Friday, April 7, 2006
New York Times
By Charles Passy

36 Hours
The Space Coast


   The Space Coast- a roughly 72-mile stretch of Florida that runs along the Atlantic ocean from Melbourne to Titusville-has 321 for its area code.  For good reason: this is a place where countdowns really count, the home of the John F. Kennedy Space Center.  And though NASA’s recent record has been a checkered one, there’s excitement alone the coast once again, with a new shuttle launch scheduled for this summer.  But beyond the space program’s otherworldly appeal, the region has much to offer, from unspoiled beaches to one of the country’s best surf shops.  Feeling hungry?  You can dine on fine French cuisine or fresh Florida seafood-or just head to a local souvenir shop for some freeze-dried ice cream, an astronaut favorite…
8. Au Côte d’ Espace. The Space Coast may not be a citadel of fine dining, but Café Margaux is an exception to the rule.  The quaint restaurant, set in the tree-lined Cocoa Village district, is proudly French, with a few nodes elsewhere.  Start off with a hearty country-style duck pâte ($9.95) or a zesty curried Caesar salad ($4.95).  Entrees include a pleasing mélange of seafood prepared three ways ($22.95) and a stick-to-your-ribs veal chop over risotto ($28.95).  The wine list places equal emphasis on New and Old World vintages.