Specials highlight menu of The Tides

Written by Sheila O'Meara 6/1/2006

Appearing in the Vero Beach Press Journal

Eating outside is one of the irresistible attractions of living in Vero Beach and at The Tides, it's the place to be, although the three intimate inside dining rooms offer shelter and camaraderie. They look a bit like your Aunt Edna's living room and they are just as cozy.

The Tides prides itself on outstanding service and a superior menu. The pride is well placed. Although the selections haven't changed much since the beginning, the daily specials offer variety and innovation and you can always count on your old favorites to be there.

We dined here on a bustling Thursday evening and sat on the pleasant patio lined with tiki lights.

We opted for an appetizer special, Asian Steak Tartare. It was magnificent. The diced beef is gently but firmly flavored, enhanced with pine nuts and herbs and served on a bed of diced avocado and surrounded by waves of wasabi aioli. The combination of flavors and textures is memorable. I hope this special becomes a regular.

Other appetizers and salads are wonderful, too. The prosciutto-wrapped pears ($8) offer a contrast of sweet and salty that perks up the appetite. The Oysters 222 ($12) is an inventive presentation of oysters in three styles - fried, baked and grilled - all with lovely and unusual toppings.

On to the main course. Herb-crusted Inside-out Chicken Saltimbocca ($22) is one of the regulars here and demonstrates the chef's ability to give a new look and taste to a classic dish. Thin chicken cutlet is wrapped around mozzarella, spinach and prosciutto and served with a rich, mushroom-Madeira sauce. Another menu regular (although seasonal) is the Local Pompano ($28) -- a wonderful fish, wonderfully prepared with shrimp beurre blanc and lump crabmeat. Delicate and elegant.

No dessert, although many temptations are offered on an attractive tray. Yes, cappuccino, of course. The Tides is definitely in. Dinner for two without tip or drinks came to $118.77.

Sheila O'Meara dines unannounced at the expense of Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.

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