At Ivy Lane Bistro, chefs blend international recipes into a uniquely American menu. At breakfast, they design daily quiches, crust french toast with Frosted Flakes, scoop mascarpone into crepes, and customize eggs benedicts to order. At lunch and dinner, they draw from European and Asian culinary styles to layer flatbreads with duck and hoisin sauce, hand cut 8-ounce fillets, and roll up lasagna noodles with prosciutto and ricotta. The aromas of their simmering and baking fill the café-like space, bouncing off the chalkboards on the bright-red walls and wafting out to greet guests dining alfresco on the historic brick-paved sidewalks. These aromas join the complex bouquets of wines from North and South America, Europe, and New Zealand and mingle with music during evenings with local musicians, Sunday jazz brunches, and Whistle-to-Yourself Wednesdays.
Since 1948, grills have kissed aged steaks from Chicago and Kansas City with open flames to take center stage on Gene's Steak House's menu bolstered with select classics dishes and fine wines. Cuts of beef range from 6-ounce petite filet mignons to 28-ounce porterhouse-steak behemoths, each carved from corn-fed, immaculately aged meat. Diners can relive fishing trips or nightmares about aquariums with plates of char-grilled stuffed grouper, lobster tails, and salmon. A list of over 200 fine wines from around the world lends bouquets to balance every smoky flavor, highlighting steaks with French red bordeaux and complementing seafood with German white varietals.
At McK's Tavern, guests settle in for tasty craft beers and hearty pub fare amid the trill of tin whistles and fiddles and the toe-tapping thrum of banjos playing Irish folk music. A cozy atmosphere of brass-railed bar tops, brick walls, and varnished wood complements a spread of American buffalo wings, burgers, and wraps, as well as Irish fish and chips and shepherd's pie.
Vince Carter's, co-owned by Daytona's hometown NBA star, populates its menu with savory Angus beef burgers and a plentitude of refreshing drinks in an elegant dining and sports entertainment venue. Customers can bury a half-pound certified Angus beef burger ($9) in a mound of up to 15 toppings, including blue cheese, sautéed mushrooms, and piquant pesto-mayonnaise sauce. Burgers come with a police escort of french fries, the vegetable of the day, sweet potato fries, the house salad, or bow tie pasta to ensure they make it to mouths without any inappropriate paparazzi shots from nearby tables.
Premo’s Grille is the realization of a shared dream. According to an article in The Daytona News-Journal, Nancy Connell, a department manager at Target, and Dale Kissell, a former long-distance truck driver, wanted to start their own restaurant so that they could “be their own bosses.” The couple met in high school, reconnected 20 years later, and moved from snowy Rochester, New York down to Daytona Beach–a place Kissel praises because “you don’t have to shovel sunshine.” By keeping prices down and using only fresh ingredients, the couple hopes to create a niche for themselves in the sunny community. The Premo’s Grille menu features casual-American cuisine that ranges from a skirt-steak salad with chipotle dressing and bleu cheese to the chicken marsala, which is simmered in a rich sauce of mushrooms and marsala wine. The kitchen also serves up bacon cheeseburgers, and the shrimp scampi features sauce that has an infusion of butter, wine, and garlic, and also doubles as a vampire repellent. To keep dinner animated, live music also fills the dining room on Friday and Saturday nights. If their food proves a success, Connell and Kissell want to eventually expand their menu and space.
Though Clubhouse Restaurant’s wall-size windows look out on the rolling greens and fairways of Daytona Beach Golf Club, the steady stream of regulars often have a difficult time prying their eyes away from the plates in front of them. Locally renowned for its juicy steaks and handmade, all-beef burgers, Glen Leizear’s restaurant has become a community staple since he moved to Daytona Beach from Maryland more than a decade ago. The key to his success, as he once told the Daytona Beach News-Journal only begins with the food—he works more than 100 hours a week to ensure that prices stay reasonable and his customers feel welcome, whether stopping in for full meals or friendly games of cards. Though the restaurant’s familial atmosphere encourages guests to drop their guard and relax, Glen keeps things interesting by routinely hosting catered banquets, old-fashioned cookouts on holidays, and indoor driving-range practice.