The Best of The Treasure Coast: Bars, Beaches, Restaurants and More

by Wendy Dwyer Jul 2017 Also on Digital Edition

Restaurant for a Romantic Dinner

The Gafford

While the signature dish at The Gafford is a black angus ribeye served with housemade macaroni and cheese, there must be a magic ingredient that makes it the place to go for an intimate, romantic dinner. With locally sourced fare and an atmosphere that makes every meal feel like a special event, it’s no wonder The Gafford grabbed the win for Best Restaurant for a Romantic Dinner.

The Gafford, 47 SW Flagler Ave., Stuart; 772.221.9517; thegafford.com

Mixologist

Ian’s Tropical Grill

Chardonnay is nice, but if you’re feeling a bit adventurous this happy hour, why not sip on an apple-ginger laced Fall Margarita, or a bit of Bees Knees with lavender- and honey-infused bourbons? If you’re feeling particularly brave, how about sampling the Blood of the Dead, with ginger-infused beet juice, agave and a splash of citrus? Embark on a cocktail adventure where drinks are crafted by the area’s Best Mixologists at Ian’s Tropical Grill in Stuart.

Ian’s Tropical Grill, 2875 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart; 772.334.4563; ianstropicalgrill.com

Place to Catch the Big Game

Duffy’s Sports Grill

Readers know that ambience is everything, and when it comes to gathering with your buddies and cheering on your favorite team, there’s no better place than Duffy’s Sports Grill to get your game on. At Duffy’s, choose between award-winning wings, a juicy burger (beef and black-bean, mushroom-kale-veggie or turkey), or the dozens of craft beers and specialty drinks.

Duffy’s Sports Grill, 1 SW Osceola St., Stuart; 772.221.4899; duffysmvp.com

Manicurists

Metro Nails

When you want to feel good from the tips of your fingers to the bases of your heels, head to Metro Nails, where you’ll find a clean salon and the friendliest nail techs in the business. Customers rave about the services at Metro Nails, from a plain polish to fancy artistry, all done for a reasonable price.

Metro Nails, 1505 NW Federal Highway, Stuart; 772.692.8700

Brunch

Berry Fresh Café

You’ve known since childhood that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s hard to wake up early enough on the weekends. Combine breakfast with lunch at Berry Fresh Cafe, which uses locally sourced, farm-to-table and creative fare. The restaurant serves up the best brunch at three different locations. And it does it all with dog-friendly outdoor seating, so Fido can join the fun, too. Healthy choices, great taste, friendly staff, delicious coffee and a place for your furry friend? Is it brunch time yet?

Berry Fresh Café, 1429 SE Federal Highway, Stuart; 772.324.8287 / 1718 SW St. Lucie W. Blvd., Port St. Lucie; 772.336.5291 / 3755 Military Trail, B16, Jupiter; 561.401.5693; berryfresh.cafe



Quick Service Lunch

Taco Shack

When you can’t spare the time for a leisurely lunch, flock to the Taco Shack, which offers all things Tex-Mex with a twist of lime, guaranteed ‘muy rápido.’ In addition to specialty tacos, like the Killer Coconut Chicken Curry, you’ll also find plenty of vegetarian fare, like the Narly Nachos, and even sweet treats, like Mango Tango Pie. Served with sangria, coconut waters or cervezas galore, it’s no wonder Taco Shack was voted Best Quick Service Lunch spot.

Taco Shack, 555 S. Colorado Ave., Stuart; 772.288.9696; taco-shack.com

Place to Unwind with a Massage

Massage Envy

Massages were once considered a special treat. Now, they are an extension of self care and health regimens. One of the best ways Stuart readers unplug, unwind and destress is with a trip to Massage Envy for a relaxing massage. Whether it’s 60 or 90 minutes, a treatment can help reduce stress, increase the production of endorphins—the happiness hormone—and improve circulation, energy and physical and emotional well-being.

Massage Envy, 1503 NW Federal Highway, Stuart; 772.497.7500; massageenvy.com

Hairstylists

Sada International Salon

As a third-generation hair stylist, Hisashi Tomosada, known as Sada, is innovative and magical in his ability to enhance his customers’ self-confidence and help them find their signature styles. Sada and his staff can handle everything from cuts, colors and perms to highlights, blowouts and special occasion styles. The salon also provides eyelash extension services.

