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markdefrates's Profile

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New Smyrna Beach Restaurants

Just an update on New Smyrna Beach restaurants. Romesco's suffered a catastrophic fire which knocked them out for a couple of months, depriving NSB of the best place to have lunch (or a good supper). The owners say they will reopen mid December. I hope so. We're down to only being able to eat at the Spanish River Grille where a very fine meal costs $100 with wine and tip. Everything we've tried, and we eat there about once a month, has been excellent. The Spanish River Grille will be closed sometime in January and maybe February as they are expanding next door. doubling their size. We did try the Ocean Club, which is some kind of offshoot of the Spanish River Grille but weren't happy. This is a shame since the place is really pretty, has live jazz. an eager and pleasant wait staff and friendly chef. Perhaps it was just teething pains. We'll try it again when we regain our nerve. I have heard good reports of the South Atlantic Grille, which looks like it may be a little more expensive than the Spanish River Grille. We'll try them soon and post a report. The menu looks good but surprisingly similar to all the other Grilles in town.

Dec 08, 2007
markdefrates in Florida

Finally a decent cup of coffee at home

I got the Aeropress 3 months ago and haven't drunk a coffee made any other way since. The coffee is just amazingly smooth, the set up, pour and clean up very easy. I've been using a variety of organic coffee beans, mostly dark roast (mostly $12 a pound) ground fine (but not extra fine) espresso. Short of a personal barista and an expensive Italian machine I don't think you can get a better cup of coffee.

Mark

Apr 13, 2007
markdefrates in Cookware

Where to buy a wok in LA?

I also bought my last wok (for my daughter...my own wok is 30 years old) from wokshop.com in SF. It was a fine round bottomed wok, and inexpensive. For anyone wanting to buy a wok I cannot emphasize enough that only a round bottom wok will really produce the results you want. I guess the flat bottomed ones were developed for stupid Westerners who couldn't imagine how anything with a round bottom could be used for cooking, but what do I know?
Mark

Apr 13, 2007
markdefrates in Los Angeles Area

New Smyrna Beach Restaurants

The Bluewater Grille, as suggested by others, is one of New Smyrna's fine restaurants, at least on the basis of one meal, at the level of the Spanish River Grille. I ate a beautifully cooked mini chateubriand steak with tasty prawns in a mildly spicy Louisiana sauce and Pam had really delicious seared Ahi. The wine list was very good. With wine and dessert wine and port, the most expensive dish on the menu and a "Small Plate" with tip came to less than $75.

I see no one has noted going to my favorite place downtown for lunch. So I'll plug it again. Romesco's on Canal has very high level Italian sandwches, great cheese and antipasti plates and an excellent wine selection. Romesco's also serves limited menu dinner, though I haven't had it. To call it a lunch sandwich place is kind of a misnomer. It is so much better than that that I don't really know if it has any competitors in Central Florida. It really is a restaurant. Sandwiches are $7 or so. Lunch for two with wine or beer and tips will be less than $30.

Mark

Apr 13, 2007
markdefrates in Florida

New Smyrna Beach Restaurants

Two amendments to the above post. Romesco's is on Canal, not Flagler. My wife suggests I sing the praises of Shikis more highly. I should say every meal and all the sushi I tried was always excellent, fresh, innovative, delicious and never made me sick. My wife's physiological tolerance for sushi may be limited!

Dec 24, 2006
markdefrates in Florida

New Smyrna Beach Restaurants

Coming from New Orleans we had fair given up the search to find restaurants in the New Smyrna Beach - Daytona Beach area that served food to our admittedly hothouse flowers picky standards. At home we eat a moderate omnivore organic diet and way too often meals out that less absurdly delicate constitutions than ours have no trouble eating make us frankly physically ill. We have recently found three places in the New Smyrna Beach area, all opened within the last year, we think. Shiki, a Japanese restaurant on beachside, which has another restaurant in Winter Park we have eaten at half a dozen times. I've never had a bad meal but Pam, my wife, has got sick, to her dismay, the last two times. Maybe she shouldn't eat sushi but she had no problems before. I'd still recommend it. Romesco's on Flagler downtown in New Smyrna Beach has superior Italian and other sandwiches for lunch, fabulous wines, excellent coffee and seems so out of place in New Smyrna Beach that I have to rub my eyes every time I go. Apparently they also have great dinners but I haven't tried that yet. Finally the night before last we ate at Dolce Vita on Highway 1 across the road from Beacon Theater. 6 months in business this is a flat out great Italian restaurant. I ate the Saltimbucco which was very fine and Pam had a delicious Pasta with Puttanesca sauce. Service at all three restaurants is professional, the wait staff friendly, the food clean, clear, and of the highest quality. All are moderately priced, lunches running $30, dinners $60 for two with wine and tip. Daytona and Deland we still don't know but NSB has at least 3 places I haven't seen mentioned on these boards.

Dec 24, 2006
markdefrates in Florida