Two restaurants combine to form one relishable dining destination
Both restaurants have great energy, but they are very different,” says Tracy Melhado, who co-owns the restaurants with her husband, Mike. “River Rocks is more ‘martinis after work,’ or ‘date night with your significant other,’ while The Dock is everything Florida — guests can sit next to the water’s edge on a sunny day with a cold drink, sand, sun and fresh seafood.
You’d be hard pressed to visit River Rocks and The Dock at River Rocks and not find something to suit your fancy. Here, two distinct restaurants, both with exquisite views of the Indian River Lagoon, come together to form a multifaceted dining destination along the riverfront.
River Rocks’ dining room is subdued, modern and elegant with clean lines and an upscale atmosphere. Its counterpart, The Dock, brings about everything Floridians love — a “come as you are” carefree vibe with oftentimes live music.
This balance of chic and casual environments is what the Melhados are somewhat known for locally. The couple also owns Calilou, a stylish Spanish tapas bar, as well as Island Pasta Co., a longtime local favorite that is tropically decorated with island-inspired dishes and cocktails. The two are located in downtown Melbourne, also situated side-by-side.
“It can be a challenge (to manage two restaurants on one property) at times, but it gives us the flexibility to provide unique experiences for our guests,” she adds.
Two restaurants means the team must manage two separate menus, of course. Inside at River Rocks, the menu boasts modern American cuisine focused on fresh seafood and steaks. Here, the filet mignon served with a mushroom demi glace, bacon bleu cheese polenta and sweet potato frittes is the most popular dinner menu item, but the whole-fried yellowtail snapper with citrus ponzu is a close second. River Rocks also presents a creative small plates menu offered at the indoor bar and an early chef selection menu.
“We do a great brunch on Sundays and have tons of specials, but we are probably most excited about the tasting menus that we have been hosting at the River Rocks inside bar,” adds Tracy about new happenings. “This collaboration among food, wine and creative cocktails is becoming very popular with our guests.”
Outdoors at The Dock, the menu is seemingly breezier, with items like boats of fried oysters, crab cakes with tartar sauce and a grouper reuben sandwich — perfect lunchtime options especially for guests who arrive by boat. Tracy says guests love the fish tacos for lunch which are comprised of warm flour tortillas with grilled fresh fish, pico de gallo and a Key Lime chili aioli. All these items wash down effortlessly with a cold beer or frozen drink on a hot July afternoon.
Frequenters of River Rocks and The Dock may have noticed the gorgeous recently erected waterfront gazebo on site, ideal for small weddings or a custom private multi-course dinner for gatherings of clients or friends — all which can be coordinated by the staff event planner. But if you’re thinking about hosting an event here, act quickly. According to Tracy, “It was booking up before it was even finished!”