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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.

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  1. 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!

    2 Replies
    1. re: markdefrates

      Give Atlantis Bistro on Flagler Ave. beachside a try. Closed on Monday.

      1. re: markdefrates

        Mark....trust your wife on Shikis. As a sushi lover, I have tried it 4 times, mostly because I assumed I hit it on a bad night, and that the "good" reviews meant I should try again. But after yellowed, hard edged sushi, each and every time, I give up. Something odd is going on regarding Shikis and the reviews others put out. I won't go again.

      2. You might enjoy Norwood's, especially if you like wine. Whatever they serve that involves seafood is fantastic (except I thought the seafood shepherd's pie was a bit bland). http://www.norwoods.com

        5 Replies
        1. re: Covert Ops

          I have never personally found Norwoods that good. I have been going to NSB since 1974 and have eaten their many times always hoping it would improve, but to me it is nothing but frozen, unimaginative "seafood", with a limited fresh fish selection, and your basc everyday fried seafood platter selection. It is all pre-breaded and IMO poorly executed. Hopefully as the town grows we will get better offerings from which to choose. My recommendation is to avoid it unless you have average expectations.

          1. re: theflytyr

            I have to agree with you about Norwoods. The only thing I appreciate about it is that it is such a step up from the usual ilk my family in the area insists on frequenting. Being from California, I had to trust their insistence that it is among the area's finest. But now that I've got Chowhounds, I can take part in dining decisions. :)

            1. re: BellaCalabrese

              Have been coming to NSB for years.. to be honest have only enjoyed one good meal at Norwoods. The onion soup is good and the blue crab salad but for the rest it leaves me wondering why it is such a popular spot.
              Maggi o

              1. re: maggi o

                yeah, ditto for all the restaurants on that strip

                1. re: maggi o

                  I agree....don't understand the hype about Norwoods. Loving The Garlic next door though.

          2. My sister lives nearby in Edgewater and likes The Patio on US 1 in NSB. She's also heard good things about The Garlic by Publics. I haven't been to either, but when I mentioned this post she suggested these additions.

            1. We went to a fabulous mexican place on Rt. 1 while down there recently. Don't recall the name but just north of New Smyrna (actually it's South Daytona)- looked like an old Pizza Hut building (somethign like that) we stumbled into it starving and found a gem. Lots of awards on the wall too. On the right coming into NS. Found it - Maria Bonita Authentic Mexican Restaurant

              We loved the experience of eating at JB's Fishcamp too.

              http://www.jbsfishcamp.com/

              2 Replies
              1. re: lexpatti

                FYI, according to a recent News-Journal investigation, a "grouper" filet at JB's Fish Camp, when tested by a DNA lab, turned out to be basa (a type of catfish). The article's not still online, but I'll e-mail it to anyone's that interested, or you can find it at your library (it ran Oct. 29, 2006).

                That said, lots of people I know are very happy w/JB's. And obviously, if you order the shrimp, well, you know it's shrimp. :-D

                Also heard good things about Maria Bonita; I haven't been yet, because I've been very happy with La Fiesta, Dunlawton Ave. and Nova Road in Port Orange. (Actually south of where you were. . .jsut take Nova up from NSB and you won't miss it, it's on the right after the Dunlawton light.)

                1. re: Covert Ops

                  La Fiesta was quite good in the begining, but now they are going down the tubes. The Tortilla soup that I loved, now isn't even allowed to cook at all. They bring the soup and the main order out at the same time in a rush to get back to watching Mexican TV near the entrance to the kitchen.The main coure is usually cold.

              2. The best thing at JB's is the setting, watching a sunset over mosquito lagoon, having some p&es, and a nice cold beer can't be beat. The fried shrimp are pretty good as well.
                My favorite spot in NSB is Spanish River Grill, haven't found anything I didn't think was, at the least very good, right on up to excellent. I think the best thing Norwoods has going for it is their wine list, food ranges from bad to acceptable, but have never had anything better than that. There is a seafood market/gift shop/ cafe called Ocean"s Catch on whatever street 44 becomes when it crosses the intercoastal that has the best marinated mussels you'll ever put in your mouth, good smoked fish, great blackened shrimp ceasar salad, and 0 for atmosphere, but get it to go, and picnic on the beach.

