and textures, which really brought this dish to life. It was delicious!
Coffee Rubbed Hanger Steak – ($34.00) – We just happened to be at the restaurant on Wednesday night again which is also steak night, so we got to try this new cut of beef they are offering known as a Hanger Steak. The steak was rubbed with coffee and grilled to medium rare. It was served on a hot stone and was still sizzling when it arrived at our table. A potato, pearl onion, and mushroom hash was served alongside. This cut, while not as tender as a filet, yet not as tough as a sirloin, was of excellent quality and had a rich beefy flavor. The steak continued to cook on the hot stone which gave it a nice crust.
We were served two desserts options at the conclusion of our evening. First up was a classic Cuban dish, Churros. They are fried, then coated with cinnamon and sugar. Served alongside were a chocolate and caramel sauces. As an added bonus, a shot of Cuban rum was included for dipping the churros into. Last but not least was a classic Vanilla Bean flan. Both great ways to round out our wonderful evening.
Churros – ($13.00)
Vanilla Bean Flan – ($7.00)
The Wave has yet again proven to me that they are more than just a “Cuban” restaurant. They have a wide variety of dishes to please most anyone, yet staying true to the owner’s roots and mixing in a few classic Cuban dishes that pay tribute to the owner’s heritage. Costa and The Wave both continue to impress me. The atmosphere here is second to none, and the food quality and options keep getting better each time I visit. If you have not been here in a while, or even if it’s new to you, then might I suggest you come and check out their new summer menu items and rediscover everything that The Wave Kitchen & Bar has to offer.
Costa de’ Este is hosting our next Vero Beach Foodie MeetUp at the Cabana Bar on Wednesday, June 27th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. They will be providing a few sharable apps for free and a 15% discount off regular menu items. Our Meetups are a great way to meet other local foodies and discover new and exciting restaurants each month! Hope you can join us!
Have you tried The Wave Kitchen & Bar? 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or comments.
Address: 3244 Ocean Dr, Vero Beach, FL 32963
Hours: Open Daily from 7:00 am – 10:00 pm