By Jeff Stolowitz
40 Years of Dining History, I kept wondering why I had never been here.
The Daytona Shores, notorious for the Police Pulling everyone over for any reason. Maybe that was the answer but in reality it was my bias regarding Pizza in Florida. That was about to change. Porto Fino is a throwback to another era. Where Joe Pesci might meet Ray Liota or Deniro to discuss who sleeps with the fishes.
With era appropo music playing "Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees.
This place has stayed alive in an era where foams moleculer gastronomy, and hand crafted everything this place slays you with great straight forward standard favorites.
This is good food. I could tell as the aroma wafted from the kitchen into the dining room.
Our appetizers were simple the Fresh Fried Zuccini sprinkled with Parm Cheese and a House Salad with a house made Italian Vinagrette perfection in every bite.
The main courses were even better. House Speciall Marsala and Stuffed Shells.
As I sat starry eyed after tasting the Marsala,
I remembered being taught how to make this dish and the velvety taste of the wine that deglazed the pan and reduced with the mushrooms, magic!!! No not magic mushrooms but I was in a euphoric state.
To finish the meal Cappucino, Espresso and the last sips of our Ruffino Chianti Classico.
This my first visit it certainly will not be my last.
To another 40 years I say, "Vine Vide Vici"
3124 South Atlantic Ave
Daytona Beach, Florida 32118
By Jeff Stolowitz
Just another night out and we tried the new Coastal Grill and Raw Bar and we got lucky, Port Orange got Lucky the place is a smash.
We tried the Oyster Po Boy perfectly Crispy. Along side that we had a unique starter "Chowder Fries" and we left that picture out because we ate them before we could Snap a picture and yes they are that good.
We also sampled the Mac and Cheese
and we wiped up the cheese with our fingers, just scrumptious.
Then a Porterhouse Pork Chop, I had a foodgasm.
To wash it down one kick Ass Mule
with Local Copper Bottom Craft Distillery Vodka
The Homemade Pickles were to die for
The Creme Brulee is executed perfectly.
Our Waitress/Mixologist Kristy, we hope that we spelled that right was great.
Music by Anthony was Calypsific, yes "Calypsific" is a made up word.
Coastal Grill & Raw Bar is different and it is a great addition to the Daytona Beach Area Foodie's scene. We did expect more Seafood but everything was so awesome it really didn't matter.
We will be back and highly recommend visiting the establishment.
Coastal Grill and Raw Bar
1078 Dunlawton Ave, Port Orange, FL 32127
By Jeff Stolowitz
Daytona Beach Shores
Friday nights around here have changed and the upscale dining scene begins to grow in the Daytona Beach area.
Once again I attended another wine dinner and pairing at The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Shores.
The wine dinner this evening featured wines from Foley Vineyards presented by Kim Braddock. The meal was prepared by the great team now run by Executive Chef Devin Gainor and Sous Chef Patrick Ransom.
The evening began with a first course of a play on Oysters Rockefeller. It featured a delicate Lemon crumb topping, Goat Cheese and a Kale Pesto.
This went perfectly alongside the Roth Sonoma Sauvignon Blanc... 100% of the varietal. The traditional notes of Grapefruit were balanced by hints of Green Melon. A smooth starter for the rest of the dinner.
Our second course arrived as the sounds of a duo playing live acoustic music began to drift through the room. My table facing the ocean I was treated to an incredibly executed Sea Scallop with a Smoky Corn and Calabrian Chili sauce that had just the right combo of sweet, smoke and spice.
Our server Natalie poured the Chardonnay by Foley Johnson. It was perfect reminding one of summertime in a Peach Farm.
Next up was an interesting dish a Porchetta.
A pork roll with a bark like spiced candy and a fermented Salsa Verde.
This was a sauce the venerable Mark Miller of Southwestern Cuisine fame would deem worthy of his restaurant Coyote Café.
Then the surprise of the night a Pinot Noir. No I mean a real Pinot Noir. The nose the color the balance, pepper and spice and everything nice by Banshee. Yes this Pinot Noir screamed Pinot Noir and maybe the name is just apropos.
Our main course was here.
Skirt Steak with a Red Chimichurri they flirted with each other like two fiery lovers.
Swooning already I reached for my Dessert a Glass of Chalk Hill Sonoma Red Blend. 6 varietals blended together to wash down the greatest meal all summer long.
As always outstanding results are achieved by those who break the mold and the culinary staff at The Shores Resort and Spa does just that each and every time.
2637 S Atlantic Ave (32.43 mi)
Daytona Beach Shores, Florida 32118
Millie's Restaurant and Catering
A fantastic small family eatery. One of the best dining spots to open in years. The freshest fish and locally sourced produce are a key ingredient to this eatery headed by Chef Jeremy Wimmer
Creative and affordable. Floridian Cuisine no doubt.