                2 Replies
                1. re: janebold

                  I'm curious......... what is a p&e ?

                  1. re: kate32168

                    P&E = Peel and Eat

                2. Hi Mark. I have two recommendations for you. The first is a little Spanish restaurant right off of U.S.1 in the New Smyrna Publix Shoping Center. It's called The Spanish River Grill, and it's located in the corner of the plaza, right next to bells. I've always enjoyed their food, and for a smaller restaurant, the ambiance and price can't be beat. The other restaurant is right across the street and called The Garlic. It's a really neat place to enjoy a night out. They have a great menu and an incredible interior. I hope you enjoy these restaurants.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: MrMagoo

                    FYI THERE ISNT A US1 ON BEACHSIDE! THE STREET IS A1A! DONT CONFUSE THE TOURISTS!

                  2. Second the nod to Spanish River Grill. Fabulous food and a friendly atmosphere.

                    Go to Norwood's for the wine -- or the grouper sandwich.

                    JB's is fun, but I'll order the boiled shrimp and beer. maybe a hush puppy.

                    Shiki's closed in Winter Park -- about a year ago -- wondered where they moved to,

                    Bob

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bob Mervine

                      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

                    2. +1 on the Spanish River Grille. So far I've eaten at Shiki twice and Dolce Vita only once, both have been very good.

                      Pass on Norwood's for dinner - great wine, bad food.

                      The Garlic is worth going to mainly for their early bird (qua late lunch) buffet (4:00 - 5:30 pm). A great deal - AYCE of two or three roasted veggies, a variety of pasta with and without meats or seafood, a salad, roasted garlic, bread and a glass of wine or beer, $12.95 I think. The Garlic's regular menu is not bad, but overpriced for the quality - long on ambience, food needs work. Don't let the waiter mash your roasted garlic, or you'll have a heck of a time separating the good stuff from the skin.

                      Also highly rated: Bello Valentino's, next to the tittie bar on U.S. 1. For years I was afraid of what kind of food one might get at that location, but it's really excellent.

                      Also: Scott's Bluewater Grille, in the same plaza as Shiki. Limited menu, plus monthly specials.

                      Tarafuku at Clyde Morris & Beville has decent sushi, also.

                      1. amendment: You can do fairly well ordering off the appetizer menu at Norwood's. I'd recommend the house smoked trout with capers and onions, and the blue crab salad. The gumbo is also very good, though sometimes a bit salty.

                        1. Agree with the comments about The Garlic and Norwoods. I hear great things about Spanish River Grille and Bluewater Grille. But we also like the Boston Fish House - the food is pretty good and eat upstairs - totally different atmostphere than downstairs.

                          For fun, go to Chases on the Beach and for great burgers and Yuengling pitchers go The Breakers. It's a bar/dive but we just love going there.

                          1. I was fortunate in that my family acquired a place in NSB in 1959, and it has been my second home since then. I have seen a lot of place come and go. For example, Norwoods used to be a small, one room, un-airconditined place with a display of smoked mullet by the cash register. They even offered breakfast with country ham and eggs at one time.

                            Breakers, of course, remains another constant. Although over the years such delights as their Monte Cristo sandwich have disappeared, they still have the best hamburger in the area, and the grouper sandwich is a great bargain, as well as delicious. Sitting on the porch overhanging the beach is hard to beat.

                            In recent years, however, our favorite has consistently been JB's Fish Camp. It has it's character of a small otown seaside restaurnt with a touch of attitude. The gumbo, the steamed clams, coconut shrimp and many other dishes are consistently outstanding. In some ways I regret that it has become so well known, but its popularity should insure its continuity. Despite this popularity, I haven't seen any changes for the worse. one incident several years ago defines JB's in my memory. We were eating at an outside table and noticed a small fishing skiff pull up. Its occupant walked into the bar area, presumably put his name on a wait list, bought a beer and went back to his boat. As I watched him, he untied the boat, drifted out several feet from the dock and dropped his anchor. He then pulled off his shirt, rolled into the water, held onto the anchor rope as he drank his beer. I do not know another restuarant where you might see a waiting patron enjoy his wait in such a laid back manner.

