In Cocoa Village, near our small beach condo, is a restaurant that has become, for now, my new favorite. We ate here in November for my birthday, and I’ve been dying to get back ever since. Tonight did not disappoint, even after all the hype I’d built up.
Cocoa Village itself is very cute. A block from the river, with loads of shops and quaint restaurants, it is a far cry from the traffic, chain restaurants and malls that surround it. Crush Eleven is located toward the end of this shopping/dining district, bordering neighborhood and a marina, in a strange building that looks as though it was intended to be offices or a medical building.
Once inside, the interior is nicely appointed, with an obvious handmade element to much of the décor, but a restraint that keeps it attractive. While not the same finish as most other restaurants that share as sophisticated a cuisine, the service is excellent.
We started, of course, with cocktails. Adam ordered an Old Fashioned, I ordered a Fig/Balsamic Martini with house infused vanilla vodka and finished with a torched orange zest. The first of several eye rolls were displayed by us both.
We chose a starter and a salad to share, the appetizer I’ve attempted to make at home and cannot seem to replicate. We got the Grape & Rosemary Foccacia with Triple Cream Bleu Cheese. It’s possibly one of my favorite things ever. Just before they serve it, they flash fry the focaccia and so its crispy on the outside with bits of sea salt, salty grapes and the fresh herb-y bite of the rosemary. Add the creamy bleu cheese and it’s over folks. I am THAT easy. The salad was a beet salad with goat cheese truffles, red onions and pears over spring greens with a bacon/cinnamon vinaigrette. We forged on…
Adam got one of the featured specials for the evening, Grilled Mahi over Lentils that were prepared with a duck confit and citrus. I got the Local Shrimp in Cajun Butter with Corn Spoon Bread and Crispy Leeks. We shared another of our favorites, the Charred Brussels Sprouts in a Maple Sherry Vinaigrette. More eye rolling quickly ensued. Everything we had tasted had a perfect combination of earthy, tangy, buttery and a hint of sweet. I have not one single suggestion or proposal.
I am hoping to try the brunch at some point which offers Maple Sriracha Bacon, Cardamom Sugar Bruleed Grapefruit, Tropical Carrot Cake Pancakes and house made Bloody Marys. After this meal, we were devastated to be too full to not partake in desert as the Chocolate Stout Cake served with Roasted Peanut Honey Butter, Popcorn Ice Cream and Beer Caramel. What?!?!?!?
There are many very complex dishes here, and even as I type them, I realize they sound almost ridiculous. As my friend Chris said, “what, no Peruvian virgin tear bitters?” I assure you, however, that as over the top as many of these dishes may sound, every single one is Out…Of…This…World!
Ambiance-4 out of 5 Sporks
Service-5 out of 5 Sporks
Food-5 out of 5 Sporks
Drinks-5 out of 5 Sporks
Total-4.75 out of 5 Sporks
1 Spork=you’ll want to eradicate the experience from memory, 2 Sporks=if you don’t like food, you might like this, 3 Sporks=take your friends, maybe this time you’ll keep them, 4 Sporks=take a date, a date you want to end tomorrow, 5 Sporks=you can die now, you have achieved your bliss (not granted lightly).
Check out Crush Eleven’s website-www.crusheleven.com