Restaurant Review: The Garlic in New Smyrna Beach

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For years, I've heard people rave about The Garlic in New Smyrna Beach. Sure, there are a few detractors, but overwhelmingly it's been positive feedback I've heard about this restaurant. Several times over the years I have pulled up the menu online, only to close it out after looking at the prices. It's just more than I care to spend dining out. Last July, my family from Michigan visited and my brother-in-law mentioned The Garlic to me. I told him they would have to go without us, because it's too expensive. They didn't end up going either. Well, they are back in town visiting again, and again he mentioned trying The Garlic. Only this time he had a paper menu that he had picked up.

I took a look at the paper menu and saw that they have an early bird special. I had never noticed that on their website before. It's still more than I care to spend dining out, but the savings on the meal enticed me, and I told him we were in! 

The early bird special is from 4:00-5:30, so we arrived during that time on Tuesday night. I assumed on a Tuesday night it wouldn't be busy, but I was wrong. The place was packed, but we still got seated quickly. The four of us really liked the atmosphere. Anywhere that has trees in a dining area impresses me, because I'm a tree lover. The atmosphere was just very cool, giving us a mixed indoor/outdoor kind of feel, and I liked all the strings of lights. 

My sister ordered the chicken parmigiano, my brother-in-law ordered the chicken alfredo, and my husband and both ordered the pasta pomodoro (minus the parmesan). The meal was served with a salad, which was really good. Unlike some restaurants that give you an iceberg lettuce salad with barely anything in it, this one was good and had a variety of veggies. They also brought us their signature roasted garlic that they smash and add a little balsamic vinegar to, and you dip the crusty bread into it. It was really good. 

Our pasta pmodoro was great. The sauce was perfect, delicious, and we ate every bit of it. My sister and brother-in-law both said their dishes were great as well. We were so full at the end of that meal! The early bird special includes your drink (with my husband even able to get a draft beer), salad, and the bread. Our total bill, before tip, was $33.99 for my husband and I. My sister's bill was about $10 more, because she had opted for a Caesar salad instead of the one that comes with the meal, and the dishes they chose cost more. 

Everyone loved The Garlic. We all thought the atmosphere, food, and service was great. While the early bird special is still on the pricey side, we would definitely go back again on special occasions or for a date night.

Two thumbs up for the The Garlic!

- Jacqueline Bodnar

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Disclosure: Some posts may contain links that compensate VCM. Please read the disclosure.


Review: Bonefish Grill Daytona Beach

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While Bonefish Grill is a chain restaurant, the newest Daytona Beach location doesn’t give off the vibe as being so! My husband and I arrived at the newest Bonefish location at 1702 West International Blvd last night and were presently surprised. The ambiance, the decor, and the mood was unlike other Bonefish Grills. We were greeted with a smile from the hostesses and immediately seated. The tables were clean and well appointed. The restaurant, with its modern decor and seaside flare made it very comfortable, yet upscale at the same time.

You may ask how the food was. We were offered appetizers, and drinks to start with. The appetizers were wagyu beef sliders on a savory potato bun and their famous Bang, Bang shrimp. The wagyu beef sliders were amazingly tender and juicy. The Bang, Bang shrimp were plump, packed with flavor, and offered just the right amount of spice. The drinks were part of their happy hour and were a Hawaiian orchid martini made with Cruzan guava rum and a floating edible orchid. The other drink offered was the smoked old fashioned made with Woodford Reserve. This is a one of a kind drink made of bourbon and had the largest ice cube in the glass I’ve ever seen. Both are a must try on their menu.

The main course consisted of a variety of seafood. Plated left to right was Atlantic salmon, shrimp, Georges Banks scallops, and swordfish. All were flavorful and the toppings worked in unison. The salmon was flaky and grilled to perfection and the swordfish was more dense and had a delicious sauce. The sides were broccoli and mashed potatoes. The broccoli was fresh and steamed perfectly. The mashed potatoes were delicious as well. They certainly saved the very best for last. We were served their carrot lava cake for dessert along with an espresso chocolate martini rimmed with sugar and chocolate. The carrot lava cake was decadent with a cream cheese molten center, served warm, and topped with homemade whipped cream. It was served with vanilla ice cream atop a nest of graham crackers. Absolute deliciousness in every bite!

Don’t let the name fool you- the name may contain fish and the decor may be seaside themed, but the offerings are far beyond that of just seafood. This location offers “excursions” for groups wanting to host their next party or company get together. They have all the information on their website. While, I do believe some entrees are on the higher side, you do get an ample amount and great quality of food. The restaurant is perfect for groups, couples, and kids. For the budget conscious person, I suggest checking out their happy hour from 4-6 weekdays. They offer bar bites for $6 and drink specials. My husband and I had a lovely dining experience and think it’s the perfect place for your next night out.


Review by: Kelly Lariosa

Visit the Bonefish Grill menu here.

Disclosure: Some posts may contain links that compensate VCM. Please read the disclosure.