Last week, I had the privilege of attending an event at Pesca Vilano, the latest culinary masterpiece by the renowned Chef Michael Lugo. As a lifestyle blogger based in Jacksonville, Florida, I’ve had my fair share of dining experiences, but this one was truly special.
Nestled in the heart of Vilano Beach, Pesca Vilano is a testament to Chef Lugo’s passion for Latin and Caribbean flavors. As I walked into the restaurant, the vintage Miami vibes, reminiscent of the Art Deco period, immediately caught my attention. The ambiance perfectly complements the beachy and laid-back atmosphere of Vilano.
The main dining area is a blend of elegance and comfort, with a bar that boasts a curated wine library. But the pièce de résistance has to be the rooftop bar and grill. Offering panoramic views of the coast, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a cocktail and some select small plates.
The Dining @ Pesca Rooftop
Speaking of food, the menu is a delightful fusion of Latin flavors with a global twist. I was particularly impressed with the poke tuna tacos, a delightful blend of marinated tuna topped with a creamy avocado crema. The bacalaitos were another standout, crispy salt cod fritters paired perfectly with a garlic mojo aioli. And I absolutely couldn’t resist the tamarind lacquered short rib bao bun, a fusion of flavors that danced on my palate.
The Drinks @ Pesca
Amidst the culinary delights, the drink menu at Pesca Vilano deserves a special mention. The Vilano Vixen was a tropical dream in a glass. Its sweet and tangy notes, brought out by the harmonious blend of vodka, passionfruit, guava, orgeat, and lemon, transported me straight to a sun-kissed beach. Each sip was a refreshing burst of flavors, making it the perfect accompaniment to the dishes.
On the other hand, the Matanzas Margarita was a masterclass in balance. The refreshing taste of tequila mixed with watermelon juice and blood orange was elevated by the hint of spice from the Datil Agave. The salted rim added that extra oomph, making every sip a delightful dance of citrus and spice on the palate. It’s not just a drink; it’s an experience that perfectly encapsulates the essence of Pesca Vilano.
But what truly sets Pesca Vilano apart is the personal touch Chef Lugo has infused into every aspect of the restaurant. The name itself is a tribute to his father and his favorite restaurant in Puerto Rico, El Pescador. It’s evident that Chef Lugo wants diners to relive those cherished memories, offering new flavors in a setting that’s both exciting and familiar.
The Desserts @ Pesca
As the evening came to an end, my sweet tooth beckoned, and I couldn’t resist trying the desserts. The flourless brownie was rich and decadent, melting effortlessly with each bite. But the true star of the evening was the churro. It was, without a doubt, the best I have ever had in my life. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and dusted with just the right amount of sugar – it was pure perfection.
Pesca Vilano is more than just a restaurant; it’s an experience. Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner, a casual rooftop hangout, or a trip down memory lane, Pesca Vilano has something for everyone. I can’t wait to go back and explore more of what Chef Lugo has to offer.
For those interested in checking it out, Pesca Vilano is located in the Hyatt Place hotel at 117 Vilano Road in Vilano Beach, Florida. Don’t forget to follow them on social media @pescavilano and check out their website for more details.