                            Another place that's been there over 20 years is Mon Delice, the French bakery. Their almond croissants are the best I have had anywhere, bar none.

                            1. What's the name of the 'Heavenly' place at the bottom of the bridge? Great "healthy" eats! I had some fresh squeezed juice along with some killer Caribbean Jerk Chicken Soup topped off with a Burrito Grande featuring Brown Rice. It was all good! Drive thru does the trick...Viva Bike Week Viva FLA!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: netmover

                                Oddly enough, it's called "Heavenly"

                              2. Being residents of NSB, my husband and I are familiar with a lot of the eateries around. Top on our list of always excellent food is Romesco's (Canal St.), The Patio (tiny place on US 1), Scott's Bluewater Grille (beachside), Mi Mexico (beachside; best Mexican food ever!), and Heavenly's Sandwiches & Smoothies (great home-made soups; Flagler Ave.). We've heard wonderful things about the Spanish River Grille, but have never been (they just opened a 2nd restaurant on the top floor of Boston Fish House). The Garlic has great atmosphere but the food isn't worth the price (we've been 3 times and weren't impressed); Norwood's isn't anything to rave about, and neither is JB's Fishcamp, in our opinion.

                                1. AS my family is originally from the Boston area we all found i believe its called Bostons to have excellent seafood. Its right at the turn on A1A. I also still do love JB's. Wasnt at all thrilled with Norwoods. Ther is also a little Breakfast and lunch restaurant on Federal Hwy that has great breakfast.(if its still there) I really miss the Barbecue place that closed down that was just east of I-95. It used to be a a family amusement place and it may be a church or something now. Our family used to rent a place on the beach for 10 straight summers for 6 weeks. I really do miss the place, it was our second home. I used to love to pull sharks in on the beach and catch whitings by the dozen. My mother keeps a picture of the beach on her work desk. Great memories.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: colmanja

                                    My husabnd and I are New Yorkers who have a condo in NSB. I think the new Ocean Club ABOVE Boston's is NY chic and delicious. Owned by Spanish River Grill, their staff is very professional. I found Bluewater Grill to have delicous food however, the staff is so unwelcoming, just like the bartender at Romesco's. For Mexican, try Mi Mexico on A1A. The Garlic salts up everything, but has a pleasant staff. Boston-I can't see what the shouting's about. La Dolce Vita, the best tiramusu I ever had-in addtion to the most sweetest servers and owner. Ocean seafood has great takeout and very cas dine in. Almost forgot, Merks has the BST burgers ever. Just ask any waiter in NSB. It's down and dirty bar so don't go there for a fancy night out. I liked Bella Valentino's as well. What happned to Gumbos on US 1. Anyone know of great BBQ? or a caterer?

                                    For those who love Sushi while in Orlando, try Tomo's. It's a sister rest. from the one in Ramsey , NJ. which is unique and fabulous.

                                    1. re: joanied

                                      THE best Caterer in NSB is Riverside Catering on Orange St. They have the best seafood...excellent presentation, and a friendly staff. She also does a great BBQ. They offer cooking classes...with Spanish River and Shiki"s

                                      1. re: ctbound

                                        Whats the best place to sit down and eat a ton of crab?? My wife and I are going to NSB soon from Texas.

                                      2. re: joanied

                                        I am from South Florida and find the bar-b-q here horrible. I won't even go back to all that we have tried. Go to Shortys.com and order their original sauce and have it shipped. Either cook bar-b-q at home or heat it up till nice and hot and put it on your own chicken, ribs or pork and beef samwiches. You will want to thank me for ever. This place is in S. Miami and has been in business for over 60 years and the place is so packed you have to wait forever to get in. They just started shipping sauce, because people like me that moved here and else where would not get off their backs.

                                        1. re: Godeb2

                                          Hello Central Florida Hounds. I lived in Ormond Bch. for 10 years and recently moved to Austin, Texas. I was dissapointed to hear about Sea Harvest as that was one of my favorites. Being close to Deland I was always big on Los Compadres in Deleon Springs. It's right on Hwy.17 and very authentic interior mexican food w/a nice rural feel to the area. They serve 2 kinds of heated salsa red/green and have some of the best cheese chile rellenos I've ever had. Don't miss out on a mexican taco on homemade corn tortilla. There's also some great seafood out on SR40 in Astor. A place called the Essex as well as Blackwater. Both provide a nice environment and chance to see "the other Florida" that's not as touristy. You may find some BBQ on the way out there as well. I grew up in S.Fl. so living in Ormond made me a much better cook. For real spicey I loved the Indian restaurant on A1A and ISB. Keep Hounding.