We recommend Shoestring fries and Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Bonus they deliver.
A fantastic addition to the Daytona Shores scene.
WINNER: BEST NEW RESTAURANT
Off the Hook at Inlet Harbor
This place is quintessential Florida. Situated at Ponce Inlet, the entire restaurant was rebuilt by Restauranteur Michael Schaler after it was destroyed by the last two Hurricanes. A brand new look and feel combined with the fish from the area that literally jump off the boat into your plate. Live music and a friendly upbeat staff make this the Shangri La of Dining in our area
WINNER: COMEBACK OF THE YEAR
Azure in the Shores Resort and Spa (Daytona Shores)
The chef became the F&B Manager but that has not affected anything regarding the delicious food. Most certainly the view has not changed. A mainstay in the hospitality industry in our area. The creativity is still a focus as is the way they incorporate exotic produce to pair with aged steaks or Piranha Ribs.
Pricey but worth it.
WINNER: BEST HOTEL RESTAURANT DINING & BEACHFRONT VIEW
Ice Plant (St. Augustine)
About as unique place as you will ever find anywhere in the world. The Ice Plant was exactly that at the turn of the century. The building now converted serves up a blend of contemporary cuisine mixed with a craft cocktail hipster bar, Shaped Ice Cubes, Smoke and Steel
WINNER: MOST UNIQUE EATERY
Main Street Station (Daytona Beach)
By an overwhelming margin Main Street Station is the place to visit. Concerts, Fashion Shows, Fundraisers, Comedy, Culture, History and so much more. The owner Phaedra Lee has created and preserved Daytona's cultural iconic building owned by NASCAR's Bill France
As she likes to say #lifesbetterinthegarage
No loss for diversity either as they host Latin Night, Blues Night, Bike Night and Comedy Night on a monthly basis. Paired with bigger shows Main Street Station is the place locals call home.
WINNER: BEST PLACE OVERALL
The Seabreeze Entertainment District (Daytona Beach)
Richard Kitt is an eclectic entrepreneur to say the least. He has created a strip of bars and eateries he collectively named the Seabreeze Entertainment Center. It is locally known for its 420 munchies and best burgers. They host an incredible array and blend of local talent along with some very unique underground national acts. We call this the incubator and it is great to catch some of the young talented teens that play on the outside stage fondly called The Patio.
WINNER: BEST LATE NIGHT 420 MUNCHIES
Cocina 214 (Daytona Beach)
Opened in 2018 the is the first brand new restaurant opened on the beach in decades.
Mexican food, fresh margaritas and fajitas. The view is like no other in Daytona Beach as you dine outside facing the immense Atlantic Ocean. There is nowhere else in Daytona they have fresh Homemade Tortillas and the Ceviche is always fantastic
WINNER: BEST MEXICAN, SECOND PLACE FOR OCEANFRONT DINING
Sunsetters Riverfront Bar and Grill (Daytona Beach)
The view is spectacular when the sunsets, its the perfect spot during Biketoberfest and Bike Week to view the Motorcycles as they cross over the Mainstreet Bridge. Live music on the deck, sunset shots, and a tasty menu are just part of this slice of Florida in Daytona Beach.
Fried Softshell Crab Sandwich, Loaded Chicken Tenders, Oysters and a Free Sunset Shot Every night and the traditional blowing of the Conch greets patrons as they watch the sky go by.
WINNER: BEST SUNSET DINING
Burgey's Tiki Hut (Daytona Beach)
Now in their second year Burgey's is a great find on the Beachside, Mainstreet in Daytona Beach.
There Crinkle Cut fries are second to none and the Burgess family has embedded itself in the heart of our community featuring local musicians and incredible fish tacos and the incredible Walking Taco
WINNER: MOST FRIENDLY BEST SERVICE
The Bounty at Flagler Tavern (New Smyrna Beach)
Our best kept secret. Upscale perfection on Flagler Ave in New Smyrna Beach.
Craft Cocktails with a unique viewing perspective of one of the oldest cities in America , New Smyrna. The attention to detail is incredible. A must for the foodie in you.
WINNER: BEST SPEAK EASY
By Jeff Stolowitz
Karen Romano Adams
One of the best things about Daytona Beach is that it is the World's Most Famous Beach and recently it has been absolutely living up to its reputation with the openings of Millie's Restaurant and Catering in the Daytona Shores and Off the Hook at Inlet Harbor in Ponce Inlet followed by the grand openings of Cocina 214 and the Landshark Bar & Grill on Beachside and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
It sure has been chilly this winter but things heated up this week call meeting with the ribbon cutting at both places VIP events on Wednesday night and Thursday showcased incredible food that both places have to offer and the hospitality that will be shown guests as they come to these places Fresh Tortillas freshly made margaritas and LandShark beer that Jimmy Buffett made famous are but just a few of the things that people can try while visiting these places featuring outdoor bars, fire pits an outdoor stage, shopping and access to the beach.
