Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fish out of Water

Last night my wife and I enjoyed our annual anniversary meal at Fish out of Water restaurant at the Water Color resort on 30-A.  We celebrated 32 years Thanksgiving day.  A blind date gone good.  The dinning experience was the best I have enjoyed since moving back to this area from New Orleans, 5 years ago.

We started with a drive along 30-A as the sun set sent orange and blue brush strokes across the skies.  Alys Beach, Rosemary beach, and Seaside, were decorated for the season which made the drive that much more special. 

We arrived and were seated in the wine room just in time to see the last of the sunset vanish from the horizon.  The wine room is a small room off the main dining room surrounded by walls of wine.  The table setting was simple but elegant.  Our server Tim, who was spot on with his service, presented us with a drink menu that listed house specialty drinks, craft beers, bottled beer, and wine by the glass.  I started with a Rob Roy and the wife a Pomegranate Martini.  This gave use time to study the menu in detail.  The only change on the menu was the pasta type for the Bolognese. 

From the raw bar, we shared Wild Hopper Shrimp cocktail and Snapper ceviche.  The ceviche would take several minutes to marinate which gave use time to enjoy the shrimp cocktail.  The large wild hopper shrimp were perfectly cooked and served with the traditional catsup based sauce we love.  The sauce was a perfect balance of sweet and spicy, not over powering the shrimp.  The snapper ceviche was small diced pieces of fresh snapper tossed with red onion and jalapeno julienne, marinated in lime juice.  This was served with super thin, fresh fried, potato chips. I could have stopped there and eaten the chips and drank craft beers for the evening, but I was there to dine.  The chips were awesome.  Next we chose the marinated olives and the sweet brass dairy cheese plate from the snack portion of the menu.  The black and green olives were marinated in olive oil (duh) with herbs.  The cheese plate offered an Asher blue, French Chevre, Thomasville Tomme, and a Brie.  The cheese was served with preserved figs and a quince paste.  I love blue cheese and the Asher answered the call, but the textural and taste difference of the cheeses made this a most enjoyable course.  Next I had the Dragonfly field lettuces salad, comprised of small lightly tossed greens with hazelnuts, thinly slice watermelon beets and speck (a dry cured ham like Prosciutto).  The salad was refreshing and woke up the palate for the main course.  The appetisers were paired with craft beers.  We tried Sessions Lager a pre Prohibition style lager from Oregon, a southern pecan lager, and a stone smoked porter. 

For the main course my wife ordered the Tagliatelle pasta and I had the Florida wild hopper shrimp.  The Tagliatelle wider than fettuccine and was colored with squid ink giving it a black appearance and a fresh ocean scent and taste.  This pasta was combined with blue crab meat, jalapeno, and bread crumbs.  I never thought my wife would eat squid ink pasta. but after 32 years of me telling her to eat outside the box, see did.  The Florida wild hopper shrimp were served on a bed of herbed risotto with hen of the woodsman mushrooms.  All I can say is exquisite.  Again the shrimp were perfectly cooked, the risotto was creamy, and the mushrooms sauteed masterfully.  You must try the plate.  Put it on you must eat bucket list.  The main course was paired with Leaping Frog Savignon Blanc.  Crisp, light, and clean, it went well with the seafood entrees.

We sat back allowing time to reflect on the meal and 32 years of life together when Tim said those dreaded words.  "Would you care for a desert menu"?  Well lets just see what they have.  First to catch my eye was a fresh Florida blueberry creme brulee.  The wife is a sucker for a good creme brulee so I couldn't resist.  Looking further down the menu I saw something that pulled me in.  Bomboli, Italian yeast doughnuts served with two sauces, a chocolate sauce, and hold on to your palate, a maple, bacon caramel.  Now how can you turn that down.  Tell me how you going to turn that down.  Man that was incredible.  Fried yeast dough filled with pastry creme, covered in sugar, and dipped in MAPLE, BACON, CARAMEL, SAUCE.  This has to be on the menu in heaven.

Chef de Cuisine Philip Krajeck has created an inspired menu based local fishermen and farmers to bring the kind of dinning this area sorely needs.  Please try this restaurant.  You will not be disappointed.  Ask for Tim.

I give Fish out of Water 5 stars.

Good eating.

Fish out of Water on Urbanspoon

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