Sat, 02/20/10 4:07 PM
Florida beach joints have , at last, become honest. Most in the St Pete area do not offer "grouper" on their menus - now it is simply "fish filet", and the filets we ate were universally good - unknown fish varieties, but sweet flaky and tasty.
We had dinner at a Bonefish Grill one evening - this is the original, albeit recently moved across the street, Bonefish on 4th St in St Pete. I , a hardened disbeliever in chains, was pleasantly surprised by an excellent meal - we all were well satisfied with our filets, grouper, salmon, and trout. The service was professional, the ambience soothing (no TVs on in our dining room despite this being Super Bowl Sunday), and our only complaint was that the meals were somewhat pricey - a bit more than we thought they should be.
We bought, and opened at home, many dozens of beautiful Appalachicola oysters - $5 to $6 a dozen depending on the quantity we bought at Graham's Seafood market in Kenneth City. they also have very large, fresh, delicious, head on, Gulf shrimp for $5.99/lb - about 18 to the pound. The heads and shells were the basis of a sauce for other fish dishes.
We ate at Annies in Kent Narrows ( MD - across the bridge from Annapolis) and had an excellent creamy crab soup, an equally good spicy red crab soup, magnificent freshly shucked oysters from local beds ($18/doz.). This is a good roadfood stop (when you are not up to the Narrows restaurant in the same community) - a joint popular with the locals, lively bar, 20 Tvs, and a separate quiet dining room.