                                      3. re: colmanja

                                        Boston's Fish House! Good restaurant, my parents insist on going there every time they visit me. Steamers are a must for starting your meal.

                                        -----
                                        Boston's Fish House
                                        1414 S Atlantic Ave Ste E, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169

                                      4. I'll second your recommendation of Dolce Vita -- this is high-quality Italian food made by Italians (the guys in the kitchen are from Naples). Blows away any other Italian restaurant in the area.

                                        1. 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.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: markdefrates

                                            Good news! Romesco's opened up last week and is again in full swing. Kim and Drea do a great job of keeping customers happy and wanting to return. For a sweet treat, try the chocolate panini for dessert...yummmm.
                                            Stay away from Norwoods unless you're looking for good wine. Food is extemely mediocre and bland.
                                            South Atlantic Grille is above average...went once and enjoyed it.
                                            7:30 reservation at Scott's Bluewater tonight. Menu is unique, food is meticulously prepared, service is good. Definitely worth the $$.

                                            1. re: nsbnative

                                              Tried L'l Neals for BBQ. I found it a pleasant surprise but I still miss Pop's in Oak Hill.

                                              We've given Scott's shots. yes the food is great. I find the staff miserable with exception to Lesley who I believe is an owner.

                                              In regard to Dolce Vita, their bread is second to none, in comparible to Hoboken and Arthur Avenue Bronx where I'm originally from. Unforunatley their grilled veg appy is soooo oily. Fried Cal isn't worth the calories .pass on it. Stick to the veal and pastas

                                              1. re: joanied

                                                After reading your comments my husband and I tried dolce vita last night...enjoyed it! I really liked the bread and the house salad! We are locals and we wanted to share of couple of places that have changed our lives!! NSB coffee shop on Flagler ( beachside) new location in the old nichols surf shop is a fun place to hang out for coffee,sandwiches,beer & internet.Also nobody has mentioned a new NSB favorite "Flip Flops"restaurant on the corner of Flagler and Pine..(the old Victor's location).I like their caesar salad w/ grilled scallops! Delicious! clam chowder didnt seem special (tomato base) but lots of interesting menu choices! We really like this place! They also have outdoor seating in the front and a back patio.Just give yourself plenty of time,even for lunch it can take a LONG time! ENJOY!!

                                                1. re: NSBEACHGIRL

                                                  I have been going to NSB since I was a baby - my mother and father are from there. One of the best places to get seafood at a reasonable price is Ocean's Seafood on E 3rd Ave. It is where the locals eat if they want fresh seafood. Service is not spectacular, but we always get takeout. JB's and Norwoods is too overpriced and just not worth it.

                                                  1. re: Hobbes31

                                                    JB's overpriced?????

                                          2. No one has mentioned Bella Valentino's near the New Smyrna Beach airport. Wonderful Italian, good wine list, decadent desserts. Great service as well. Check out the daily specials.

                                            Stella's Skyline is good as well, Great early bird specials and one of the best desserts I have ever eaten in the Florida Orange Sunshine cake.

                                            I agree with the ravings for Spanish River Grill, Shikis, and Dolce Vita. Scotts Bluewater was the best in town, but either has closed or will close their doors very soon. Down home bbq at Piggin and Grinnin.

                                            the Patio is a shadow of its former great self, tho Im afraid. Mahoneys on Canal for Oyster Stew and Flip Flop on Pine, beachside NSB is wonderful..Great cranberry salad and the ahi is ver y fresh!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: georgiesmom

                                              Love Love Love Flip Flops. Did anyone try the new place where Beach Buns existed? Scott's Bluewater is morte. Great sushi in the Lion's shopping center although service stinks, and the ac never seems to work.

