Along the shores of the Indian River Lagoon at the southern end of Florida’s Space Coast lies the Yellow Dog Café, an upscale eatery known for elegant and cozy waterfront dining.
When seeking a romantic atmosphere for a special-occasion date night, Yellow Dog Café was first on our list. And for good reason; we spent our evening here being lavishly treated to amazing food, relaxing views, and the finest service. Though it is technically not located in the city of Palm Bay, it’s close by and about 10 minutes from Melbourne & the Beaches.
Sound enticing? Here's a rundown of all you can expect to experience when visiting this waterfront gem.
An Atmosphere to Remember
Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by a wall of framed photos of public figures like Marco Rubio and celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse. These are just a few examples of those who have enjoyed meals here at the Yellow Dog Café. This definitely heightened our expectations for the quality we were about to receive.
The restaurant has an indoor seating option, as well as an outdoor option. We opted to sit on the covered glass-door patio (reservations recommended) with stunning views of the Indian River Lagoon just before sunset. There’s a private boardwalk guests can walk, which is where we tried to spot dolphins while we waited for our food.
Although this restaurant's reputation is one of elegance and refinement, the atmosphere isn't stiff or snooty. We felt as though we were in a beautiful waterfront home that had cozy accents like a large fireplace and candles. And the restaurant's dog motif is charmingly sprinkled into the smallest details of the decor, food, and even silverware.
A look into the menu...
The Yellow Dog Café serves lunch and dinner, and with a modest menu size, it's clear they don't over-extend themselves on their offerings. Its quality over quantity here, and they've perfected their art well. They specialize in sea food and land fare, offered in a traditional style with an upscale flair.
Their drinks menu, however, is extensive; particularly their wine list. They also offer several unique cocktails and martinis like the Dusty Dog, Bleu Dog, and the French Poodle. Very on theme if you ask me!
After perusing the appetizer section, we were talked into the Baked Brie by our waiter. This turned out to be a major highlight for us - warm, melty brie inside a puffed pastry, served with warm cranberry-cherry sauce, fresh fruit, and house made crackers. Truly as dreamy as it sounds!
Each entree comes with bread and choice of soup or salad. Served in a multiple-course style, this helps draw out the experience in a pleasant way, so nothing gets overshadowed, and you can enjoy each element of the meal.
After choosing and ordering our entrees, our waiter brought out a basket of fresh baked focaccia and white bread. Our soup and salads arrived. We tried the crab bisque and spinach salad. We especially loved the special touch of the dog cracker in the bisque!
Next, the entrees. We chose the Potato Crusted Salmon and the Peppercorn Crusted Tuna. The salmon was covered in crispy potatoes, and served atop a sundried tomato risotto cake drizzled in a lobster saffron cream sauce, with asparagus on the side. The cream sauce is what turned this meal from traditional to special. The Peppercorn Crusted Tuna had great Asian flair; served with canton noodles and ponzu sauce with mixed vegetables.
Somehow, we managed to save room for dessert. And now that we've seen their dessert tray, we highly recommend that you do, too! We were caught between the brownie and the raspberry cheesecake, and about five other things as well, but our waiter finally talked us into the bone-shaped brownie, and we're so glad he did!
Aside from its dog-themed charm, this warm, chocolate indulgence won our hearts with its decadent taste. Served with vanilla ice cream, fudge drizzle, dog-shaped wafers and pink, white chocolate hearts, it was a truly satisfying way to cap off a fantastic meal.
Also, worth noting was the friendly and professional service we experienced with the waiters and staff. Everyone we spoke to was very engaged in making sure our experience was perfect. Our waiter, Zach, was very knowledgeable and helped us make excellent menu choices, and overall, we felt very pampered and served.
Yellow Dog Café is a must for the fine dining connoisseur. Here you'll find authentic Florida experiences of waterfront views, dolphin sightings from the boardwalk, and fresh seafood in an atmosphere that's sure to impress.
Yellow Dog Café
Malabar, FL 32950
(321) 956-3334 | YellowDogCafe.com