Casual Fine Dining from Scratch at Sage Bistro 15

Sage Bistro Offers Diners Healthy, Flavorful Choices in an Inviting Atmosphere

Creative cuisine made from scratch using local, seasonal ingredients and wild-caught fish, that’s what you’ll find at Sage Bistro—that, and an inviting atmosphere, an extensive wine list and taste-tempting specials with mouthwatering descriptions. Located at 6615 N. Atlantic Ave. in Cape Canaveral, this casual fine-dining restaurant not only wants to provide patrons with elegant food but also with healthier dishes still bursting with rich, savory flavor everyone can enjoy.

Sage Bistro is a family-owned business helmed by executive chef Jordan Malmstrom with the help of his mother, Sara, who is his co-owner and general manager. Interestingly, the bistro is actually named for chef Malmstrom’s daughter, not the popular herb, as many gastronomes might expect.

The relaxed and welcoming ambiance, however, is due in large part to the cool, sage green interior that greets guests as they walk through the door. Dark wood furnishings, a comfortable and well-appointed bar and a deco-inspired mural of a large leafy tree conveying the impression of a graceful woman, covering the expanse of the west wall, complete the placid look and feel.

Formerly Izzy’s Bistro, the Malmstroms have been the proprietors now for two years, one of which has been spent under the new name. While they kept many of the former owner’s menu items, chef Malmstrom has given them his own twist, creating something pleasantly new yet comfortingly familiar at the same time. One such item is a lobster pot pie—somewhat of a signature dish from the old days—that contains hearty portions of lobster meat, red potatoes and mixed vegetables in a smoked Mornay sauce with a flaky puff pastry crust.

On the establishment’s tapas menu, foodies can find escargot, fresh fish croquettes, sesame tuna, duck spring rolls, slow-braised buco wings and other appetizers in the $10 to $12 range. Fresh salads with healthy greens and homemade dressings can also be had, along with an inventive soup menu featuring daily creations that have become extremely sought after, according to Sara.

As with any elevated eatery, visitors to Sage Bistro can sate themselves on finely prepared steaks and a pleasing array of seafood. But for more variety, Malmstrom prepares dishes such as lamb pot roast, grilled pork chops served with a Dijon cream sauce and his own Sage alfredo consisting of homemade fettuccine covered in a creamy bacon-asparagus-mushroom cheese sauce. Lovers of fowl are treated to baked chicken stuffed with roasted garlic, goat cheese, fresh herbs and sundried tomatoes all topped with a Champagne cream sauce that is seriously good.

In addition to all of these enticing entrees, there is some standard German fare for the continental crowd in the form of Wiener schnitzel and schweinehaxe, both of which are accompanied with traditional spätzle. À la carte sides include bacon Brussels sprouts, smoked Gouda potatoes au gratin and avocado mashed potatoes. For the health conscious, the menu conveniently features a key for deciphering the codes accompanying nearly all of the dining choices, making it easier to navigate.

Once dinner is through, you may want to turn your attention to the desserts, like chocolate-covered cheesecake bites, fresh-baked fruit crisps and cake balls, a product of their own invention.

Malmstrom’s culinary career started with his graduation from Keiser University’s Capital Culinary Institute. Following an externship at The Tides Club, he found employment at The Green Turtle in Indian Harbor Beach under chef Ercan Ekinci, eventually working his way up to sous chef. That’s where he learned about scratch kitchen dining. Then, after a brief stint at a family-run Italian startup as the de facto kitchen manager, he began working at the Nomad Cafe in Melbourne as sous chef under chef Otilio Gonzalez.

The idea for Sage came along shortly before the very accomplished Sara Malmstrom retired from a long career in higher education—or she thought she would be retiring. Struck by the notion of owning a restaurant—a seed planted by a good friend—and the desire to see her talented son live his life’s dream, the decision to forge ahead was ultimately made on a golf course. Besides being co-owner and general manager, Sara frequently acts as gracious hostess.

Moderately priced, entrees at the bistro generally run between $18 and $28, and there’s a full-liquor bar to complement its wine selection. Speaking of which, if you’re a fan of good vino, Wine Wednesdays, a very popular event instituted by the Malmstroms, among other weekly draws, gives visitors something else to look forward to. So, what are you waiting for?

Sage Bistro is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday. For more information, visit SageBistroFlorida.com.