                                            2. I would say Drive 5 More mintues to edgewater and try Ce-La-Luna!
                                              Everytime I go there I really enjoy my self. They have eveything from pizza to seafood. Full liquor bar! What more can you ask for

                                              1. My husband and I just returned from a long weekend in NSB. We stayed at the Night Swan B&B so we didn't have breakfast anywhere. Our first day we had lunch at Norwoods - it was your typical seafood place in a beach town - nothing stood out. I was surprised to see no Red Zinfindales on their wine list - seeing that the server kept pushing the fact that they had one of the best wine lists in town. Oh well.
                                                Lucky for us it was the first annual Shrimp and Seafood Festival the day that we arrived. We got to try samplings from several local restaurants. Our favorites came from Flip Flops and Spanish River Grill. We loved the samples from Spanish River Grill we decided to go for dinner the next night. What a treat! My husband had the Rib eye stuffed with chorizo. I had the yucca crusted dorado. Both were very tasty and demonstrated the eye for detail that the chef utilizes in his creations. It was a nice treat. We did try Boston's Fish House. Very fresh fish! Again another treat. We also enjoyed the wine/beer list and the live music at Om Bar off of Flagler.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: dmfnole

                                                  So...you were bummed that there wasn't a Red Zinfandel?

                                                  1. re: dancingpig

                                                    See what happens - when I don't get my red zin :) my bad

                                                  2. re: dmfnole

                                                    Didn't you love the breakfasts at Night Swan? We stayed there a couple of years ago and thought they were delicious.

                                                    1. re: PDeveaux

                                                      Very good! I couldn't believe that it was healthy!

                                                  3. Flip Flops: very good food and an energetic atmosphere with a varied menu and fair prices.

                                                    Cannot agree on Spanish River Grill, overrated and over priced. Try Sonapa in the same mall for great wine and interesting menu and very moderate prices.

                                                    1. NSB has been our winter retreat for the past 9 years. During that time we have tried just about every restaurant within a 10 mile radius. Knowing that what is fabulous to one is average to another, let me preface by saying I grew up in the northeast. Our neighbors ran a popular Italian restaurant (there were 12 within 3 miles of our house) and my grandmother was the sought after German cook for our church suppers. Holidays, funerals and weddings in our neighborhood were daylong overindulgent feasts. We are now older and perhaps wiser and so like to eat out for lunch (better value and reasonable portions). We look for a tasty well prepared meal at a reasonable price. With that in mind, here is a list of our NSB experiences.
                                                      • Norwood’s -- easily found just over the bridge. Nine years ago this was one of our favorite lunch stops. Now, we don’t go there. Food is unremarkable and to my taste bland and sometimes over cooked.
                                                      • PJ’s Sea Shack-- just a block east and the first place we had a meal in Florida. It has been an up and down stop for us. Currently one of our favorites. Can be very crowded in the evening. Interesting lunch specials keep us coming back. My wife loves the crab cakes – says they are full of crab and not filling. Presentations have been excellent and service is great. Nice outdoor / indoor seating options.
                                                      • The Garlic -- open at 4 PM., hence we don’t stop there much but the food is quite good. I really like their Puttanesca. You get quite a lot at $13.95 plus bread, salad, and their signature smashed garlic. Have not had any seafood there. Can be crowded and noisy inside but if you get there early enough, you can sit in the enclosed “garden” patio.
                                                      • Ocean’s Seafood-- Great lunch menu and a great value. Very plain and noisy inside with patio type tables and chairs sharing the take out/ eat in order counter and a small seafood market. Their blackened seafood is the best in the area and the rice pilaf side fills a separate hamburger sized foam container. Other sides a much smaller but tasty. They have daily specials displayed on their outside signboard. Always something good. I agree with an earlier post that it was much better years ago but I still find it our place to go for takeout seafood.
                                                      • Boston Seafood-- we don’t eat there. If Ocean’s décor is a put off, this is definitely not a good choice. I find standing in line to later eat in a cafeteria type atmosphere just not worth it.
                                                      • In the plaza, Clancy’s is a Tex/Mex bar and grill with a reasonably priced menu. I like it but will concede it’s not “great” food. Still not bad for a beer, a tortilla or taco with black beans and rice.
                                                      • Spanish River Grill – same plaza. An eclectic Cuban style menu that is on the pricey side. I think some would not find this a good value but we like it a lot. They are not open for lunch except on Sunday’s. They have a unique brunch menu and $1 mimosas. Lunch for two with a shared appetizer and mimosas usually runs about $56 with tip. Dinner for two can be considerably more than that.
                                                      • Main Street Grill -- south on Dixie Freeway –a Sunday brunch for $8.95 that is a killer. Early bird dinners that are really a bargain. The food is much better than Norwood’s for about the same price. They pride themselves on their broiled seafood entrees. Choosing broiled scallops on early birds usually means they are overcooked and bland, these were done just right.
                                                      • La Dolce Vita—right next door to the Main Street grill. We have been there for diner once. I will definitely return. A trifle upscale from the usual restaurants in the area, customers still sported the full array of beach attire. Prices are on the high side but worth it. I again tried the puttanesca. A wonderful balance of heat, olives, capers and tomato sauce. Salads are priced ala carte. Service was a little erratic and the waiter we had had some problems with the language (He was Italian!). After making a mistake when my wife ordered Caesar Salad by bringing a much more expensive Sea Food Salad, he offered to correct his mistake or leave the Seafood Salad and charge us for the Caesar. All in all, a pleasant evening.
                                                      • In that same general area. If you are looking for a cheap good meal in not too fancy a place try the Lighthouse or go downtown beachside for breakfast / lunch at the Beacon. Soup and sandwich for $3.75 can’t be beat. Kind of diner type food, but a good value.
                                                      There are many more we have tried including Blackbeard’s (oysters on the 1/2shell), El Azteca (good average Mexican food), and Mia Mexico (cheap, cheesy with mostly hamburger filling), and The Riverview (somewhat pricey with Sunday evening Jazz on the river). This posting has made me hungry so I’m off to Ocean’s Seafood for a couple of fish sandwiches.

