Scenically perched over the Gulf of Mexico's inviting waters, the seafaring chefs at Harbor Docks whip together tasty treasures crafted from the sea's naturally briny bounty. A parade of ceremonious appetizers opens oceanic feasts with fried crab claws ($10.99+) and fried grouper cheeks ($10.99); stuffed mushrooms are filled with less expressive, but equally delicious lump crab and monterey jack ($11.99). Famished fishermen can sink teeth and hooks into the market-priced catch of the day, culled from Harbor Docks's wholesale market and prepared to your taste, whether you prefer your fish blackened, broiled, sautéed, fried, chargrilled, or converted into a fetching hat. Sushi seekers can take a delectable detour through Harbor Docks's extensive menu of rolls and nigiri, nibbling traditionally prepared bites such as the eel- and avocado-laced Banzai Roll ($8.99). Or rub rice-y elbows with remixed creations such as the Cowboy Roll ($8.99), which corrals hunger using a combination of steak, green onion, and tiny seaweed lassos.
Captain Larry maneuvers the Sea Blaster––a 73-foot speedboat––on four different cruises in the Gulf, departing from the HarborWalk Village. Dolphin cruises speed through the water during the day, coming up close to dolphins as they leap out of the sea in an effort to distract humans while they steal their sunglasses. With the addition of snorkeling, passengers strap on a simple breathing apparatus and paddle through the crystalline waters. Others spy dolphins during the sunset cruise, as the horizon burns pink and orange, or watch fireworks burst over the water from the Sea Blaster’s deck every Thursday evening.
Since his grandfather opened up a restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1905, A. J. "Poppy" Tusa's family has remained in the restaurant business for more than a century. Poppy continues his family's traditions of providing hospitality and authentic Louisiana flavors at Poppy's Crazy Lobster Bar and Grill, where the chef and his crew boil Cajun-style seafood by the pound, assemble towering po' boy sandwiches, and pan-sear blackened Maine lobsters.
Though the food is fresh and flavorful, the restaurant's main draw may be its seaside dining room and dockside patio. Fishermen and generous mermaids can even bring in their freshly caught fish, and the kitchen will cook it up for them. There's live music and entertainment, and the full bar's mojitos, hurricanes, and beers add to the tropical environs.
There are plenty of reasons to come to Groovy Grouper Grill that aren't on the menu. The space may fill with competitive shouts during trivia nights, cheering during televised sports, or pulsing music late into the evening. The adventurous menu is still at the heart of most of the action, though, combining culinary influences from Asia, Central America, Louisiana, and other hubs into dishes that might include meatloaf sliders with chimichurri, flatbread with smoked sirloin and bourbon glaze, or banana creme brulee. Revelry in the space is augmented by hand-crafted cocktails as well as wines from around the world.
Hailed by Finest on the Emerald Coast for having the finest seafood–and as the finest place to watch a sunset–The Black Pearl surrounds artfully arranged dishes with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether inside the air-conditioned restaurant, or outside on its open-air deck, visitors and their families can soak up beachside vistas while dining on aged prime beef and fresh seafood, including whole Maine lobsters. An extensive wine and martinis selection adds an extra splash of elegance to meals.
To restock their supply of fresh seafood, the owners of Floyd’s Shrimp House needn’t look far—the restaurant sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico, which supplies the kitchen with a constant stream of grouper, oysters, and gold-filled chests. But Floyd’s main draw is the gulf shrimp, served boiled or fried, grilled or blackened, or in a creamy alfredo sauce over pasta.
Colorful fish mounts, fishing nets, and old dock signs decorate the walls inside the dining room, along with more than 25 flat screen TVs tuned to the game. There’s also a covered, wooden patio where diners can slurp raw or baked oysters while watching games of beach volleyball occurring on Floyd’s backyard courts.