BREVARD COUNTY — The Continental Flambé has been serving patrons of Downtown Melbourne for a number of years, and although ownership has changed hands within the past two years, the Ortiz brothers have kept its menu faithful to what diners enjoy most.
Inside the restaurant, diners will find a peaceful atmosphere with artwork of colorful fish by Juan Valdez Perez and black and white photographs of New York City by Karen Gamez for sale on the walls.
Owners Bladimir and Ramon Ortiz decided to take over the restaurant after it was closed for nearly three years. Although the Continental Flambé is their first restaurant, the Ortiz brothers’ passion for the business shows in the restaurant’s revival.
The Ortiz brothers also own 321 Tapas Bar, which is located next door to Continental Flambé, and is available for party rentals.
“We partnered up with the previous owner [Ratib Ahmad] of Continental Flambé, and he was the one that helped us out with the menu and all of the same old recipes,” Bladimir Ortiz said. “The only thing is his job was pretty much done so he moved on to different ventures, but it’s pretty much true to the original Continental Flambé.”
For those unfamiliar with the Continental Flambé, it serves a variety of French cuisine. The menu includes a few new dishes outside of the entrees, such as a special of the day, which is created by the head chef, according to Mr. Ortiz.
He added that many of the diners enjoy the prix fixe menu, which offers four courses for the cost of $28.
On the weekends, a jazz musician entertains evening diners. Whether dining for lunch or dinner, celebrating an anniversary or just in the mood for fine dining, the Continental Flambé will not disappoint.
My guest and I shared a wonderful meal last Wednesday evening. The restaurant had an intimate environment where we could enjoy a conversation without feeling like we were bothering the table next to us.
We each started the night with a glass of wine – a Sauvignon blanc and a white Riesling. Accompanied with our wine was a basket of fresh, warm bread with herbs and olive oil for dipping.
We chose to go with the prix fixe menu, as everything on the menu looked delicious. For our appetizers, I ordered the soup du jour, which was a cream of asparagus and mushroom soup. My guest ordered mussels, tomatoes and artichoke in a lemon butter sauce.
Each dish was light and savory, without filling you up too quickly before the salads arrived.
Our entrees included angel hair pasta with chicken and tomatoes, and mustard and maple coated salmon with braised leeks and tomatoes.
After finishing our entrées, we each commented on the wonderful seasoning of our dishes. My chicken tasted fresh and a little zesty, and the tomatoes had a sweet, juicy burst of flavor with each bite.
My guest said she enjoyed the coating on the salmon, and that if you were looking for something light for dinner that was as satisfying as a heartier dish, this was a great item to select.
Lastly, our desserts came out and we still managed to have room to enjoy them. My guest ordered chocolate covered strawberries, and I received the crème brulee. It was the perfect way to end an evening after being served a series of fine dishes.
We also have to give credit to our server, Maria, who was wonderful to us throughout the night. She was very attentive and knew when it was appropriate to bring the next course. She also took some time to show us the private room next door that is available for larger parties up to 30 people.
The Continental Flambé is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday through Sunday. It is located at 936 E. New Haven Ave., Melbourne.
For more information, call (321) 372-6002 or search for Continental Flambé on Facebook.