The Tulip Restaurant and Lounge

The escargot appetizer remained on the new menu – mushroom caps filled with garlic snails and fresh spinach served with a homemade hollandaise sauce.

A Landmark Gets a Fresh Start

The Tulip Restaurant and Lounge in Cocoa Village, formerly the Black Tulip, is a classic fine dining restaurant that has been a pillar in Brevard since it opened in 1981. Many celebrities have dined there including astronauts, Morgan Fairchild, Walter Cronkite and Clint Eastwood. Many anniversaries and birthdays have been celebrated over the years.

The Tulip Restaurant and Lounge

Sesame seared rare Ahi tuna topped with a sriracha sauce, served with tulip rice and vegetables

But after a devastating vandalism, the restaurant closed its doors for nine weeks while staff and supporters cleaned up and accessed the damage. Lightholder Building Contractors rebuilt most of the restaurant including the dining areas and the bathrooms. A cozy outdoor fire pit was included for before or after dinner drinks and a screened-in dining area was added on.

Fully remodeled and even better than before, according to Daniel Colzani and his daughter Tanya, who co-own the restaurant, the Tulip was renamed and refreshed. 

The interior is now updated with a sophisticated European inspiration. Dark wood and stone accents are found throughout the dining rooms. The main room’s bar was custom designed by Holly Lightholder. 

The atmosphere is inviting, like walking into someone’s home; Daniel and Tanya treat guests like family. Daniel is known for stopping by each table to check on guests. The restaurant is a family operated business with some family members, like Tanya, who started working there at 15 years old.

The new name, décor, menu and the less formal concept has energized and enlivened it. Servers no longer wear ties but guests still often dress up. Though no longer “just” a special occasion restaurant, you won’t feel out of place if you are dressed up and celebrating an anniversary, birthday or other milestone.

The Tulip Restaurant and Lounge

Chef Courtney Cernohorsky

“Casual but tasteful is what we like to call it,” said Tanya.

The new menu is reasonably priced, with some entrees starting at $16. Fans of the restaurant were relieved that select signature items from the Black Tulip remained – like the escargot, mushroom caps filled with garlic snails and fresh spinach served with a homemade hollandaise sauce. There is a reason that this appetizer remained on the menu – it is not to be missed. Another “world famous” item that remained on the menu is the oven roasted duckling. A slow roasted half duckling served crispy with blackberry brandy sauce, mashed sweet potatoes and vegetables. The veal Oscar, another classic, includes fresh crab, crisp asparagus and hollandaise with garlic mashed potatoes.

New items that have garnered a following include the bacon wrapped pork loin and seasonal fish selections like cobia or sea bass. An herb garden, just outside the entrance of the restaurant, provides fresh herbs to complement each dish. Wine is still a central part of the dining experience and the new wine menu still offers a selection to enhance each food choice.

The Tulip also hosts private parties including weddings of up to 150 people and rehearsal dinners at reasonable prices. It is also the official caterer for the Indian River Queen.

Although the damage done to the Tulip was shocking, the incident proved the support and closeness of the restaurant’s patrons and the community.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” said Daniel.

The Tulip

Address:  207 Brevard Ave., Cocoa Village

Phone:  (321) 631-1133

Web Address:

Hours:  Tuesday – Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

This article appears in the June 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living.
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