                                                      PS. Most have menus that are posted on www.yes2menus.com

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: canoeny

                                                        Great write up and I agree with all your assessments - and since we've never been to Dolce Vita, I can't wait to go. You didn't mention FlipFlops and I am sure it will make your day. We have gone back more times than we have to any other restaurant and I am really getting a kick our of watching their young chef, Danny on the Fox show, Hell's Kitchen. Tune in Thursday nights - if you can stand the cursing. The food has been inventive, flavorful and a fair amount of fun thrown in. Due to it's size, it's tough not to converse with the people around you. And one night all the tables were passing around tastes of their desserts! What a fun atmosphere. And now they are opening up in the location where Shell's used to be. I do miss South Atlantic Grill and Scott's Blue Water Grill. I am not sure what can take their place.

                                                        1. re: pelicanpat

                                                          Try the Upper Deck on the second floor of the Boston Fish House.

                                                      2. Just curious how everyone feels about Blackbeards Inn. We have owned a condo in NSB for about 11 years. Blackbeards is one place we have to go when we're in town. Coming from cow country, I have to say I think their prime rib is way better than some I've had where I live. My hubby loves the cinnamon rolls and clam chowder.
                                                        Another place we frequent is Manny's. Breakfast is always a hit and the prices are good. The greek salad and a pizza makes for an easy meal. We're heading down there in a couple of weeks. I can't wait to see the changes that have happened since we were last there 3 years ago.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: jcattles

                                                          Blackbeards has a vast menu with reasonable prices. Usually crowded for dinner, but the wait never is that long.

                                                        2. I was just in NSB for 5 days two weeks ago. Here are a few recs and places to avoid.

                                                          We ate at Dolce Vita and came away unimpressed. With the exception of the 'pizza bread' in our bread basket, everything we ordered was pretty badly under-salted.
                                                          We mentioned it to one of the owners and he gave the excuse that, "With the people in this town, if you salt the food just a little then they all complain". I certainly understand that one has to cook to the clientele, but the fact that he knew it was under seasoned and continued to serve it left me a little sad.
                                                          He did bring us a free unrequested dessert afterward which was a nice gesture, but none of us wanted any dessert so we felt pressured to eat it. Finally, he did ask to let us know when we'd come back so he could make it right, which is all that he should have done in the first place. The unsolicited dessert while we waited for the check, and the fact that the salads aren't mentioned on the menu but come pre-dressed are two things that lessened the experience for us along with the lack of seasoning in all the dishes. If I want dessert I'll order it, if I want a salad with dressing I'll order that too.

