Fire & Wine- Vero Beach- 5 Stars
"Build it and they will come."- Anonymous
Fire & Wine is the restaurant that comes to mind when a restaurant owner closes and tells me it was their location. I always say it's not the location that killed it, it was the food. Well, Fire & Wine is in a dumpy strip mall in Vero Beach. The decor is low end and there is zero fine about this place other than the food. There is limited seating and we needed a reservation to get in.
We were greeted at the door by a man named Roger who reminded me of the Riff Raff Character from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Roger is a close talker. He says oddly inappropriate things (unfunny jokes that come off as creepy) and puts his hands on you. Once we sat down we were greeted by our service professional, Amy, who did a stellar job throughout the evening. 5-star service in a 5-star restaurant is a rare find. I asked Amy who the guy was at the front. She told us he was the owner. I thought, " oh boy."
The restaurant menu is on the wall as well as the regular menu in front of you. The menu is eclectic and exciting. It is a riff on dime a dozen Italian restaurants. The chef here apparently decided he was going to do the standards properly. He pulls it off like nobody I have ever seen. The secret to the success here is the execution. I will go more in depth on that in a moment.
We asked Amy if she could bring us some Crispy Fried Calamari, the TV Dinner of the night, and an order of the Grilled White Trout with Pecan Brown Butter. While Amy went to drop our order, I turned my attention back to the menu on the wall as it was truly an interesting and mouthwatering read. Amy delivered our foodstuffs in the same professional manner in which she took our order and we commenced to consuming our comestibles. The Calamari is market fresh and hand breaded to order. It is served with an avocado butter and homemade beet hummus along with a freshly made Parmesan cracker that was really unique. The avocado butter was exceptional and added a tasty end note to the freshly breaded and lightly fried Calamari. While the beet hummus was unusual and presented nice layered flavors to the palate, I found it lacking a bit of a punch. All in all, I would say that the beet hummus, intriguing though it may be, was out of place on this dish, but overall the dish is 4 stars. The TV Dinner of the night, as Amy stated, was Chef Chuck's take on the childhood staple chicken pot pie. Rest assured, loyal reader, this was not like the frozen variety the sitter threw in the oven when mom and dad were out. This was something right out of culinary heaven. It was made with freshly made biscuits, tender, slow roasted chicken, in-house pickled veggies and red wine apples (which were like Ambrosia in and of themselves) all held in the loving embrace of some of the best tasting gravy I have ever had. It was with a saddened expression that I turned my gaze toward the last item to yet be devoured, the Grilled White Trout with Pecan Brown Butter. The trout was fresh, firm and grilled to perfection as it flaked off the filet as only properly cooked fish does. The corn custard that was on the side was rich, creamy and delicious beyond words. The steamed collard greens, albeit, as fresh as everything else, and cooked with the same care and expertise seemed a bit off to me with this meal, however, it was not fatal and the Pecan Brown Butter sauce is so incredible as to make them almost not worth the mention. This was a true gustatory delight!
The Big Boy says, "For an eclectic take on Italian and American standards along with flavor combinations as of yet unheard of, make a reservation at Fire & Wine -- you can't go wrong." #bigboydiningout #iamthebigboy