La Cocina International Restaurant

Hubby and I slipped out for an evening together. It wasn’t an anniversary dinner or any other special occasion; we just needed a few kid-free hours to talk… or not talk. You know how some weeks are so busy that even sitting quietly sounds like a blissful evening? Yeah, it was one of those. We dressed up a bit & made the trek over the Bridge to La Cocina International Restaurant in St. Augustine Beach.

La Cocina Fine Dining St Augustine Beach
The dining room is cozy but there’s enough room between tables that it feels private.
La Cocina International St Augustine Beach
I’d been by to pick up gift certificates for friends but we’d never eaten at La Cocina until last week. I wasn’t sure what the large menu would reveal…

When our server, Jorge, brought over a bread basket with toasted and cheese topped bread with fresh marinara, I mentally raised the bar. This was going to be a delicious dinner!

La Cocina International Restaurant
Surprise! The bread course is both toasted bread and cheese bread with marinara to dip!

Hubby loves crab cakes, and we never make them at home, so he ordered Four Mini Crab Cakes ($12). A crisp, breaded exterior gave way to moist crab meat. I’m still crazy for the corn relish they sat on! It’s noteworthy that everything served after this course was gluten free- and La Cocina’s chef offers substitutions for the bread course for those following a GF Diet. {See my list of other Gluten Free Restaurants in St. Augustine!}

Crab Cakes La Cocina St Augustine Beach
Hubby said they were a bit heavy on the breading but I appreciated the structure it added. Of course, he likes crab more than I do.

Since hubby and I couldn’t decide which salad we wanted most, we each ordered one with the intention of sharing tastes. My La Cocina Pear Salad {$8} was a creative combination of soft red wine poached pears, strawberries & gorgonzola cheese contrasted with the crunch of walnuts. A tangy raspberry vinaigrette had pucker power! 

Hubby’s Spinach Salad {$8} had sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, apples and mandarin oranges. I’m not gonna lie- I wasn’t sure if the sweet & savory would make a good combination. Sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms and apples? I was pleasantly surprised! Chef Marcel knows what he’s doing in the kitchen.

La Cocina Strawberry Salad
I loved my Strawberry Salad.
La Cocina Salad
Hubby opted for the spinach & pear salad.

When ordering my entree, I went back and forth between the filet and rack of lamb. We raised sheep when I was a girl so I have an affinity for lamb but I’m also picky about the quality and preparation. I took Jorge, our server’s, recommendation to give the lamb a try and I’m glad I did. It was delish!

I have to mention, the plating of each dish is creative. Pleasing to the eye first and then to the palate. Well done, La Cocina.

Lamb St Augustine La Cocina International
Lamb

Hubby opted for the fish special, which was served atop pasta tossed in a creamy beet sauce. Beets! On pasta! It must have been delish because after one stolen nibble, he ate every last bite.

La Cocina International Restaurant St Augustine Beach
I love the plating of this dish.

The pace of the evening was perfect. We had time to talk, time to quietly enjoy our meal and hubby had time to upgrade his Clan. {Any other Clash of Clans geeks out there?} I can’t overstate how needed this down time was and everything about La Cocina allowed us to relax. As much as we love, love, love our lives as parents, it is such a treat to take a few hours to be a couple… to be quiet… to just be.

And that is why we decided to order dessert.

La Cocina Healthy Dessert St Augustine Beach
Check out this pineapple dessert! It tasted as good as it looks! Isn’t the spun sugar a fun accent?!

The baked pineapple dessert is the perfect dessert to share after a satisfying meal. It’s not too rich and is high in bromelain, a digestive enzyme that is a gastronome’s dream. We brought some home with us but it didn’t make it to the fridge- our teenager requisitioned all the leftovers as his babysitting fee. {The pineapple dessert is teen-approved, too.}

A cappuccino is a symbol of truly enjoying the company of your dining companion. Is it possible to pop by La Cocina for a quick meal? Absolutely. They’re open for quick breakfasts and lunches as well as dinner nightly. But, if you are able, slow down and savor an evening of delicious, thoughtfully prepared food. Celebrate every day at La Cocina International Restaurant!

La Cocina Cappuccino St Augustine Beach
A perfect cappuccino with a rock candy swizzle stick. The perfect end to a pleasant evening.

La Cocina International Restaurant
530 A1A beach Blvd
Inside Castillo Real Hotel on Saint Augustine Beach

(904) 461-8288

La Cocina International Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We were invited to dine at La Cocina International Restaurant in order to share our experience with you. I suggest saving room for a relaxing cup of cappuccino but I bet you’ll have a hard time doing that! Enjoy your dinner and let me know what I should try next time!

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