Built in the late 1800s as the Manor House, a luxury hotel catering to well-off vacationers from New England, Rose Villa evokes decades of history by serving gourmet fare in fully restored surroundings. Each room of the manor has its own visual theme, from the burnt-sienna polka dots papering the original parlor to the wooden cabinets and extremely large sticks decorating the Teddy Roosevelt bar. The menu of French-inspired cuisine proves as vibrant as the setting, with the bright-red shell of a lobster tail contrasting with the dark grill marks atop a filet mignon.
Post meal, patrons can venture inside the absinthe bar, where light streams through stained glass as a barkeep pours four brands of absinthe, another nod to the building's past according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Dishes and drinks are also served outside beneath an oversize gazebo surrounded by lush greenery.
At Caffeine Bistro & Wine Bar, chefs and bartenders work in tandem to sling a long list of eclectic bistro fare coupled with craft brews, wines, and cocktails from an outdoor thatched tiki bar. Each week brings musical acts that fill the eatery's air with up-tempo tunes, adding to the casual vibe reflected by a wall full of mismatched portraits, multicolored lights, and tables that double as practice surfboards.
Before heading into his kitchen, chef and owner of Frappes North Bobby Frappier makes a detour at the restaurant’s organic herb and tomato garden, harvesting ingredients for the day’s menu. The armful of herbs and tomatoes make cameos in that evening’s sauces, such as dill compound and thyme jus, as well as in the pasta sauce sold at the restaurant.
In addition to its fresh cuisine, Frappes North has earned nods for its sophisticated ambiance. Wine tastings, held on the first Tuesday of every month, bring oenophiles and the oeno-curious together for a sample of delightful vintages, paired with appetizers. Chef Bobby also leads hands-on cooking classes on the weekends, each with a seasonal or ethnic theme, so that customers can learn to cook the food they love to eat.
Ormond Beach RiverFest brings together more than 25 musical groups, which converge on riverfront park Rockefeller Gardens to play a jam-packed schedule of folk, reggae, Celtic, and other aurally pleasing styles of music. Headliners Claire Lynch and Chuck Pyle—the singer-songwriter who penned country tunes “Cadillac Cowboy” and “Jaded Lover”—will tickle their guitar strings on both Saturday and Sunday. Festival-goers water their ears with music at two stages, harmonizing to the sea chanteys and Celtic melodies of Bill Good and strumming vocal cords during the Americana, bluegrass, and blues blend of the John French Connection. Keep stomach grumblings from upstaging drummers with eats from area businesses such as the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., River Grille, and Gene’s Steak House. Inside the kids' area, tykes romp in bounce houses and offer their faces up as canvases, upon which staffers paint animals or replicas of Whistler’s Mother while parents stroll the park or lounge beneath the VIP tent.
Having spent more than 25 years in the beauty business, Wild Strandz Hair Salon’s owner, Gregg Davis, puts his experience to use by prettifying clients along with his team of licensed aestheticians and nail technicians. A line of luxury spa chairs sets the scene for manicures and pedicures, during which techs whittle away at calluses and brush on polish to create keratin facsimiles of clients’ favorite Mark Rothko paintings. The spa’s aestheticians and massage therapists evince similarly artistic tendencies, drawing on a wealth of knowledge in their chosen crafts as they unpack pore-clogging bacteria and tendon-tying knots.
La Crepe en Haut has crafted fine French and Nouvelle cuisine for more than three decades. Customer's senses pique upon entry into La Crepe's elegant dining room, enveloped in warm lighting, lunar-dust-lined walls, and rich green accents, before being greeted by a menu of entrees made from fresh meats and seafood in a variety of traditional French preparations. Vichyssoise, a cold potato and leak soup ($8.50), sets the stage for the main event of blackened fillet with blue cheese and cabernet glaze ($36.95), or canard à l'orange or au poivre rouge, a roasted duckling bathed in orange sauce or peppercorn brandy ($29.95). La Crepe en Haut slakes fermented thirst with an extensive wine list, which doubles as a yearbook for varietals graduating this year.
The chefs at Paganos Pizzeria plate Jersey-style pizzas and robust Italian entrees, served in a dining room that proudly displays Garden State license plates and a poster of historic Maplewood, NJ alongside an array of Reader's Choice certificates from the Hometown News that commend the eatery for winning in multiple categories. The restaurant is also found on Urbanspoon's list of Best Daytona Beach restaurants. Diners pair their veal parmigiana, baked ziti, or calzones with wines by the glass or carafe, cold brews, or soft drinks.