VERO BEACH – The little town that some call “Zero Beach” is certainly growing. For some, it’s moving in an upward direction, but this idea is full of controversy. In the heart of downtown Vero Beach is Post & Vine. With its modern Manhattan swag and chic ambiance, it’s one of many restaurants to pop up within the last year.
Owners Bobby Del Campo and Sean Tuohy are longtime college buddies, and after previous restaurants in South Florida, they ventured here to Vero inside the old post office on 14th Avenue.
Sean is the head chef and in my opinion the heart and soul of Post & Vine, and it reflects in the food.
We visited in the early evening to beat the crowds and were welcomed at the door by owner Bobby. We sat outside on their covered patio, where most people were seated. Warm string lights, blooming bougainvillea, palms, and an open fireplace make this a cozy spot to relax and sip cocktails. On a previous visit I made the choice to sit inside and with its poor lighting, I knew my next experience would be out on the patio. Although, I can’t help but think how the majority of seating outdoors may affect business on the cool winter nights.
Our waiter Travis was 5 star. We were greeted with a smile and he was nothing but amicable and attentive. After his recommendation, I chose to try a house mojito but was informed they were out of mint. I was disappointed until I gave the bartender creative free rein and she made a fruity and refreshing version of a mojito.
We started with Escargot and I chose the lobster bisque. Escargot can at most times be chewy and tough. These were tender and exquisite. They were mild in flavor and sat in a delicate puffed pastry with a white wine cream sauce. Very well presented.
The bisque I think was done very well. I’m a devotee to lobster bisque and order it often. It was creamy, rich, flavored very well with fresh lobster and finished with a drizzle of aged sherry.
For myself, I ordered the Tangy Garlic Skirt Steak with Jasmine rice and roasted and charred Brussel sprouts with pancetta.
The steak was beautifully done and one of the best I’ve had in our area. This outside cut was extremely tender. Marinated in an anchovy vinaigrette, boasting tons of fresh garlic, which does an excellent job tenderizing and leaving a savory finish. It was cooked at a perfect medium temperature per my request, beautiful grill marks, pink throughout, still retaining its buttery and flavorful taste and very juicy.
For the sides, a classic and simple Jasmine rice. Bland for some, but I personally enjoy the simplicity and the floral aromas. Mine was a bit overcooked with split grains. Jasmine rice is a very delicate, sticky rice and is difficult to master even for the most experienced chef. Sprouts and pancetta. Who doesn’t love bacon?!
Cooked al dente, with a bit of a bite. They had a smokey flavor and nicely caramelized, making them a great compliment to the steak.
My dinner date ordered the Soft Shell Crab Po Poy with potato salad as her side.
For those who don’t know, Soft shell crabs are crabs that are molting. They have to shed their old shell and when they exit that shell, they are soft for about 2 to 3 hours.
That means you can eat the whole crab, shell and all!
The crab was lightly battered and fried golden brown. Served on ciabatta with lettuce, tomato, and an OldBay remoulade. I had a taste and it reminded me of back in the day, eating soft shell crab sandwiches with my dad on Woodcleft Canal in Freeport, Long Island. As a kid, it certainly was an extremely acquired taste!
The potato salad. Total Recall. 13 years old working in a deli in New York. A Pennsylvania Dutch style made with chunks of red and white potatoes, eggs, scallions, sweet onion, and a mustard dressing. This was a fresh and creamy rendition of one of my favorites.
I finished my dinner with the featured dessert. Bread Pudding with white chocolate and caramel drizzle. Sweet, subtle and warm. I ate it by the fire and it was a great ending to our dinner.
Post & Vine is pet-friendly and open for dinner only. They have an elegant full bar and an extensive wine list. I’d recommend a reservation.
Be sure to say “Hi” to Sean. Tell him Brian sent you!
Price – $$$
8.2 out of 10
Menu – postandvinevb.com
Post & Vine
1919 14th Avenue
Vero Beach, Florida
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