Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dining at The Sea Porch, Loews Don Cesar

Two weeks ago, I posted about a girls trip I had at Don Cesar in St. Pete Beach with my friend Amanda (wheresamanda.com). The two days we had at "The Pink Palace equaled beautiful views, white beaches, craft cocktails and delicious food. Our first night at the resort, we dined at The Sea Porch with our friend Jeff. The Sea Porch has seating inside and out, allowing for some of the most breathtaking beach views and sunsets you have ever seen.

We started with Conch Fritters with Burnt Orange Mustard Sauce. I've been to the Keys quite a few times and every visit, we order conch fritters. I can honestly state these lived up to the pressure.
The second starter was Blue Crab Cakes with Habanero Remoulade and a Red Papaya Chutney. I usually turn my nose up to blue crab but I enjoyed this very much.
We received a bowl of sweet potato soup, compliments of the chef. The southern girl in me eyed this soup very suspiciously. Upon first bite, I fell in love and do not know if I can ever get over the short affair I had with this soup. Seriously, it was THAT good. Topped with bacon dust (yes you read that correctly) and a horseradish cream. Sigh. 
The star dish of the night was Amanda's whole crispy Snapper. It had teeth, a tail and eye sockets. This fish caused quite the fiasco with Amanda and I taking 1,000 photos of it. It was worth - very delicious, crispy and not fishy at all. It was accompanied with coconut lemon balm rice, pea tendrils, pickled onions and a citrus mojo.
I ordered a pork chop topped with apple slaw. When I heard it was accompanied with collared greens and sweet potato mashed potatoes. After the sweet potato soup, I knew this Chef was talented in southern cooking so there was no question - I had to order it. Those collards would have made my Grandmother happy, and that is saying a lot.
Jeff ordered Grilled Swordfish with Cannellini Beans, Roasted Fennel, Little Neck Clams and a Orange Basil Gremolata. This was a great dish with a ton of flavor.
Now it was time for the above mentioned famous St. Pete Beach sunset. This was Amanda's first visit to the gulfcoast and we couldn't have asked for a better night.
With full belly's, we waddled back to the table. Only to find ourselves in company of a dessert menu. Amanda ordered the Chocolate Coffee Crunch Bar with caramel popcorn and mocha meringue. It was to die for times 1,000,000. Seriously, if you ever find yourself at the Don Cesar, you owe yourself this dessert (coming from someone who doesn't really care for dessert).
Meanwhile, I got the Carrot Cake Dome. If I order dessert, I tend to go for Carrot Cake, Red velvet or salted caramel something or another. This carrot cake had a salted caramel glaze with sweet cream cheese. It was delicious and beautiful but I still liked Amanda's better.
This was a wonderful dinner with stunning views. There is one thing for sure - Gabe and I will be returning to Loews Don Cesar sooner than later for dinner.

Along with amazing sunsets, The Sea Porch at Don Cesar also serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch.

The Sea Porch at the Loews Don CeSar Hotel on Urbanspoon

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