HomeHotspotsVintage on the Fifth, Crystal River

Vintage on the Fifth, Crystal River

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Louis Yamonico

This little gem of a restaurant has been open for close to 15 years now. With a goal to combine excellent service in a unique atmosphere with creative cuisine. they certainly hit home on all marks.  The kitchen specializes in fresh seafood, hand-cut steaks and regional Southern favorites. The menu is unique to the area and is well worth a trip on it’s own to visit Crystal River. While just north of us we never really explored this quint little town but from what we seen after arriving very early it is just wonderful and we will be back to explore more.

Let’s talk about our experience here at Vintage though. We started off with a couple of appetizers and we were not disappointed to do so. We ordered the Caribbean Jerk Shrimp  which came pan seared in a creamy jerk seasoning. The shrimp was cooked just right and remained very succulent while the jerk spice had just the right amount of spice to it not to be overpowering the shrimp. The sauce was delicious and tasted great dipping the complimentary bread into. Also we got an order of the Vintage Style Calamari  which is described as  lightly breaded and sauteed with sweet peppers and a Thai chili glaze. This was also magnificent. The sauce was very different then anything I have had with a calamari dish but was quite good. A warning that the sauce is sweet, but a nice change of pace and goes well with the calamari. On to the entrees.

For dinner I had the Fresh Cut Gulf Grouper. I had it with the Jerk pepper seasoning as I really enjoyed that shrimp appetizer. All dinners come with a choice of side between a creamy risotto, a mashed potato, and grits. We each ordered a different one to try them all and I went with the risotto. All dishes also came with a small serving of seasonal vegetables. The presentation of the meals was not anything special but the flavors really made up for that. The grouper was nice and moist and cooked to perfection. The seasoning done just right across the plate. The grouper is market priced and came to 32$ which was the average price of all 3 meals. Sure it is a little more then most places but in this case the prices are warranted. I did feel however that the vegetable portions could have been a bit more generous. Entrees also came with a small salad with a delicious balsamic dressing.

Quennie ordered the “Maple Leaf Farms” Roasted Half Duckling along with mashed potatoes. Once again they did not disappoint. The duck was cooked just right and tasted delicious. I had never tasted duck prepared this way as my experience with it prior was in a Chinese restaurant in Germany. Usually the duck I tried was very greasy but this was not at all. Very tender and moist meat with a crispy skin. I thought it was great but still overall preferred my grouper.

Our friend Jason was with us once again so we got to experience a third entre. Jay ordered the Angus Ribeye  which is a 16 ozHand-cut Large Ribeye Seasoned w/ our House Baste, Dry Rub or Maitre d’ Butter. I just has a bite of this but I can see why steak is one of this places specialties. Normally I tend to only eat steak houses but this one here was on par with any place I have tried.

Overall the restaurant all though a bit pricey is well worth the added cost and is diffidently on the map as a Florida Hotspot. I would suggest you make reservations in order to dine here.

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