Cafe Margaux
Address220 Brevard Ave.
CityCocoa
Phone321-639-8343
Price$$$

Cafe Margaux, a French restaurant in Cocoa, is an odd little place with delicious food. It wants to be an elegant restaurant, but it isn't, at least not one along the lines of a Victoria & Albert's or a Venetian Room. Let's just say its chic on a shoestring. But if the decor is a bit florid, the food is decidedly upscale, not really classic French, but with French tones that enhance a creative style. The best of the entrees was the melange of fresh fish, offered each evening as a sampler of the three fish specials. When I visited, the chef had prepared poached salmon, snapper with a potato crust and blackened dolphin. My guest liked the dolphin best because the blackening seasonings were perfectly balanced with the mild taste of the fish, giving just a bit of cayenne spiciness. I liked the crispiness of the shredded potato crust on the snapper. This is the sister restaurant to Ulysses' Steakhouse, also wonderful.

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Chases on the Beach
Address3401 S. Atlantic Ave.
CityNew Smyrna Beach
Phone904-423-8787
Price$$
Scott's Review

Let’s go to the beach! Aw, come on, it’ll be fun; I’ll drive. Chases on the Beach is not a destination restaurant itself, but if the beach is your destination, Chases is a good place to grab a meal. The cheeseburger is fine for lunch. For dinner, try the grouper or the scallops. (Ask the cook to put the crab cake on the side).

Chases is named for the owner Chase Breiner (although there is no apostrophe in the name; go figure.) An old hotel was previously on the site. According to the restaurant manager, local laws say you can rebuild only on an existing foundation, so the restaurant complex has an odd look and shape, with various buildings and levels.

It serves as a sort of mini-play-ground/food and drink emporium. The food is a basic compilation of seafood dinners and beach-food sandwiches. I wouldnt make a special trip just to have the food. But this is a good place to grab a bite if your day involves a trip to New Smyrna Beach .

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Fat Snook
Address2464 S. Atlantic Ave.
CityCocoa Beach
Phone321-784-1190
Price$$$

Pompano, cobia or anything else that happens to be freshly caught is likely to show up on the menu here. The pompano was oven-roasted and presented on a bed of jasmine rice with black beans and pico de gallo and mango. It was daubed with a flower of avocado butter and accompanied by a poblano chili, which offered a not-too-spicy counter note to the sweetly mild firm-fleshed fish.

The cobia was poached in extra virgin olive oil, which raised the richness of the fish a few notches. It was served with toasted coconut rice and accompanied by a citrus vinaigrette.

It’s a casual, beachy kind of place that tends to be a bit loud.

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Heidelberg
Address7 N. Orlando Ave.
CityCocoa Beach
Phone321-783-4559
Price$$
Scott's Review
This longtime Cocoa Beacher has been serving good German food for decades. The dining room was recently spiffed up and a patio was added. Next door is Heidi's Jazz Club, so you can make a night of it right here.... Read more
La Crepe En Haut
Address142 E. Granada Blvd.
CityOrmond Beach
Phone386-673-1999
Price$$$$

The special occasion place on the coast can still be special. Prices are as haut as the name, but Dover sole and veal medallions with lobster are worth the cost. Have a cold buttered rum for dessert and let someone else drive home.

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River Rocks
Address6485 S. U.S. Highway 1
CityRockledge
Phone321-757-7200
Price$$$
Scott's Review

River Rocks has a wonderful location, directly on the Indian River Lagoon, and it takes full advantage with a delightful deck overlooking the water. Unfortunately the food does not rise to meet the setting. It's unimaginative, inexpertly prepared and overpriced. Better to come here to sip a glass of wine or have a cocktail at sunset and then go elsewhere for dinner.

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Ulysses’ Prime Steakhouse
Address234 Brevard Ave.
CityCocoa
Phone321-639-3922
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

A restaurant of the highest caliber, Ulysses’ excellent staff serves the highest grade of meat in a small and intimate dining room with gorgeous atmosphere.

The restaurant is owned by the same folks who have the very fine Cafe Margaux next door. Ulyssee's is more upscale, both in food and décor, and it offers a quiet and intimate dinner of exquisitely prepared food served with absolute precision.

One of the finest items I sampled was the seared duck liver, which though priced like an entrée at $19 was one of the standout appetizers and easily worth its cost. It isn’t necessary to pay for Wagyu beef to get a fine steak. The desserts are worth savoring.

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