Sada International Salon, 11 SE Osceola St., Stuart; 772.223.1131; sadainternational.com

Happy Hour

Twisted Tuna

Waterside fun and fare with live music, loads of events and a great crowd sounds like a recipe for a killer happy hour. In addition to the typical happy hour drink specials, the Twisted Tuna offers bar bites every day from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for only $5. Enjoy your favorite happy hour adult beverage with mozzarella moons and homemade marinara, nachos with a twist, or edamame steamed and sprinkled with sea salt. What better way to get happy today than a trip to the Twisted Tuna?

Twisted Tuna, 4290 SE Salerno Road, Stuart; 772.600.7239; thetwistedtuna.com

Place to Go with Your Dog

The Fur Seasons Resort for Pets

As much as we hate it, we can’t spend every moment with our fur family. So when it’s time to take a trip, give Fido his own luxurious vacation at The Fur Seasons Resort in Stuart. Whether it’s short-term boarding or even daily doggie daycare, The Fur Seasons Resort is focused, fun and fabulous, with structured activities, group play, exercise and lots of love—just as you’d provide at home. Owners Peter Einhorn and Drue Pollack know that pets are members of our families, and just as you’d never leave small children home alone, The Fur Seasons is staffed 24/7 to ensure your pet’s safety, well-being and comfort. High-end grooming and spa services are available for dogs and cats, too, and you can watch your dogs via “fur cams” as they enjoy the Pawsome Playground and Cool Pool on site.

The Fur Seasons Resort for Pets, 1310 SW Commerce Way, Stuart; 772.286.8283; thefurseasonsresort.com

Place to Pull Up In Your Boat

Sailor’s Return

Sure, you can circle the parking lot at your favorite bistro, searching for the perfect parking spot, or you can simply float on in and dock your dinghy at the front door of Sailor’s Return. Owners Bob and Tracy Davis wouldn’t have it any other way, and neither would many of the legendary restaurant’s regulars who enjoy the Sunset Menu, the Sailor Specials and the triple-time happy hour every day from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Whether it’s seafood, steak, sunset with cocktails or a moonlight float-in for a delightful dessert, Sailor’s Return is a favorite among readers for its casually elegant atmosphere, the great live and local music, and of course, the nautical niceness of this waterside wonderland.

Sailor’s Return, 625 SW Anchorage Way, Stuart; 772.872.7250; thesailorsreturn.com

Place to Grab a Cup of Coffee

Stuart Coffee Company

Writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh once said, “Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” If what you’d love is a little of both, then you’ll understand why Stuart Coffee Company is the reader’s favorite for Best Place to Grab a Cup of Coffee. It’s not just the java that keeps everyone coming back again and again—it’s the conversation, the acai bowls, paninis, smoothies, beer, wine, live music, game nights, and so much more. Stuart Coffee Company is a microcosm of community that—like coffee—will have you hooked after your first taste.

Stuart Coffee Company, 55 SW Flagler Ave., Stuart; 772.600.8243; stuartcoffeeco.com

Spot to Catch Some Waves

Jensen Beach

Once known as the “Pineapple Capital of the World,” Jensen Beach is equally renowned for its welcoming beachfront and captivating waves. Whether you’re a novice with a freshly waxed surfboard or a “gnarly dude” hoping to “hang a hard ten,” you’ll feel equally welcome at Jensen Beach. The facilities at Jensen Beach include showers and bathrooms, with loads of options for food and provisions right nearby, and the beach itself is a great place to unwind, rejuvenate and feel welcome.

Jensen Beach; jensenbeach.com

Beach

Stuart Beach

Whether your goal is to soak up a few rays, find your morning zen, build the best sand castle ever, or catch a few waves, you’ll find no better place than Stuart Beach. Loads of beach space, clean restrooms and shower facilities and a full concession stand are second only to the glorious blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Lifeguards are on duty to keep you safe and warn you of trouble in the waters. Whether you’re dipping your toes or combing the shore for the perfect shells, Stuart Beach is a favorite among readers, who use adjectives like “pristine” and “magnificent.” That’s pretty high praise for a beach just minutes from wherever you are right now.