                                                          Lil Neals, as always, was a delight. The smoked chicken was really great (dark meat only) as well as the brisket sandwich.

                                                          The new wine shop in the Beals/Publix plaza was terrible! I've never seen a more pretentious wine bar with such a crap selection of wines and uneducated servers. We ordered:
                                                          Salad w/ mozzarella, basil and tomatoes over spinach
                                                          Steak and blue cheese pizza bread
                                                          Another pizza bread I forget
                                                          Each item came with the exact same 'balsamic reduction' sauce and they forgot the basil on the salad.

                                                          The sandwiches at Mon Delice were wonderful as always. They now have a tuna and arugala hoagie as well as a brie and ham version but we didn't try those.

                                                          JBs Fish Camp is a fun place with ok food, but we were cursed with a terrible server again.

                                                          FlipFlops had a two hour wait!

                                                          15 Replies
                                                          1. re: lost squirrel

                                                            WOW, I wanted to try Flip Flops,,since Danny won hell's Kitchen,to long to wait. Is the food good?

                                                            1. re: akajk

                                                              Beats me, we heard 2 hours headed back to the car.
                                                              It seems everyone has the same desire to try it, on our way out an older gentleman stopped us to ask us in the parking lot, "Excuse me, but you could tell me what you thought of your meal in there?"

                                                              1. re: akajk

                                                                Mediocre food. Slow service.

                                                              2. re: lost squirrel

                                                                Does Danny still work there or has he started at the Borgata?

                                                                1. re: jcattles

                                                                  No. We spoke to him before he left. BTW sitting at the bar ensures great service and avoid waitting for a table.

                                                                2. re: lost squirrel

                                                                  Being from New York & now living in Florida , one of the things i miss most is the Pizza....
                                                                  Well i can tell you i dont miss it anymore...At the south end of Edgewater in the Publix Supermarket Center...theres an Italian restaurant called "Ce La Luna"......good food but Excellent Pizza !!!.......Once a month you can treat yourself to a night of great live Oldies by Oldies Vocalist Michael T`.........combine his talents with good food & GREAT PIZZA....& youve got a PACKED RESTAURANT with upbeat atmosphere the way New Yorkers like it !!....Its a family owned restaurant...with a family style charm....it has a full liquor bar and full menu.......TRY IT..YA JUST MIGHT LIKE IT.

                                                                  1. re: MTUSA

                                                                    I will. Better than the Foccocia bread at Dolce Vita???????

                                                                    1. re: joanied

                                                                      Out of business. Soon to be reopened by new owners with new name.

                                                                    2. re: MTUSA

                                                                      Welcome to Florida fellow New Yorker! Thanks for the tip on Ce La Luna. We will give it a try. There is also a great classic NY Italian restaurant in Ormond Beach - The Italian Village. They used to be in Daytona Beach, but have moved. Excellent garlic rolls, eggplant rollatini...and PIZZA! The best I've had. You may also want to try Pete's Pizza on Nova Rd, Daytona. I haven't been there in years, but have heard they have great pizza.

                                                                      1. re: amsquires

                                                                        Any new on the new Mexican restauratn on Canal where Romenesco's was?

                                                                        1. re: joanied

                                                                          El Palenque. We ate there the other night. Unremarkable, fairly priced, decent Mexican, full bar, and the place was full on a Wednesday night. I would go back. But if the reason Romesco's closed was because they couldn't come to an agreement on the lease (which I heard from at least three different sources), I can't imagine how El Palenque will be able to pay a higher rent than Romesco's was paying.

                                                                          1. re: fishandveggiesplease

                                                                            Loved this restaurant< El Palenque as well. Prices and portions make it a bargain, not to mention it was delicious.

                                                                            1. re: fishandveggiesplease

                                                                              Ate at El Palenque for the second time and as Mexican food goes this place is great. Crowded on a thursday night. Service quick. Large portion. Enjoy!

