Most restaurants, I assume, have inevitable kinks and bugs to iron out the first few weeks they are open. And normally I wouldn't dare set foot in any restaurant on opening night.
BUT, I wanted to include the new, upscale Waterside Grill in Apollo Beach in a column I'm writing, and my deadline and the restaurant's opening collided.
I think owner Julie Enos was feeling more relief than opening-night jitters.
My dining partner ordered the Fruits de Mer (fruits of the sea) — sauteed jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels and scallops tossed with penne in a light seafood nage. She said the dish was exceptional.
I had the appetizer spinach salad topped with carmalized onions, slivers of crisp, Granny Smith apples, croutons and a maple-bacon dressing. Not a speck was left in my bowl. I could have stopped with the salad, which could have been a meal in itself. But I couldn't resist the Bermuda Crab Cakes. Made with both colossal and jumbo lump crab, they were finished with a lemon beurre blanc and made exactly how I like crab cakes — lots of meat, very little breading and browned and crispy on the outside.
By design, of course, we hit happy hour (4 - 6 p.m.) and ordered $3 house wines and enjoyed it so much, we each had two glasses. Without tip, our bill total came to $62 — a little more than I would normally spend on a weeknight dinner. But was it worth it? Yes.
The food and service were spot-on.
250 Apollo Beach Boulevard
Apollo Beach, FL
Tues. - Sat. 4 - 11 p.m.
Sun. 4 - 10 p.m.
*July 12, 2009 As a follow-up to this blog entry I have learned that, sadly, this restaurant is no longer open.