Four reasons we love this fresh seafood hideaway on Bradenton Beach’s Bridge Street.
1 UNDER THE RADAR
Even though this restaurant has been serving inspired Gulf Coast eats since its inception in 2011, we don’t hear enough buzz about this unassuming restaurant that’s becoming Anna Maria Island’s go-to spot for fresh seafood. Usually filled with out-of-town visitors, locals need to get the memo—if you want authentic Florida cooking in an elegant but relaxed setting, this is your place. Chef Adam Ellis takes his Florida heritage seriously with nods to “fish house” standards like mullet dip, with fresh Cortez mullet smoked in-house, Shrimp and Grits kicked-up with a generous amount of Cajun seasonings and the creamy “Tater Soup,” which is based upon a recipe from the owner’s grandmother.
2 A BETTER BURGER
The Blue Marlin Burger definitely gives Skinny’s and Duffy’s a run for their money for best burger on AMI. Although the seafood shines here, don’t overlook this burger—eight ounces of ground sirloin with slab bacon, onion marmalade and smoked Gouda, served with smashed potatoes.
3 ALL ABOUT THE SPECIALS
Chef Adam Ellis goes to the Cortez docks at A.P. Bell Fish Co. every day to get the freshest fish, literally off the boat. If it’s not fresh, it’s not on the menu. We love when scallops are in season, and the scallop appetizers don’t disappoint, whether blackened with curried corn or “Southern-style” and topped with pulled pork and bacon jam. Either way, both are a win-win. Also check the specials menu to see if the delicious “Thai preparation” whole fish is available (the variety of fish may change depending what is fresh) or the “Cracker-Style” Flounder. The sides (collard greens and cheesy grits) will make you feel like you’re at a true old-school fish fry.
4 COTTAGE CHIC AND BOHEMIAN BACKYARD
Inside the restaurant, you’ll find a cozy, 1920s beach cottage that has been meticulously restored and tastefully decorated with nautical gear and black and white photos of fishermen displaying their big catches. The outside “Trap Yard” is a welcome addition to Bridge Street’s lineup of dive bars. Here you’ll find shady oak trees, strung lights, a “Street Food” outpost and a stage where live bands play on the weekend. Order a local beer or a glass of the house sangria (that’s topped off with champagne), and some Sambal Shrimp or Fish Tacos from the outside kitchen, and sit back and enjoy some live bluegrass music at this
little slice of beach heaven.