A true gem, the Rising Tide Tap & Table, has rolled into Port Canaveral serving up a refreshing culinary experience. I can’t say enough good things about this place! It is housed in the completely remodeled, former Italian bakery with a view of the elegant 7-story Exploration Tower and has a deck that overlooks the reflection pond.
The atmosphere is casually elegant and inviting. The staff is engaging and well-trained. The food is uniquely simple and delicious, and the beverage selection is impressive, including over 60 beers on tap, a full liquor bar and a unique wine selection.
Executive Chef Jeff Kainz created a bold and flavorful menu and added his own unique flair to timeless classics. He focuses on offering fresh local ingredients when available and making everything from scratch.
After speaking with Scott, the bar manager, my wife and I decided to take him up on a few of his recommendations and started off with the Sun Kissed Spin Dip. This was not your ordinary over-cheesed béchamel spin dip. Chef Kainz uses homemade sunchoke ricotta to bring a classic to new heights. The creamy dip, loaded with fresh spinach and sunchokes is generously poured over a warm, soft, sliced pretzel boule. It melted in our mouths and a perfect start to a great night.
For my entrée, I chose the Roasted Half Chicken. The chicken was flawlessly roasted and juicy. The combination of the nutty flavor of the black rice, smokiness of the white beans and poblano sunchoke coulis and charred broccolini gave this meal an overall rustic flavor. This is a fun classic entrée brought into the millennium, and I enjoyed the depth and array of flavors. This meal paired well with the Victory Hop Devil (Nitro).
My wife enjoyed the beer battered Cape Cod Fish & Chips, with house made cider salt chips, golden crunch slaw and lemon honey caper sauce. The batter was crispy and did not overwhelm the generous cuts of cod. Dipping in the slightly sweet but tangy lemon honey caper sauce instead of tartar sauce took this classic to a new level.
For dessert, I opted for the Cranberry Crush Custard from the specials menu. This was like a deconstructed holiday Brule you never knew you would be dreaming about. Each bite of this dessert had multiple levels of flavors. Sweetness from the custard, orange segments and candied zest, and a pleasant tart crunch of the sugar rolled cracked cranberry, topped with homemade whip cream and fresh mint. Enough said!
If you’re not already in the car on the way to Rising Tide, let me take you on a brief journey through their farm-to-table menu to get your juices flowing. The Nacho Normal Nachos again shows Chef Kainz stepping outside the box with the classic. He chooses to use wonton crisps as the base then topped off with smoked Mahi, east coast bay shrimp, white beans, tomatoes, pickled jalapeno, micro cilantro and picante crab queso. Not hungry yet? Ok, how about the Cast Iron Caesar Salad served with a cherry stout Caesar dressing?
Moving along to the burgers, these hand formed and flat grilled beauties will satisfy your inner burger enthusiast. Check out The Belly Burger with bourbon bacon, Dixie pork belly, pickled green tomato, white cheddar, chicharron, smoldered with a flavorful barbecue fig jam mustard seed sauce. Yeah, I know! Yum! I’m definitely coming back for this one!
How about their take on the Cuban Handwich (sandwich)? Pork butt smoked with tobacco leaf, prosciutto, BB pickle Kainz yellow mustard and roasted onion lime aioli. There are also street tacos (choice of filet, shrimp, pulled pork or chicken) and a gourmet stone baked pizza selection including the Swine-Apple with mojo pork, caramelized onion, smoked pineapple, mozz, and micro cilantro.
Not interested in any hand-held meals? Cruise down to their solid main entrees section including: Filet & Frites with herb rubbed beef tenderloin with smoked sea salt; Chimi Chimi Bang Bang demi glaze); or Risin Tie-Dye with tri-color tortellini, prosciutto, English peas, double creamed yolk and shaved parmesan.
Of course, there is a dessert menu and while it is small, it comes bold. Some menu items include: a chocolate pretzel cheesecake with graham pretzel crust; chocolate creamed cheese stout ganache and candied pecan; or Indian River Meringue pie with sugar snap crust, blackberry jam and citrus curd toasted meringue.
Family-friendly, Rising Tide did not forget about the small ones with an impressive children’s menu including pizza, tacos, burger, and pasta.
Separate from their regular menu Rising Tide Tap & Table has a specials menu which changes regularly and showcases more of Executive Chef Kainz culinary talent. A late-night menu called the lucky 7 for those who wish to have a late snack that is served every evening from 10:07 p.m. to close. All the prices on the Lucky 7 are $7 or $7.77. Happy hour menu featuring the $3 mystery drink.
During our visit, we had a unique opportunity to speak with the Sous chef, Laura Elizabeth, who enthusiastically reported that the owners of Rising Tide have a “big hearted concept” in the treatment of their employees and the environment. This is evident in the way their staff behaved and the impeccable service. She also advised that in addition to using local ingredients when available, they are environmentally conscious in the operation of the business.
This is a must visit restaurant while visiting one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. It would be a great stop after you take a fun Segway tour throughout Port Canaveral and before touring Exploration Tower. Be sure to sit on the deck so you can watch the cruise ships float by and dream about your next cruise!
Rising Tide Tap & Table
523 Glen Cheek Drive
Port Canaveral, FL 32920
Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. –12 a.m.
Friday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.