For vision this new Daytona Beach look is striking with it's Ocean Backdrop. It took guts to pull this off in a short 6 Month period. We have an album of photos showing various phases of construction xxxx Insert Gallery.
It is also certain that the music scene already booming with places like Main Street Station, Sunsetters Riverfront Bar and Grill, and now Burgey's Tiki Hut.
Will no doubt bring new talent and offer local musicians new places to entertain. Event Promotion and planning are on the rise and so it goes.
With the Mayor Derrick Henry, The Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce, Executives from Tomoka Consolidated, County Executives, Owners, friends and families from both locations, a full staff and a crowd of about 200 people cheering, the ribbons were cut and Restaurant History was made Behind Daytona
Make your reservations now!!!
FULL PHOTO ALBUM By Stknthe80's Photography
By Monty Montgomery
In mid-December, Behind Daytona was invited to a special showing of a new service offered by Mellow Mushroom. This great establishment, owned by local resident Robert Hargrave and located in Port Orange, has been a tremendous addition to our area with their beer taps and pizza. Now they are offering catering!
Mellow Mushroom has evolved there excellent regular foods into a worthy selection of specialty catered sandwiches and salads.
As for what I tested the evening of the introductory showing:
Sandwiches we tried
Made with all-natural grilled chicken with sun-dried roasted tomato's, applewood smoked bacon, fresh avocado and garlic aioli on multigrain ciabatta.
This was a nice mix of turkey, avocado, crisp romaine lettuce, mayo, tomato, the wow factor, bacon jam and provolone on sliced multigrain.
Salads we tried
OH, KALE YEAH!
They use baby kale and spring mix with fresh avocado, dried cherries, house-made candied pecans and bleu cheese crumbles, served with vinaigrette.
CHILL OUT PASTA SALAD
Their house-made recipe with spiral pasta, sun-dried roasted tomatoes, fresh spinach, portobello mushrooms, pesto, shaved parmesan tossed with our herb vinaigrette.
There were several other options including pizzas to order for this service. The options for Lacto-ovo vegetarian were a pleasant find for catering. Cathryn Keifer is heading the catering side of this venture and it is our opinion that she has hit a home run!
If you are planning any event that might want to use catering I cannot recommend Mellow Mushroom enough as this spread was fantastic and professional.
Find them online by visiting.
Or visit them at
5790 Journeys End Way, Port Orange, FL 32127
Mellow Mushroom another great find for some good food and drink Behind Daytona
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By Jeff Stolowitz
Behind Daytona was fortunate enough today to get a hard hat tour of the brand new Cocina 214 that's going to be opening beachside on A1A in Daytona at the end of January.
The building is nearing completion and the owner and founder of Cocina 214, Lambrine Macejewski was telling us how she's going to having a job fair onsite Jan 2nd, and can't wait to start hiring locals. Training begins soon.
Lambrine Macejewski by all accounts is the exact type of entrepreneur the city is beginning to attract. As we talked with her she mentioned that restaurants are in her blood. Having been in the industry for 40 years I could see the drive and passion in her eyes.
It is unmistakable. They light up when you ask her questions like, what type of entertainment they will provide and she pointed to an area between Cocina and the soon to open by Jimmy Buffett.
Saying, “that will be green space with access to the ocean, it will be shared and they intend on doing outdoor sit on the lawn events.”
The restaurant will hold 345 people and is an impressive 7857 square feet.
It features an outside Tiki Bar, Private Dining area, outdoor fire pits and views from inside of the Atlantic Ocean.
Breathtaking and fantastically planned the contractor and master builder John McCann was able to get the best out of this space. It's impressive.
He even thought through the material that will be used to make the bar outside so that it will weather the extreme elements we can experience on the beach.
A massive kitchen will allow Executive Chef Isidoro Alvarez and his team to focus on their inventive Tex-Mex cuisine with fresh local ingredients and made from scratch dishes, can you say “Homemade Tortillas”.
While there will be a wide variety of wine and beer and a full bar, Lambrine is all about the Margaritas, made always with fresh lime juice and ingredients. This means tequila, lots of it.
Coquina will be an awesome compliment to the growing dining scene in the city. It will be the first restaurant to open on the beach in decades and by all accounts signals the great boom in Daytona is here and here to stay.
We are looking forward to the Grand Opening and to many years of dining on the ocean drinking margaritas and eating Tex-Mex cuisine at this location.
Dining Beachside on Facebook Behind Daytona or Online Behind Daytona
357 S.Atlantic Avenue
Daytona Beach,Florida 32118
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