Just Moved To Vero Beach
Vero Beach has many charms, but its fine dining may leave you disappointed if you compare it to NY.
One of the best restaurants is The Tides. We find their food consistently good, well made, and the service staff is well trained, pleasant and attentive but not annoying. But The Tides, along with the other higher-aspiration restaurants, is quite expensive. They do offer an early diner special starting sometime in May, which is a good value, though the menu is somewhat limited, usually to a choice of one of three different entrees. The Tides is of one a very few VB restaurants that I can recommend without reservation, we have never been disappointed, but it is pricey. Chef Leanne Kelleher (owner of The Tides) also reopened The Patio several months ago (The Patio has a long and storied history in VB, with several recent failures in the location) to good reviews, but I personally have not visited it yet.
We have visited Avanzare several times, and always found their menu exciting and the preparations excellent. Avanzare is one of the other restaurants I recommend to friends without reservation, but again it is pricey. But their menu is imaginative, with excellent daily specials that are a credit to the chef.
For a more casual evening, we've enjoyed the wine and small plates (and the vibe) offered at Blue Star Wine Bar. But having been there several times and found the menu basically the same, it's become boring. We have also enjoyed the staff and the wine at Vinz wine bar, which also offers a small plates menu. We haven't tried any food, but the menu is interesting and the plates we've seen coming out of the kitchen look good. We intend to return for a light meal, just haven't got around to it yet.
"People" seem to like Bobby's, but it seems to me it is more for the blue-hair set; went several years ago for the burger and found the old-style, clubby, country-club atmosphere not to our taste. Same goes for The Polo Grill.
Some writings laud the restaurant at Gloria Estefan's hotel, Costa d'Este, but the menu and possibly the chef have changed several times since inception. We dined there twice in its first iteration and found it sorely lacking and will not return.
Citrus Grill has the attitude of a NY restaurant. No salt on the table, undersalted food, staff will practically sneer as they bring you salt if requested. We have had two mixed experiences there, and will not return. But it is consistently busy, and food writers seem to like it. I also found it unpleasantly noisy, all hard surfaces causes every sound to be amplified to a raucous caucophony.
There are several other fine dining establishments, some recently opened, but as I haven't visited them I can't make a recommendation.