Legend has it that during a high-stakes poker game, Johnny Leverock threw down the winning hand and won a 7-acre Tampa Bay oyster bed. The bed held a surplus of oysters—15,000 bushels a year—leading Johnny to open up his own oyster bar in 1948, which served the seafood-centric recipes his wife Bertha had perfected. Years later, new owners dubbed the eatery Leverock’s Restaurant in homage to the man, keeping the same clam-chowder recipe served on the original menu in 1948. Other standouts include sesame-seed-crusted mahi-mahi, north Atlantic snow crab, and housemade bread pudding. In line with the maritime theme, oversize fish hang from the ceiling in the dining room, and floor-to-ceiling windows provide panoramic views of Palm Island and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Behind their teppanyaki grilling stations, chefs at Kumo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi flip lobster tails, filet mignon, and shrimp through the air as diners look on. A short distance away from the hibachi flames, chefs at the sushi bar craft fresh hand rolls based on local catches, such as the cape coral maki with salmon, tuna, and avocado, and the Top of the World roll with yellowtail, scallion, and cucumber. Staffers pour hot and cold sake and imported beer for patrons to quaff when not digging into a noodle bowl. The dining area?s decor teems with Asian accents such as bamboo shoots, a zen-garden-inspired rock wall, and a zen-garden-inspired ball pit.
In Miguel's Restaurant's bustling kitchen, chef Gabe prepares delectable French and continental recipes. Cool vichyssoise soup primes appetites for USDA prime filet mignon with béarnaise sauce or a roasted duck with raspberry sauce. Ornamented with toile vases and copper kettles, a stone fireplace fills a corner of the dining room, while vivid, cobalt-blue tablecloths stand in stark contrast with runaway sprigs of parsley.
Eating at Bimini Bar & Grill is an immersive experience. The waterfront restaurant overlooks Casey Key, and guests sitting in the restaurant's second level—The Overlook Grill—are well equipped to view it. The water serves as obvious inspiration for the restaurant's menu, which features locally-sourced, seasonal seafood. Starters of hot crab dip or New England clam chowder lead to pan-seared ahi tuna, its halves encrusted in wasabi and garlic ginger. Fish tacos champion filets of grilled fish and fresh cabbage slaw, while friend shrimp rest atop a 10" hoagie roll for a po-boy.
Downstairs, a casual, nautically-themed space called Bimini Bar pours libations. Draft beers accompany bites sourced from the full menu, available in regular and small-plate portions. The bar hosts live music several nights a week, and on other nights revelers might find karaoke, televised sports, or a paper-airplane relay.
On any given day, you might see Big Water Fish Market's seafood specialists on the docks dotting Little Sarasota Bay and the Gulf Coast, buying catches straight from the boat. They haul these bounties back to their chilled display cases, then scrawl the day's selection across the store's blackboard. Big Water's staffers concentrate on local fresh fish and shellfish, taking a special interest in grouper, snapper, and mahi-mahi. Besides these catches, they keep freezers full of imported shipments, from sushi-grade yellowfin tuna to snow crab that, ironically, has never actually seen snow. For those who don’t want to wait until they get home for a tasty seafood meal, the shop’s deli fries, grills, and blackens various fish.
Nina Lakatos and Lynn Morris, two actual girls, wanted to live healthier lifestyles. They tried combining juices and raw, plant-based vegan foods and discovered that they "made them feel fantastic." Their friends took notice of the duo's improved health and energy and became curious about how to live such a lifestyle. Being a professional chef and professional photographer, the two knew how to make good food and how to make their good food look good, too. So, they started Two Girls Food, making fresh juices and vegan entrees each morning from scratch and delivering them to customers around town. They also offer pickup service in the morning at two locations.