                                                                        2. re: MTUSA

                                                                          FYI, they are no longer at that location. About a month ago, the place was empty. They have now reopened up the road, north of there at the next light, across from the Riverside Bank. I guess the previous place was too big for them and too much rent. Looks like one of the sons is going to reopen the place, called Balliamo, with fresh pasta, seafood, and steaks. He is striving for a better quality of food. Sign is up, but not open yet, but hopefully by the end of the year.

                                                                          1. re: floridahockeyguy

                                                                            Which place are you referring to?

                                                                      2. Also, what's going on with the former Mi Mexico? I heard there are new owners, they appear to be remodeling. Anyone heard anything?

                                                                        1. I can't believe no one has sung the praises of Ocean's Seafood Market and Grill on 3rd Ave, NSB. It is the absolute BOMB for casual, fresh fish at affordable prices. You can stroll in the shop wearing flip-flops and a bathing suit cover up. Small dining area for eat-in but we do take out quite often when it's busy. We eat there at least 3-4 times during our annual week long trek to the beach. The best bets are the special of the day made as a sandwich with large portions of sides. It is very cheap (<$8) and very delicious.

                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                          1. re: wendywjb

                                                                            How's
                                                                            the Patio???

                                                                            1. re: joanied

                                                                              Off the Hook

                                                                              This restaurant opened a few months ago where in the same spot where Clancy's was in the Publix shopping center. We visited this establishment 3 times. Fish Taco are a must. My husband loved the Cobb salad made with crabmeat instead of chicken. The Grouper Reuben is delicious but heavy as you would aspect. The service is great during lunch as well as midweek. The staff cannot handle holiday or weekends. In fact, they're a little on the dopey side. Everything is ala carte including bread-which isn't anything to write home over never mind paying $1 for a 1/3 of a loaf. I would definely go back when I know thier staff isn't overwhelmed

                                                                              1. re: joanied

                                                                                The Patio - Slow and soso food

                                                                              2. re: wendywjb

                                                                                I absolutely agree about the Oceans. Been going to Daytona for years and it's always one of our first stops. CLAM DIP - YUM, and everything is great. We just crave this place!

                                                                              3. Where the locals eat:

                                                                                The Beacon: for breakfast (pancakes)
                                                                                Clancy's: for ersatz Mexican in a convivial atmosphere
                                                                                Dolphin View (old Sea Harvest): for fresh seafood, best deep fried
                                                                                Flagler Tavern: for the bar food
                                                                                Lil Neal's: for pulled pork and smoked ribs
                                                                                Mon Delice: for pastries, breads and especially subs to go (perfect to take to the beach)
                                                                                Riverview Charlie's: our "fancy" place, beautiful view from outside deck
                                                                                SoNapa: for small plates and decent but not too out-of-the-ordinary wines
                                                                                Spanish River Grille: for updated, if not inventive, Spanish-style dishes
                                                                                Stavro's: for Greek Salad and specialty pizzas
                                                                                Toni & Joe's: for the on-the-beach patio

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Flagler Tavern
                                                                                414 Flagler Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169

                                                                                1. My grandparents bought a place on the beach in 1959, and it has since been a second home for me since that time. Back even in the 80's, Norwoods was a small, one room, unairconditioned place with a smoked mullet box by the cash register. It was also open for breakfast. That was our most popular place back then; however, the new Norwoods has lost something. For me, maybe it's the fancier atmosphere. I personally loved the small town, "down-home" atmosphere it used to have.
                                                                                  This may explain my love for JB's, which I discovered around 1980 or so. It has a unique flavor. As to food, their coconut shrimp is the best anywhere. I prefer going there for a late lunch or early dinner, ordering raw oysters and/or steamed clams, hushpuppies and cold beer. The gumbo is excellent. While I have had things like grouper, which was good, I pretty much stick to the basics. And let us not forget that it is one of the most beautiful places to eat and watch a sunset over Mosquito Lagoon, where I used to fish with my grandfather out of LeFils Fish Camp in Oak Hill. It has a special meaning to me.
                                                                                  There is a turnover of restaurants in NSB, but JB's, Breakers, the Beacon and Clancy's have remained pretty solid. Then there is always Mon Delice, which has the finest almond croissants on the planet and has has for over 25 years.