Stuart Beach, 825 NE Ocean Blvd., Stuart; stuartfla.com

Wait Staff

Mulligan’s Beach House Bar and Grille

When George Hart created Mulligan’s Beach House Bar and Grille in 1997, he insisted that the place be fun and friendly from the moment you drive up. That holds true for the staff, which readers voted as the Best Wait Staff on the Treasure Coast. Whether you’re stopping in for a quick breakfast before a day at the beach or topping off a perfect day with dinner and fun with friends, the staff at all six of Mulligan’s Beach House locations makes it their goal to see you smile from start to finish. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year, you’ll always find a friend at Mulligan’s—and often, that friend is the waiter or waitress bringing you a frozen drink or yummy fare.

Mulligan’s Beach House Bar & Grill, 131 SW Flagler Ave., Stuart; 772.288.1881; mulligansbeachhouse.com

Place to Grab a Slice

Luna

Sometimes the only thing that will satisfy a craving on the way to or from a show at the Lyric is a quick slice of delicious pizza from Luna. It’s not just you who feels this way. Tori Amos, Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, Burt Reynolds, Alan Jackson and many other famous folks have quieted their grumbling tummies with square and thick crust pies, handmade and baked in gas-fired, stone-hearth ovens at Luna. The family recipe is only enhanced by the best cheese, the finest tomatoes and all-natural ingredients that have turned Luna into a downtown landmark for the past 25 years.

Luna, 49 SW Flagler Ave., Stuart; 772.288.0550; lunadowntownstuart.com

Mechanic

Brian Pessolano of Brian Pessolano Auto Repair & Service

When it comes to automotive repair, many of us don’t want to think any further than where the fuel and windshield washer fluid goes. Fortunately for us, there are honest, hardworking mechanics like Brian Pessolano of Brian Pessolano Auto Repair & Service to keep our engines moving forward and running smoothly. It’s important to trust your mechanic, and for readers, that trust is in Pessolano’s hand. There’s no glitz or flash to the brand, just the peace of mind that comes with knowing the unusual bump, buzz or ping in your vehicle will be diagnosed and repaired.

Brian Pessolano Auto Repair & Service, 2327 SE Normand St., Stuart; 772.283.3470

Local Music Group

St. Joseph Symphonic and Bill Lindner

It’s not just parents and grandparents who love the St. Joseph Symphonic Band at St. Joseph Catholic Middle School; Florida Band Association awarded the group its highest honors as well, and not just once, but 16 times in a row! Under the direction of Bill Lindner, the members of the Symphonic Band learn and master more than a musical instrument. They learned about teamwork, academic rigor, math skills, performance art and etiquette, humility and pride, and hard work. If you haven’t had a chance to catch this group, do yourself a favor and make it a point to do so during this school year.

St. Joseph Symphonic, 1200 SE 10th St., Stuart; 772.287.6975

Local Hero

Rep. Brian Mast

First-term Congressman Brian Mast represents the 18th congressional district of Florida, a wide and diverse population in a difficult political arena. But Mast is no stranger to a challenge. As an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in the Joint Special Operations Command, Mast lost both legs to an improvised explosive device. This only fueled Mast’s desire to serve his country. The Palm City resident continues to use his military background as a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Rep. Brian Mast, 171 SW Flagler Ave., Stuart; 772.403.0900; mast.house.gov

Picnic Spot

Indian RiverSide Park

Indian Riverside Park in Jensen Beach is not just a beach. It also offers visitors a beautiful boardwalk and a long fishing pier. Maybe it’s the interactive play fountain that makes the kids (and adults) shriek with delight, or the proximity to the Treasure Coast Children’s Museum. Or maybe it’s the abiding sense of community you feel being in this special place where families and friends make lifelong memories during family outings, celebrations and special events.

Indian Riverside Park, 1707 NE Indian River Drive, Jensen Beach; 772.288.5400; martin.fl.us


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