“Rustic urban fare” is the term coined by the owners of Crush Eleven to describe their new restaurant’s unique eats. “Our intention was to create a genre of comfort food with a contemporary twist. Rustic food can be from any culture so long as it is authentic and truly a comfort food.
Nothing pretentious, just good,” explains Lindsay Foy, managing partner of Crush Eleven.
Sited just south of the main drag of Cocoa Village’s restaurants, boutiques and galleries, Crush Eleven can be found in a charming space that offers easy parking and views of the Indian River. Indoors, the mid-sized casually hip restaurant’s décor represents an effortless blend of rustic and retro furnishings. Seating options, like a reclaimed-wood farm-style table, promote a social dining experience.
Lindsay Foy and her family are no strangers to the Space Coast dining scene. Just over the Merritt Island Causeway, the Foys also own The Fat Snook, a beloved seafood restaurant in Cocoa Beach.
“Just as with The Fat Snook, we serve food that we love to eat,” says Lindsay. “(Crush Eleven’s menu) was inspired by childhood memories of comfort foods like cabbage rolls and chicken pot pies. But we couldn’t leave it at that. We added modern twists, like (incorporating) chorizo in the cabbage rolls, which are then braised in a toasted lager. Our chicken pot pie has a wonderful infusion of earthy truffle.”
Because of the uniqueness of Crush Eleven’s menu and its propensity to inspire sharing and sampling among friends and family, the menu is divided into the categories of Snacks, Bites, Greens, Plates and Cookery. Diners can choose to order a variety of dishes to pass around, or a traditional meal to enjoy independently.
Although only opened in February, certain chef creations have quickly risen to be favorites. One such dish is called Chicken Under a Brick, and is comprised of crispy chicken thighs prepared with a lemon confit. Another is the Grilled Buffalo Hanger, which is grilled to medium rare and served with sauce choron (a variation of classic béarnaise sauce) and tobacco onions.
While the menu’s selections can be filling rather quickly, don’t forget to save room for a scrumptious dessert. On a particular night in March, Crush Eleven’s chef had concocted a crème brulee infused with cinnamon sticky buns — which is just as indulgent and delicious as it sounds. Lindsay adds that the restaurant’s house-churned carrot cake ice cream is “uniquely delicious.”
Wine also plays an important role at Crush Eleven (see sidebar), with the list consisting of mainly boutique-style wines with strong Californian influences. Guests can order by the bottle, by the glass (6 ounces) or by the taste (3 ounces) – the latter being a great option for guests who prefer to sample and pair various wines with various menu items. Crush Eleven’s craft beer selections offer a variety of tastes as well, with many options procured locally. And all cocktails are made with fresh, house-squeezed juices, house-made grenadine and sour mixes and top-shelf liquors.
Crush Eleven derives its name from “the crush,” a term used to define the grape harvest season in Napa Valley that takes place in mid-September each year. According to Lindsay Foy, managing partner, after the grapes are harvested but not yet pressed, the grapes are usually crushed, which releases the juices and allows for maceration with the skins prior to and during fermentation. “The term ‘crush’ has become synonymous with the fall harvest in wine country, which many believe is the best time to visit,” she says. “‘The crush’ is what inspired us to create a laid-back, rustic concept with a strong focus on fresh and simple ingredients and fantastic wine.”
11 Riverside Drive
Phone: (321) 634-1100
hours: Open for dinner Monday through Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m.