Diners rave about experiences at Flavor on the Space Coast restaurants
Some members of 321 Flavor: Where Brevard Eats are brief and concise about their experiences at the local restaurants participating in FLORIDA TODAY’s Flavor! on the Space Coast dining festival, extended through Nov. 16. Others, however, choose to wax rhapsodic, making the effort to describe their experiences carefully.
Through Nov. 16, 17 of the area’s best restaurants are offering special three-course menus for $40. The dining event is sponsored by the Space Coast Office of Tourism and Baer’s Furniture.
Among the former was Holly Jewell, who wrote Oct. 23, “We enjoyed the Flavor on the Space Coast three-course meal at Crush XI (923 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne)” and photographed it to add emphasis.
The same night, chef Dov Goldenberg wrote, “Incredible evening at TrendKitchen (1924 State Road A1A, Indian Harbor Beach); from staff to chef to food, just wonderful. I absolutely recommend it.”
Laura Fenicchia Whitmer was a little more expansive about the The Fat Snook (2464 S. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach) Oct 27: “The food was excellent! The Brussels sprouts were smoky from the pork and crunchy from the almonds. The scallops were perfectly cooked on a bed of equally perfectly cooked risotto, which is not always easy to do. The beets and butternut squash were a great pop in that dish. The dessert was rich and silky. The perfect finish. I would recommend this combination in the Flavor menu.”
On Oct. 27, Debbie Hernandez took the time to write, “Last night we dined at The Dove (836 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne). It was our third restaurant on the Flavor menu and it did not disappoint.
“We were seated promptly and served their usual delicious bread and some cheesy bread as well. Hubby started with the pasta fagioli which he pronounced delicious. He then had the clams oreganato, which he thought were very good. … I had the escargot which were served with crostini on top. They were delicious.
“For the main course he had the beef medallions with asparagus and rice. The beef was cooked perfectly and mouthwatering. It was also a huge portion, and he took half home. I had the shrimp scampi, which was amazing. The sauce, rather than being buttery, was lightly creamy and not overpowered with garlic. The shrimp, which I can be very picky about — way too easy to overcook — were lightly breaded and cooked to perfection.
“He had the tiramisu and I had the cheesecake, both delicious. We took half of everything home. This was probably our favorite meal on the Flavor menu so far.”
Finally, there was one of the group’s most acclaimed wordsmiths and photographers, Jim Neil, who wrote about the Melting Pot (2230 Town Center Ave, The Avenue Viera) Oct. 26:
“I zip up Wickham Road to The Avenue in Viera for stop number 16 on my $40 Flavor menu tour. I’m seated in a private booth at a 3-feet-by-3-feet table surfaced with nine brown granite tiles. My area is enclosed on three sides with 4-feet dark wood paneled walls with banquette￼ seating for two (three if they are very friendly). There is a large window across a narrow hall that looks out onto the busy parking lot. A single pendant lamp hangs over the fondue pot sitting atop a built-in single burner cooktop.
“My server, Lauren, brings me a sparkling water, takes my order, starts the burner and cautions me that it’s going to be hot. Pleasant dinner conversation can be heard from an adjoining compartment. Music is playing but it’s too low to be heard.
“I’ve not had fondue since the 1970s and never at a restaurant. Lauren returns bearing the components for the Wisconsin Trio appetizer (sherry, three kinds of cheese, shallots, and scallions). I watch as she expertly mixes the ingredients in the piping hot cooking pot. In another serving dish are apple, broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and three kinds of bread, all cut up into bite-sized pieces. She stirs the pot and soon announces that it’s ready and leaves me to do my part — eat it! I struggle a bit at first but soon get the hang of it. It’s simply delicious!
“She brings my California Salad and collects the dishes and cooking pot. My salad is crisp and fresh, dressed in a tasty raspberry walnut vinaigrette. While I’m enjoying the salad, she places another cooking pot on the burner filled with vegetable broth and informs me that it’s for cooking the meat; when I’d had meat fondue in the ’70s, we used cooking oil.
“Her timing is on point, as no sooner am I finished with my salad, the Steak Lovers fixings arrive (with) three kinds of steak: teriyaki, marinated (and) plain. She places some vegetables in the pot, gives me a quick verbal cooking lesson, cautions me on raw food handling and describes the six dipping sauces. For the first couple of pieces I use my phone’s timer to measure cooking time, but soon abandon it when I realize with three forks working in concert, the timer is extraneous.
“Once finished, a busboy clears my table and a few moments later, Lauren is there with the Bananas Foster. She flambés it in the pot. Another yummy treat, albeit messy. To be honest, I had a negative attitude about tonight’s location because it was a chain but left pleasantly surprised and totally satiated.”
And then there was Susan Davison Richards, who on Oct. 25 wrote, “Flavor menu dining at the Pompano Grill (110 N. Brevard Ave., Cocoa Beach) It was delicious! I don’t write classy reviews like Jim.”
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