The Tides offers cozy, unpretentious atmosphere

Written by Sheila O'Meara 11/18/2004

Appearing in the Vero Beach Press Journal

Some sage once said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." That seems to be the philosophy behind the menu at The Tides; it is substantially unchanged since the restaurant's opening several years ago. It's nice to see old favorites every time; there are certain dishes that would be sorely missed.

But, to avoid predictability and to give voice to her culinary imagination, chef/owner Leanne Kelleher offers several specials each day to supplement an already tempting assortment. The place itself is cozy and unpretentious, with a brick-walled fireplace dividing two dining areas and a realistic palm tree painted into a corner. A tiny bar and tables lighted by tiki torches line the patio.

The service staff is congenial and well-versed in the food preparation. Our waiter spouted the specials with appetizing detail and dramatic gestures. Since it is the height of mussel season, we started with the Prince Edward Island mussels, as they are prepared according to the menu. They were plump and tender, but the garlic was a bit harsh and the butter a bit scant. The Lobster Bisque is rich, creamy and graced with tiny morsels of lobster meat. The Roasted Pear Salad special was deemed delectable by one of our dinner companions. It is an imaginative blend of sweet pears and candied walnuts with salty gorgonzola and bitter endive. For our main courses, we couldn't resist the day's specials. The Chilean Sea Bass was beautifully presented. The Yellow Fin Tuna was rare seared just right and served with crisp, cornmeal-crusted oysters on top. The gentlemen ordered the Osso Buco, lusciously tender and engulfed in a red-wine sauce that had simmered for hours in the tenderizing process. The flavors melded exquisitely. Mashed potatoes and vegetables accompanied all around. Cappuccino and coffee followed or meal, accompanied by a darling presentation of a creme brulee trio traditional, mocha and Chambord flavors -- in three diminutive espresso cups.

Well, The Tides ain't broke and it doesn't need any fixin'. If you go The Tides Where: 3102 Cardinal Drive, Vero Beach Hours: Open for dinner Monday-Saturday, starting at 5:30 p.m. Contact: (772) 234-3966 Alcoholic beverages: full bar Handicapped accessible Reservations and credit cards accepted.

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