The best seafood is fresh, and prepared in such a way as to accent the natural flavors of the sea without overwhelming them. Some, like raw bar oysters and clams, need nothing more than a sharp knife and skilled hand to unleash the briny seasonings of the sea. The bounty of our oceans and lakes also includes fish, lobster, shrimp, crab, scallop, crayfish and more delectable denizens of the deep.
Whatever you are in the mood for, chances are it didn’t have to far to travel before arriving at your table because Tampa Bay has awarded seafood restaurants, with extremely many choices for seafood lovers.
In our line of duty, it’s good to know the best restaurants because many of our clients ask for recommendations, so we made a short list of the top 10 seafood restaurants in Tampa Bay, with a little feedback from our customers.
The first thing you notice as you enter Oystercatchers is the amazing view. This seafood restaurant, nestled among lush, tropical landscaping, takes full advantage of its location at the edge of Tampa Bay. Inside, the decor is bright, simple and modern, serving as the perfect backdrop for both the views and the expertly prepared food. The star of the lunch menu is a selection of locally sourced fish served wood grilled, blackened or sauteed. Not only are the dishes inventive and fresh, they are also gathered with conservation in mind. While the food and the view will cost you, the experience cannot be beat. Part of the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, Oystercatchers has cemented itself as one of the great restaurant spaces in Tampa.
The Rusty Pelican is a classic Tampa seafood-and-steaks place located directly on the waters of Tampa Bay. This casually elegant restaurant serves up fresh-from-the-water fare that does for the taste buds what the restaurant’s panoramic views do for the eyes – leaves them wanting more and more. Yes, the Rusty Pelican makes a memorable first impression. But what truly keeps folks coming back is the food, and you’ll understand why once you’ve had the Rocky Point Grouper topped with fresh asparagus, Beggars Salmon wrapped in phylo and stuffed with crab, or Shrimp Scampi Rustico with angel hair pasta. Even the steaks, a handful of which are prepared table-side, garner high praise! It’s also a well-known event location, hosting weddings and other events for up to 300 guests.
Catch Twenty-Three fuses Tampa’s fresh seafood selection with Latin and Caribbean influences. The dishes are creative, such as Red Stripe-marinated calamari and whole yellowtail snapper. There is also a delectable sushi list. Located in the walking-friendly neighborhood of Westchase, the restaurant decor is trendy and casual with an understated tropical vibe. there is also an expansive bar and outdoor patio area where visitors can socialize and enjoy happy hour Monday through Friday. On the weekends there is live Caribbean music on the patio. a great place to gather with your friends and family, there’s something for everyone at Catch Twenty-Three.
Charley’s is known more as a steak house, but it’s huge, wood-burning grill is also used for some of the best seafood in town. In fact, half of the menu is devoted to fish, crab, shrimp, and lobster tail. They particularly like using cedar planks to infuse steaks of tuna and swordfish with an earthy flavor. Obviously pairing their seafood with one of their famous steaks in a Surf ‘N Turf would be a guaranteed winner. With a wine list that numbers over 800 selections, you are sure to find something that pairs wonderfully with your meal.
Let’s just get this out of the way first: it’s outdoors, it’s a mostly-dirt floor, and you will probably be sitting at a picnic table. If you’re still reading, you will love Skipper’s. This is the go-to venue for fans of the really eclectic, not just in food but in music as well. It was also featured on “Man vs. Food” for its expansive seafood offerings. Skipper’s even provides a chance to experience creations you probably can’t find back home, native Florida dishes like gator tail and smoked mullet. The live music selection is quite varied, so it might be a good idea to check their website before visiting.
Bonefish is a local chain with locations throughout the Bay area, focusing on seafood and steaks cooked over a wood-fired grill in a setting that is both shabby and chic. Classically grilled dishes, including shellfish, are usually mated with inventive sauces from Asian and Caribbean influences. Being a chain, the prices tend to be quite reasonable. Each location is stocked with a full-service bar with a wide range of martinis and other mixed drinks that tends to be a hip hangout in the local neighborhood for the young professionals.
If you are heading to one of these restaurants make sure you’ll have a great night.
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