Today we welcome back D.J. Jones with our very first Vero Beach Resort review — take a look at Shutters Restaurant! Feel free to join in more of D.J.’s adventures at his blog The World of Deej.
On the final evening of our recent trip to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, my wife and I were faced with a food dilemma. Do we keep things casual and have the final meal of our trip at Shutters, or do we go out with a bang, as we’d originally planned, and dine at the more upscale Sonya’s?
Given that I had not worn shoes of any kind in over three days, I was in no mood to put on flip flops, much less get “dressed up;” therefore Shutter’s became the obvious choice.
Upon entering Shutters, the first thing one will notice is the restaurant’s awesome exhibition kitchen. I always love watching the action of a working restaurant, although I’m sure those behind the counter would prefer to be out of guests’ view.
In addition, the décor is quick to remind guests that this is a beachfront setting, however the numerous sailboat models and other fixtures feel more New England than they do Florida. Overall, the atmosphere of Shutters is very casual, but not to a point that I’d say it’s OK to walk in straight from the beach.
After perusing the standard Disney beverage menu, we both opted to start with Sam Adams Summer Ale, which oddly enough was served in the same style glass as that of our water.
The lack of a frosty glass or beer mug was a little disappointing, but I gave the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they were short on glasses. Although as I looked around the restaurant we were the only people drinking beer.
The menu at Shutters is a seafood lover’s dream, with options including shellfish, local fresh fish, and even a Lo Country Broil. Those who aren’t big fans of seafood have plenty of land options such as steak and chicken, as well as several flatbread pizzas. With so many diverse options, there is sure to be something to please even the pickiest of eaters.
We started with a staple in our family, the Caribbean Conch Fritters, which were served with a cilantro cream sauce.
I have had far more conch fritters in my day than I care to admit, and while these didn’t knock my socks off, they were still a great start to the meal. It doesn’t hurt that conch fritters and beer is one of the best combinations of food and beverage known to man.
Moving on to our mains, I opted for the Slow-Cooked Beef Pot Roast, while my wife chose the Guava Barbecued Spare Ribs.
The roast was topped with onion straws, brown gravy, and as is almost always the case, paired with mashed potatoes. The beef was so tender, it pulled apart with just a fork, and could easily have been served without the help of gravy.
The Spare Ribs were a hit with my wife, and tasting a few bites, I agreed. I also managed to steal a few of her sweet plantains when she wasn’t looking, which were tasty and perfectly fried.
As I looked over the dessert menu, my eyes were immediately fixated on three magical words….Chocolate…Dipped…Cheesecake.
If you’ve ever had a chocolate dipped cone at Dairy Queen, then you can imagine where I’m going with this. Take a giant piece of cheesecake, dip it in melted chocolate, allow said chocolate to harden, and poof, you have heaven on a plate. Needless to say, it was an awesome way to end our final dinner of vacation.
The location of Disney’s Vero Beach resort is not overly convenient for off-site dining, which makes the performance at Shutters all the more important.
A great atmosphere, combined with a well-rounded menu, excellent service, and a good value for the price paid, make it a worthy choice for guests who actually have little in the way of dining options. I’ll look forward to our return next summer, and with any luck, another dose of Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake.
Editor’s Note: Check out Sunday Brunch at Shutters from 10am-3pm (champagne, mimosas, and bloody marys are complimentary); Goofy’s Beachfront (Character) Breakfast on Saturdays from 7:30am-11am; and a Pirate Dinner on Monday nights from 5pm-10pm through Labor Day (featuring Pirate Goofy and Pirate Donald).