New restaurants are popping up all over the city and county. Here's a look at some of the newer eating establishments in town.
Mesa de Notte Ristorante
2436 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
Earlier this summer, owner and chef Jose Moreno opened the doors to his new fine-dining Italian restaurant, Mesa de Notte, which is located in the building that previously housed the Uptown Grill. The new restaurant’s menu includes such delectable items as grouper francese, sea bass and roasted duck, as well as Italian favorites like manicotti and baked lasagna. Desert choices include tiramisu and zabaglione, a creamy vanilla sauce with wild berries.
Olivia’s Cupcake House
240 SW 10th St.
The growing cupcake trend sprouts up in Ocala with the imminent opening (tentatively in August) of this gourmet cupcake bakery and cafe, located at the corner of 200 and 441. Owners Olivia and Jared Newland plan to whip up all sorts of delightfully decorated concoctions, including designer and custom-decorated cupcakes with company logos or personal photos. Look for such unique flavors as Springtime Boston Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter and S’mores cupcakes.
Mochi Frozen Yogurt
2611 SW 19th Ave.
Mochi offers a wide variety of frozen yogurts; flavors vary depending on the day. Customers self serve the all-natural, non-fat premium yogurt, mixing and matching flavors as they please. They then transfer over to the “toppings section” to add everything from fresh fruits to all the sugary sweets you can imagine. Just pay by weight and you’re on your way!
3425 SW College Rd.
With a wide variety of buffet-style menu items, from sushi and salads to seafood and chow mein, plus all your Oriental favorites like rice and vegetables, as well as American-style foods like roast beef, ham and chicken, Ocean Buffet offers something for just about every taste bud. The well-stocked sushi and hibachi bars are especially popular with diners, and an ice cream bar promises a tasty end to any meal.
Jersey Shore Boardwalk Grill
2611 SW College Rd.
A little bit of the Jersey shore has washed up in Ocala. The Jersey Shore Boardwalk Grill’s “gourmet fast food” fare includes such beach-oriented classics as jumbo Jersey hot dogs, Polish sausages, cold and hot subs, super smoothies, grilled flatbreads and gourmet salads. More than 40 hot dog varieties, including Tijuana Dogs (with chili and jalapenos), Coney Island Chili Dogs and Texas Weiners, are offered, as are family-style dinners like roast turkey, baked Virginia ham, and roast pork tenderloin, available in the evenings and on Sundays.
2167 East Silver Springs Blvd.
To distinguish itself from the other buffets in town, Atlantic Buffett offers both Asian-oriented fare, including sushi and hibachi buffets, as well as more typical options, including American and Italian dishes. The welcoming remodeled interior makes for a pleasant environment, and a constant stream of new dishes makes every visit different and more enticing.
Mojo Grill and Catering Belleview
5710 SE Abshier Blvd., Belleview
Rondo Fernandez recently unveiled a new location for his ever-popular Mojo Grill, on Hwy. 441 in Belleview, where he plans to offer the same hearty fare that’s made his downtown Ocala location a huge hit, including Classic Cuban Sandwiches, Beef Empanadas, Rajun Cajun Chicken Pasta and Mojito Pork Tacos. By the way, his Ocala restaurant is relocating in September, to the site of the former Las Palmas restaurant in the Pine Plaza Shopping Center on 27/441 just south of downtown. The new location (506 South Pine Ave.; 352-732-2100) offers seating for about 150, as well as a stage for bands and performers.
The Tilted Kilt
3155 East Silver Springs Blvd.
The Tilted Kilt made a huge splash in Ocala when it opened on East Silver Springs Blvd. last December. This sports pub offers a wide variety of menu choices, from nachos to quesadillas, cheeseburger sliders and a variety of burgers. The tartan-clad servers are known as “cast members,” and all of the staff wear plaid kilt costumes.
Horse & Hounds
4620 East Silver Springs Blvd.
The popular restaurant and pub recently opened a new location at Old Town Village on East Silver Springs Blvd., which complements the original location in the Golden Hills Shopping Center on NW Hwy. 27. The new facility offers a cozy fireplace and kids’ play area, as well as the same extensive menu of pub fare, with such mouth-watering items as baked brie, Guinness baby back ribs, baners and mash, lamb shanks and a variety of steaks.
4011 East Silver Springs Blvd.
Authentic Mexican cuisine, including great fajitas and chile relleno, is accented by a Mariachi band on Thursday evenings and Karaoke on Fridays.
Although it’s been open for two years now, La Cuisine recently expanded its menu, and now offers a variety of burgers (for lunch only), crepes and steaks, as well as drinks and cocktails, thanks to its new liquor license.
Got a favorite new restaurant in town? Tell us about it in the comments section below!