Rising Tide Tap & Table is located in Port Canaveral, with a view of the Port’s Exploration Tower and the passing cruise ships. They are open 7-days a week for lunch and dinner service, opening at 11am. The barbacoa spiced shrimp with pickled red onion, avocado crème and micro cilantro was so fresh and savory that I ate every morsel. Then, I came back a couple days later to order it AGAIN! I have already convinced my husband to take me here for date nights and sold the ladies on a girl’s date soon. This place is a hit and it’s clear to me why they are Restaurant of The Month.
Their deeply rooted passion for all things beer and food comes from co-owners Rich and Gary’s extensive restaurateur background. Gary is from Colorado, commuting from the Rockies to the beach. His go-to dish is the house-cut seared Mahi tacos with Risin’ spice, pickled green tomato, chili key lime ranch, sea beans and micro cilantro. Rich prefers the Apple Scratch Fried Chicken and everyone’s favorite appetizer is the Sun Kissed Spin Dip. Rich is a retired Coast Guard chief and also owns Fishlips in the Port. The two own the sister restaurant Junkanoo Island Kitchen and Rum Bar, with a restaurant group. These guys know what they are doing and they do it well.
October is coming up on two years since Rising Tide opened their doors, offering affordable scratch comfort eats, like pizza, burgers, and tacos. Chef Kainz created a mouth-watering menu inspired by local and fresh ingredients. “Life is sobering and food is intoxicating,” says Kainz. He rides to work on his motorcycle, taking in the warm Florida breeze and salty sunshine. Everything on the menu is fresh, never frozen, and with quality ingredients without hormones and steroids. Kainz went to the Culinary Institute of America, the same place Anthony Bourdain attended.
There are 60 beers on tap, with plenty of local favorites such as Intracoastal Brewing Company. Florida brewers are growing leaps and bounds and it’s Rising Tide’s focus to help the local beer companies to get the exposure they deserve. Even behind the bar, Bobby (manager and chief mixologist) uses fresh ingredients for their frozen drinks and freshly squeezed juice. “Made from scratch is not a catch phrase, it’s a standard for us,” Gary and Rich explain. The staff is well trained and knowledgeable on the menu; Gary says, “our servers are like tour guides, helping customers to make the right pairings.”
The bar top has pieces of metal from the shuttles mixed in and there are dust panels from the shuttles created into light fixtures. The restaurant has such a fun décor; there is a barrel room that seats 50 people and has a real barrel for the ceiling. It’s no wonder that Bill Nye, NFL players, astronauts, senators, and of course locals, have come in to eat. Keep an eye out for the freshly launched new menu, food and beer pairings, and keep them in mind for your catering needs as well.
Photos and interview by Misti Blu Day McDermott