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“Dinner here is like dining with family…you are well cared for!”

Lakeside Restaurant
Ranked #15 of 54 Restaurants in Highlands
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Ormond Beach, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
651 reviews
376 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 379 helpful votes
“Dinner here is like dining with family…you are well cared for!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

It all started with ZD Abacus…what a wine list! We dined here over Labor Day weekend and the restaurant was full from 5:30 until closing. This is a small dining venue, so reservations are essential. Lois, who manages the restaurant with Laura, warmly greeted us. Lois is also responsible for the vases of flowers in every nook and cranny. Just lovely! The menu features local fish, vegetables, and fruit. You can read review after review and see the appreciation diners have for the superior quality food. The heart of the restaurant is the staff. Our waiter patiently explained each dish in earnest detail. I have food issues, so he was careful to check if there was a concern. I ordered the coastal snapper, which was cooked to a purist’s perfection…grilled to a crispy golden on the outside and perfectly moist and delicate. Sauces and spices did not hide the flavor of the fish, the taste was just honest-to-goodness fresh flavor. My husband ordered the lamb, a specialty of the house and was amazed at the thickness of the cuts. We learned that the owner, Marty, cuts his own meats. This is part of the reason for excellence. The owner not only oversees his restaurant, he is the primary chef! And he has a generous, hospitable enjoyment for his restaurant that is apparent in every plate, every employee, and every moment he is mingling with guests. Eating at the Lakeside is like dining with family…you are well cared for! Back to the ZD Abacus: this is a wine that is unique, reflects the depth of the wine list and is sought after by oenophiles. (We are NOT in that category, but appreciate quality wines and generous pricing.) Sitting behind us was a true oenophile who traveled regularly to dine here to enjoy his favorite wines. In our locale, the ZD Abacus was priced well over $600. Marty’s first desire is to have people ENJOY their wine and food so he does not overprice his wines. We purchased the last bottle of Abacus for a little less than half the price of our Florida local prices. We plan to return in November for the Highlands 7th Annual Culinary Weekend when Marty and his amazingly professional staff are hosting not only Cakebread Cellars, but also Justin Wines. Not to be missed!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Pam C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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378 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    303
    42
    22
    6
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Happy to have stumbled upon this gem!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

After a 4 hour car ride to Highlands, we asked the concierge for a restaurant within walking distance of our hotel. What a find! The food is absolutely wonderful! The menu is diverse and very reasonably priced considering the quality, presentation and service. The wine list is very reasonable as well. We loved Marty, the chef! He stops around to each table and chats as if you are old friends! Because of the long day we had had, my husband had forgotten his credit cards. Marty said, no problem! We stopped around and paid the next day and made reservations for Sunday. We were equally as pleased with our second experience and look forward to another evening with Marty and the staff when we next visit Highlands!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank applemc55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A magical dining experience!”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Just discovered this charming restaurant on our latest trip to Highlands. We honestly had the best dinner we've ever had anywhere in the NC mountains. My husband had the Scottish salmon and I had the snook and both were amazing--and finished the meal with the best ever bread pudding! We loved everything about Lakeside--the food, the atmosphere, the wait staff, and especially the owner, Marty, who made us feel like we were regulars. We will look forward to coming back on our next vacation.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dunwoody, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Cozy”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

With only 12 tables, it was cozy. Some pp complain about noise, but I wasn't bothered - it's a bunch of tables of pp having a good time! Classy restaurant. Somewhat pricey. If you get the blueberry bread pudding, add vanilla ice cream 'cause the whiskey sauce is strong. Husband liked the lamp chops. The Portuguese soup was excellent.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank stacy a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Naples, FL
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Another home run dining experience at Lakeside!”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

Marty, the chef, is amazing. From the time we sat down and enjoyed appetizers to the time we had dessert ( a flourless chocolate creation with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt) we had an excellent experience. My lamb chops were outrageously good. Not an inexpensive evening, but so well worth it for the quality!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank easy2bkeysey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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