Costa Brava, 95 Cordova Street, St. Augustine, Florida 32084
Sophisticated and decadent: Costa Brava at 95 Cordova, definitely pulls out all the stops and it does so effortlessly. Not only is the place beyond beautiful, with a rich, clean Mediterranean feel; its food matches its gorgeous aesthetics.
I dined at the restaurant after shooting a fashionably fun blog at the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine. Not only did the historic landmark give us an amazing backdrop to feature “America’s Most Fashionable Piglets“, they also invited my crew to stay for dinner at their famed restaurant and boy, are we glad we did. It was AMAZE-ballz. We’re still talking about it and our visit was nearly two weeks ago.
Because our dinner was a little on the early side, we started out with two light cocktails; the “El Diablo”(made with tequila, fresh lime and cranberry juice) was devilishly smooth, but it was the “Blood Orange Bellini” that went down so refreshingly fast, I needed another round STAT.
We embarked on our Mediterranean style feast with a traditional “Greek Chopped Salad,” freshly plated inside a shaved cucumber ring. The amazingly tasty “Lemon, Beet & Black Bean Hummus with Grilled Pita,” added some real pow in the culinarily creativity department. I’m not a big Jose Cuervo drinker, but why shoot it when you can eat it? Costa Brava’s “Tequila Shrimp” (marinated in lime, tequila and grilled to perfection) was a pure party in my mouth! Last but not least in the starters department: the “Papas Vravas” (Spanish style crispy potatoes with smoked paprika tomato aoli) were both meaty and marvelous.
For dinner, it was the perfect mix of seafood and steak; The “Moules-Frites” (mussels steamed with coconut milk, lime curry and chili) were my absolute favorite. The mussels were cooked to perfection and its sauce was soup spoon worthy. My photographer, James Woodley, raved about the “Grilled Skirt Steak” (made with parsnip chips and chimichurri sauce.) I wish I could confirm his love and adoration of the plate, but he quickly snatched it away just as I was sinking my teeth in. James said it was one of the best steaks he’d ever had (how’s that for an endorsement?)
The “Seared Sea Scallops” (served with a lemon parsley couscous and a petite tomato salad) was my producers favorite. I loved it, too. The scallops had a great texture and the couscous was so flavorful, I could have eaten it by itself. The “Sliced 6 oz. NY Strip And Small Wedge Salad” (with jalapeño ranch dressing, bacon, feta, asparagus and basil) was the perfect balance of yummy protein goodness and girl you gotta have these greens because they’re great. How do you wrap up a meal of this caliber; with a tall martini glass filled with a gorgeous, silky berry-based gelato. It was heavenly (and if you’re a regular blog reader you know how I feel about dessert.)
Usually hotels (especially fancy ones) have the prerequisite restaurant to cater to its guests, but most of the time (from my experience) it’s a take it or leave it kind of place. When it comes to the Casa Monica Hotel and its “Costa Brava at 95 Cordova” that’s definitely NOT the case. I’d even dare to say, it’s one of the best restaurants I’ve ever dined in and that’s why it’s one of my favorite things.
Casa Monica (originally built in the 1800’s,) is in the heart of St. Augustine. Not only is it one of the oldest hotels in the United States, it’s also a member of the Historic Hotels of America National Trust. The restaurant, snuggled off the side of its ornate lobby, is right by the grand entrance. Valet is available (on the other side of the building) and is easy to access. I didn’t stay at the hotel itself, but I can’t wait to go back and spend the night.
Open 7 days a week! Breakfast: 7am-10:30am. Lunch: Monday-Saturday 11am-2:30pm. Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 5pm-9pm, Friday-Saturday 5pm-10pm and Sunday brunch: 10:30am-2pm.
Book reservations on line: www.casamonica.com or call 904-810-6810
Editor: Matthew Auerbach
Writer & Producer: Shireen Sandoval
Photographer: James Woodley
Assist: Jackie Kay