Waterfront dining has a charm all its own and The Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill does not disappoint. The outdoor bar has that casual laid-back atmosphere where you can soak up the sun with a drink in hand while watching the boats go by. Where outdoor dining allows Mother Nature a seat at your table with the fresh scent of saltwater permeating the air and where unexpected guests may, at any given time, swim or fly by for a visit. Located on the mainland side of Stickney Point Bridge, the southern bridge to Siesta Key, at Mile Marker # 62, the restaurant can be reached by land or water, and docking is available. Its outdoor patio, covered deck and inside dining room sit higher than most other waterfront restaurants, giving patrons a bird’s eye view of the Intracoastal Waterway. It is open for Lunch and Dinner daily and will accept reservations.
The “Reef Bar” has both outdoor and indoor seating, and is a local favorite, celebrating Happy Hour from 2 to 6 p.m., every day. The outside patio features umbrella-covered tables, while the covered deck has cooling overhead mist-fans. Inside seating is also available but no matter where you sit, every seat has a water view.
You can expect a wide selection of menu items. “Extreme Oysters” are a house specialty. Two favorites: “Oysters Rockefeller” – baked with bacon, spinach and seasoned breadcrumbs ($14), or the “Oysters Italiano” – baked with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and garlic ($12). If you’d like to try more than one version check out the “Create Your Own” where you can choose 2 oysters from any 4 selections for $17.
Popular appetizers include Smoked Fish Dip served with “house made tortilla chips” ($10.75). Island Nachos – chunks of chicken or beef and tortilla chips smothered in cheese topped with Pico de Gallo and served with an addicting Cilantro Ranch sauce for $11. Though their best seller is the “Stuffed Mushrooms” using large button mushrooms as the base and filling them with a blue crab stuffing and topping it off with a smoky bacon and lobster cream sauce ($11.95).
Lighter fare are the six salads, most priced at $12.50 offered with roasted lime vinaigrette, cilantro ranch dressing, raspberry vinaigrette, Greek dressing and Caesar dressing. Add-ons are chicken for $4, shrimp ($7), Mahi-Mahi ($9), and Grouper ($9). Just be forewarned…portions are huge with the all-time favorites being the “Siesta Salad” which consists of Mandarin oranges, Craisins, Blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, avocado and served with a raspberry vinaigrette ($12.50), and the “Sante Fe Salad” with Pico de Gallo, roasted corn, black beans, cheddar Jack cheese and avocado topped with crisp tortilla strips and cilantro ranch dressing ($12.50)
There are a dozen entrees to choose from and as you would expect, plenty of fish choices. The “Grouper Your Way” tops the list. Priced at $21.95, you can order it simply grilled, blackened or fried served with your choice of a black bean & roasted corn salsa, Mango-pineapple salsa or Pico de Gallo. Also offered up is their “Shrimp & Chicken Jambalaya” which includes Andouille sausage and is served on a bed of white rice ($17.95). Other choices such as the baby back ribs ($14 for ½ rack or $17.95 for the full rack), Cajun chicken pasta ($15.50) burgers ($10.95 & $12.95) or turkey club wraps ($11.75) round out the list.
All entrees (excluding pasta and Jambalaya) are served with the fresh veggie of the day and choice of rice pilaf, baked potato, French fries or you can substitute sweet potato fries for an additional $1.99
A unique offering is “Your Catch of the Day” where you supply “the catch” and they will prepare it as a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, French fries or coleslaw or as an entrée, simply grilled or blackened with a choice of starch and fresh vegetables, priced at $10 per person. It can’t get any fresher than that.
Along with a full liquor bar, The Boatyard offers half a dozen varieties of draft beer and a dozen brands of bottled beer, nine specialty cocktails, an impressive selection of wines and their popular “House Made” Sangria, a combination of brandy, peach schnapps, red wine, fresh fruit and “secret” spices.
The 300-seat restaurant also offers live music every weekend. In addition, private waterfront banquet rooms for holiday parties, weddings, family gatherings or any special occasion. Its experienced staff will gladly tailor your event to meet your individual needs.
It’s a setting where memories are made and the mesmerizing waters will help dissolve any troubles of the day.
The Boatyard Waterfront Bar & Grill, located at 1500 Stickney Point Rd. in Sarasota. (941) 921-6200, Restaurant hours of operation are Monday-Thursday, 11:30-9, Friday-Saturday, 11:30-10, and Sunday, 12-9. Bar stays open until ?? www.boatyardwaterfrontgrill.com