May 18, 2012 Hometown News firstname.lastname@example.org
MARTIN COUNTY - Taste Casual Dining, a small
restaurant in Hobe Sound that has been a community favorite for years, was my dining destination this week, and the many small
details that Craig Kingston and his wife, Karen, put into both the dining rooms and the food added up to a wonderful dining
"We opened this restaurant in 2006," Mr. Kingston said. "The community has
been great to us. But we still constantly ask everyone what we can do better."
The atmosphere and character of the place embraced my companion and I the moment we walked through the door.
We quickly relaxed and forgot the world outside as we were led to our table and looked over the menu. As the sun set, soft lights came on, adding
to the comfortable atmosphere.
of customers, from families to couples, was spread throughout the inside and outside dining rooms. The walls are painted a
warm salmon color, and as another personal touch, paintings by local artists were on display and for sale on the walls.
There is even a mural decorating the hallway leading to the restrooms,
adding to the many personal touches the Kingstons give to their restaurant.
The menu was just as eclectic, offering a wide selection of seafood, pork, chicken and fish.
"We use a lot of local fish," he said. "We also offer
at least four specials every night."
restaurant is unveiling a new menu, complete with specials, that will focus on particular types of food. For example, Tuesday's
specials will offer a New Orleans flair, while Sunday will feature Italian dishes.
But Mr. Kingston and his chef, Michael Stancheck, have not left comfort food off the menu that makes their restaurant a destination for many.
Wednesdays will feature all-you-can-eat fish and chips. Thursday features a customer favorite: pot pies made
The majority of the food
is made from scratch at the restaurant. Marinara sauce is created side-by-side with meatloaf. Even the desserts are created
by a baker.
For my dinner, I ordered
grilled blackened grouper and my dining companion ordered pan-sauteed shrimp and lobster.
As we waited, we both received the house salads with creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side. The
thick dressing complimented the vegetables nicely, and the added touches of shredded carrots and alfalfa sprouts on the salad
gave it a nice punch of color. We also enjoyed the rolls that came to the table warmed.
But as much as I enjoyed the salad, the dinners exceeded all my expectations.
My grilled blackened grouper arrived nestled on a bed of wilted
spinach that had been sautéed with chunks of garlic. Lightly touched with a lemon beurre blanc sauce, the perfectly
cooked fish was surrounded with a delicious border of blackened scallops. A serving of rice pilaf finished the plate nicely.
There was the perfect amount of heat to the scallops, and the lemon
flavor added a cooling side bite with a little extra zing. The flavor of the fish was heightened when taken with a bite of
the garlic spinach. The depth of flavors that were used in that combination was delicious.
My companion's dinner looked almost too good to eat. The shrimp and lobster were pan sautéed with
white wine and lemon butter, and a roasted shallot and citrus basil aioli complemented the plate, alongside a serving of creamy
mashed potatoes. The entire dinner was lightly dressed with a balsamic reduction and roasted asparagus rested lightly on top.
The butterflied shrimp were cooked perfectly, and an addition of
lobster claw meat was a nice, tasty surprise. The sauce and reduction brought a light sweetness to the dish, which balanced
with the starch of the potato and meatiness of the lobster.
The final touch of asparagus added a wonderful texture, and the char on the vegetable brought out another
layer of sweetness.
But our dinner wasn't
done yet, as a piece of freshly baked Florida
orange cake made its way to our table. The yellow cake had corresponding layers of orange-cream filling and just a hint of
marmalade. It came covered with a delicate buttercream frosting.
The moist cake clung to my fork with every bite, and the light texture and citrusy sweetness ended the evening
on a sweet note, despite a brief struggle for the last bite with my dining companion.
With a can't-be-beat combination of casual dining in a relaxing atmosphere with delicious food, Taste is
the place to experience.
Taste Casual Dining is located at 11750 S.E. Dixie Highway in historic
downtown Hobe Sound. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week until Mother's Day, when it will close on Sundays.
Catering on and off-site is available. For more information, call (772) 546-1129 or go online to www.tastehobesound.com.