When we relocated back to Florida from Illinois last year, our dear friends raved about their favorite restaurant in Hernando Beach. Casual atmosphere. Upscale cuisine. And more than likely, soy-allergy friendly. I hopped on the website to get a feel for their menu. Easy to navigate. Immediately drawn to the seafood and organic salads sections, I felt confident I'd find success there.
Girls lunch out. Where to go? How about The Cove?
They have inside and outside dining. The large patio sits on the canal which was fun to watch the alligators and turtles. Our waitress greeted us immediately. Friendly and knowledgeable of the menu. I addressed my soy-allergy concerns. She went through the menu with me, and once we settled on a Cobb salad with salmon, our waitress went to discuss everything with the chef. Upon returning she assured me all would be good. The chef would grill my salmon and use olive oil. No cross contamination would happen. They'd make sure of it. I appreciated their seriousness and wasn't worried at all.
The ambiance was relaxing. Warm breeze. Palm trees. A hint of salt in the air from The Gulf. The waitresses weren't pushing people out. They were busy, but it wasn't a hectic vibe. The ladies and I enjoyed ourselves while we waited for our food. Which wasn't long at all. Sometimes my dishes take longer because of preparation. But if the kitchen is efficient and properly informed the process isn't a problem.
Beautiful salmon filet. Oil and vinegar on the side. Fresh veggies. The salmon was crisp on the outside. My first cut into the salmon revealed a perfect shade of pink. Not dry one bit. I was pleased.
I've learned when I go out to take a bite of my food and wait because if there is a trace of soy, I'll know within seconds. That's my trust level with restaurants. Sad but it's a reality and something I must do because of my experiences.
However, no issues with The Cove.
I devoured my plate.
I have eaten there twice and both times were magnificent. Date night with my husband will be next. To know the chef and entire staff care about food allergies is HUGE. I've dealt with restaurants who feel my food allergies are a nuisance. Look, I hate them too. I wish I could eat whatever I wanted under the sun but I can't because I like to live, as do others who have food allergies.
The Cove's menu ranges from Lobster Bisque -- my dear friend's obsession -- to Hawaiian Style Marinated Pork Chops to Pan Seared Scallops.
Open every day except for Mondays.
Tuesday - Thursday Noon - 8 pm
Friday & Saturday Noon - 9 pm
Sunday Noon to 8 pm
Early bird menu 2 pm - 5 pm
If you are visiting the Nature Coast, I highly recommend The Cove. I look forward to dining there again and I am ordering the salmon again.
My tastebuds demand it.