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New idea freshens up building
News-Journal staffer Valerie Whitney dined recently at Fresh, a new Italian restaurant in Daytona Beach, with her daughter, Amina.
Q. How did it look?
Fresh is the latest eatery to open in an old restaurant building located between an apartment complex and a small motel on South Ridgewood Avenue. There is an herb garden in the front that cooks actually use for seasoning. The new owners have jazzed up the place with a red roof and a yellow awning with the name of the place emblazoned in red. The interior is meant to make guests feel as if they have stumbled upon a Tuscan vineyard. There are bottles of wine, grapevines and baskets of artificial grapes scattered throughout.
My daughter and I visited on a Tuesday night. There was a light dinner crowd, and we were seated immediately in a booth near a window on one side of the main dining room. In addition to booths, there is a bar in the main dining room and several tables in the center of the floor. There is a fireplace in the center of the main dining room and similar seating on the other side.
Q. What kind of entree did you order?
We munched on oven-toasted bread and a dipping sauce made with olive oil, vinegar, garlic and olives while looking over the menu.
We started with appetizers. My daughter ordered the calamari ($7.95), which had been lightly dusted in flour and pecorino cheese then fried. It’s served with a spicy cherry-pepper marinara, which was tasty. I had the bruschetta ala caprese ($5.95) — diced tomato, mozzarella and fresh basil drizzled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, served with homemade crostinis or bread.
Dinner came with side salads.
For the main course, I chose chicken Marsala ($16.95), consisting of chicken medallions sauteed with shallots, mushrooms and Marsala wine and finished with an herbed butter served over linguini. While I liked the taste of the sauce, I think I would have preferred the chicken with garlic mashed potatoes. My daughter opted for the eggplant ($15.95), which was breaded, lightly fried, topped with marinara and cheese and served over linguine. The food is served family style, which means the portions were enough for several people. We both had leftovers, and they tasted good the next day.
Q. What did you order to drink?
I ordered an Arnold Palmer ($1.75), a mixture of lemonade and ice tea. She had a diet Pepsi ($1.75). Wine, beer and cocktails are available.
Q. How were the desserts offered?
Despite being stuffed, we took the bait when our waitress appeared with a platter of sinfully rich sweets. My daughter ordered the carrot cake ($4.95), and I decided to try the white chocolate cake ($4.95). The pieces were large, so we needed more boxes for leftovers.
Q. What was the total?
Our drinks, two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts came to $64.11 including tax. We left a $12.82 tip for our very attentive waitress, Michaelina.
Fresh, a Taste of Italy
WHERE: 1130 S. Ridgewood Ave. (U.S. 1), Daytona Beach
ACCESSIBILITY: Ample parking and wheelchair accessible
HOURS: Dinner starts at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Live music on Thursday through Saturday. Lunch is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Lunch includes salads, antipasti, paninis and pastas.
MISCELLANEOUS: Major credit cards accepted. Guests can sit outside on the patio or inside by the fireplace. There also is a banquet room.
PHONE: (386) 947-9736
Thank you News Journal !!
I feel like I just got a day off !!~