This monthly event features the best of fine dining at Daytona’s oceanfront, and each dinner carefully cultivates each custom menu to pair fabulous food with flavorful drinks. This month’s focus was on Florida, featuring sustainable seafood, local produce and spirits from an award winning distillery in Jacksonville called Manifest. The theme for each month is centered around a locale such as the Pacific Northwest or South America. Before each course, the chefs and distillery owner talked about each dish and drink, which featured scallops, duck, venison, followed by a beautifully flaky apple tart, paired with a mojito, two different concoctions of gin, and an incredible iced ball of whiskey that you cracked open with a spoon. 🏖🥘🥂🏝
The first course was a diver scallop with an asparagus risotto, paired with a citrus cucumber basil mojito. The second course was a duck gyoza dumpling with a citrus glaze paired with a bubbly French 75 which is a cocktail made from gin, champagne, lemon and sugar. The bright citrusy tartness brought out more flavors in the dumpling, an excellent pairing. The third course was venison which I don't think I've had in over fifteen years and which did not have a gamey taste to it at all. Instead it had a very smooth rich flavor and texture without any metallic gamey flavor. It was matched with a strong barrel aged gin, with dark earthy flavors.
The fourth course featured an apple tart tatin with a cinnamon glaze, paired with a specially made iced whiskey. You had to tap on the ball of ice with your spoon to crack it, and the drink flowed out from the ice, very innovative and fun to drink. I requested a dairy free menu for my mom for the evening, and for dessert she had mango sorbet. It brought out the citrus flavors in the drink, while the apple tart brought out the drink's cinnamon flavors. I kept going back and forth to experience how different the same drink could taste when matched with a different dessert.
The dinner series runs through December, and next month will feature Italy and Santa Margherita wines. The price is posted as $75.00+ per person and I would say it’s definitely worth the drive, and you can book your reservation online. Tickets for the Sip & Savor Dinner Series at The Shores Resort & Spa can be purchased on their website. 📲
The schedule for the rest of the year:
I got a chance to chat with the chefs Steven Bernstein and Bradford Brodie, and the Manifest distillery owner. They were very insightful and you could tell they put a lot of thought into crafting their menu. Thank you to the resort for inviting me as media!