Who isn’t looking for a locally owned, unique, and innovative Indian River County restaurant these days? Read on because River Twist will fill this niche like a boss. It has been in operation since 2019, and as of last October, it went through an expansion and currently seats 150 diners. Owners Michael and Lorraine Amaral have spent their lives in the restaurant and hospitality field, owning a couple of different restaurants before landing in Vero Beach with their three sons a decade ago. Lorraine graciously came out to say Hello and tell us a bit about their journey.
I first discovered River Twist a year ago as a lunch spot, but recently I was looking for just the right vibe for an Anniversary Dinner and returned there. It’s hard to describe the atmosphere, really. I like it because it’s unique. It’s kind of like a mashup of modern industrial meets a touch of fancy ballroom meets pop art, all with a large bar with seating reminiscent of an old Cheers episode (Hi Norm!)
Located near the Indian River Lagoon (half a mile West of the 17th Street bridge in The Shops of Vero Beach strip mall), we see how it gets the first half of its name. For the second half, Twist, you need to look no further than the menu itself, which prides itself on putting a new twist on many of the classic dishes that diners love. For example, I’ve gotten the Cuban Sandwich for lunch, with its twist of adding a thin layer of plantain. It’s still a Cuban (and a darn good one at that) but with that added complexity of flavor. Big Thumbs Up…
Our server, Stacy, gave us time to look over the menu while we nibbled on a complimentary bruschetta starter with goat cheese, golden raisins, caramelized onion, and honey. The cheese and onion bring the savory, and the raisins and honey are a perfect yin to the yang! And no, we aren’t special, everyone gets this! The elevated craft-style cocktails and huge wine list are not to be denied, either.
Here’s what we ordered…
The Garden Salad was fresh, colorful, and photo-worthy, too, with its mixed greens and a thin ribbon of cucumber encircling it like a bow on a package.
The Crab Cake was bursting with flavor, yet we knew right away that the lump crab was still the star of the show. The “twist” is a cornflake crust and a citrus grain mustard remoulade. It’s served with fresh avocado and ruby red grapefruit pieces.
The Tuna Tataki cannot be beat. With its generous portion of sesame soba noodle salad on the bottom, soy glaze, tuna, and slaw on top, it is as delicious as it is beautiful. In Asian cuisine, the word “tataki” means “pounded” and it’s one of the things I love about it- the pieces are thin.
The winner takes all, ambrosial entree of the night was the Seared Salmon entree, with its pineapple teriyaki glaze, charred tomatoes, and wilted spinach. The salmon was cooked perfectly, and the burst of flavor from the glaze and pineapple pieces was a match made in heaven!
For dessert, we had the Bourbon Pecan Bread Pudding and the Blueberry Lemon Creme Brûlée. Delectable! The Brûlée passed the spoon test on the top, and the Bread Pudding sauce was exquisite! They do offer port wines and fresh ground coffee drinks to round out the dessert experience.
Whether you fancy a quality lunch spot, a happy hour experience at the bar, or you are celebrating a special occasion, you cannot go wrong with River Twist!
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