Hubby and I recently celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary and decided to escape to Daytona Beach for a few days. The weather was brilliant and we spent our time visiting the boardwalk, checking out curiosities, and relaxing on our ocean front beach front balcony. And of course we sampled the local cuisine. Here’s a recap of our favorites.
810 S. Atlantic Avenue, Ormond Beach, FL 32176 | 386-672-4347
For a quick casual meal on our first night in town we headed over to Charlie Horse Restaurant on the recommendation of the hotel’s concierge. The place was lively and a dozen or so people were lounging on the front porch waiting for their tables. We couldn’t find parking so I popped in to ask the hostess where we should park and she directed us to enter the next door Bone Fish driveway and pull around back to park there. That was a little odd but we figured it out. The wait for a table wasn’t too long and made pleasant by chatting with other touristy folks comparing notes on Daytona Beach in general.
Hubby ordered Sirloin Steak with a side of Garlic Mashed and brown gravy and declared it good. I opted for a Salad topped with Sliced Grilled Sirloin and it was very good. Honestly we were so tired this first night that we just ate quickly and headed to the hotel to call it a night. The place was noisy and we just weren’t in the mood – but I’d definitely go back and maybe try their all you can eat crab legs since that seemed to be the hot menu item.
Rossellini’s Restaurant & Lounge
136 S Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118 | Phone: 3862538333
We were in the mood for elegant Italian food and Rossellini’s seemed the perfect choice for dinner. The restaurant has a charming atmosphere and it was a quiet Monday evening midway between Christmas and New Year’s. Next time we’d like to return on a night when they have live music on the patio deck.
We started with an appetizer of Seafood Saute that featured clams & mussels in a garlic and white wine sauce. Delicioso! Way too much of their good crusty bread was employed to sop up the savory juices.
I indulged in Veal Scallopini Marsala and it was tender and tasty, a good portion size, and came with a mushroom risotto and vegetables. I ate every morsel. Hubby had Veal Parmigiana with Spaghetti and he was quite satisfied.
Our waitress fussed over us with a celebratory glass of champagne and a slice of their amazing Lemoncello Cake to mark our special occasion 25th Wedding Anniversary. Here’s to the next 25 years!
Hubby is obsessed with Raw Clams on the Half Shell. This craving harkens back to his NYC upbringing where he was known to indulge in eating 2-4 dozen on his own, heaped with cocktail sauce, horse radish and lemon juice. As a matter of fact it was hubby that introduced me to raw clams, something I’d never had any desire to try. Well he got me hooked as well and I especially like when he prepares my clams just so to make sure they’re dressed correctly.
With this in mind we set out to find a restaurant for lunch that served Raw Clams and well that turned into somewhat of a fiasco. We’ve noticed since moving to Florida that most restaurants with a Raw Bar serve Oysters, not Clams. Yes we’ve found a few but they’re rare. On this day we finally got a tip where to go – Boondocks, an outdoorsy place right on the marina. I wouldn’t even mention them now since they had no clams that day, but the hostess was so very nice and referred us to one of their competing restaurants she was sure would have what we were after. That makes me determined to try Boondocks next time we’re in town! BOONDOCKS | 3948 S. Peninsula Drive, Wilbur By The Sea, FL 32 127 | 386-760-9001 | http://www.boondocks-restaurant.com
And here at last we found our Raw Bar – We ordered two dozen Littleneck Clams on the Half Shell and slurped them up in no time. I followed that up with a salad topped with grilled tilapia, and hubby got a Shrimp Po Boy. The weather was brilliant and we enjoyed sitting on the open deck – a most pleasant experience. Our Deck Down Under is a terrific casual place that families will enjoy. We sure did!
It was the perfect way to celebrate our big day and we were so enchanted by all that Daytona Beach has to offer that we will be returning later this year and bringing some friends with us.....the more the Jollier! OUR DECK DOWN UNDER , 78 Dunlawton Ave., Daytona Beach, FL | http://www.ourdeckdu.com/