At Fresh on the Fly, chefs elevate classic comfort-food recipes with top-tier ingredients. They stuff po’ boys with wild-caught shrimp and creole rémoulade, for instance, and serve corn-flake-crusted, hormone-free chicken atop homemade waffles. Though seafood is Fresh on the Fly’s specialty, its chefs also serve up thick burgers made with grass-fed beef locally sourced from De Leon Springs. The emphasis on sustainability extends to the dishware, which swaps out plastic and coal-powered forks in favor of reusable china and plant-based utensils.
Diners can devour entrees in the cool-toned, streamlined dining room, which features corrugated-tin wainscoting that echoes the grays and silvers of sharks and swordfish painted on its walls.
At Little New Orleans Kitchen & Oyster Bar, the piquant seafood staples of Louisianan Cajun cuisine quell robust belly rumblings. Diners silence stomachs by sinking spoons into New Orleans jambalaya or cracking into snow crab legs and shrimp smothered in butter sauce. A side of Cajun fries complements the flavors of Cajun fried shrimp, and french bread po' boys contain gravy-slathered roast beef as opposed to rich boys, which are stuffed with $100 bills.
Garlic Crabhouse's menu overflows with shrimp, crabs, and Caribbean fare festooned with garlic or bathed in alfredo sauce. Diners can anchor fork tines in tilapia or catfish ($7.99 for lunch; $8.99 for dinner) prepared fried, steamed, grilled, blackened, dipped in a brown stew, or doused in curry. A sextet of garlic crabs ($18.99 for dinner) shares plate space with red-skin garlic potatoes, whereas a lobster tail conducts a singing quartet of blue crabs ($27.99) in spirited renditions of doo-wop classics. Caribbean-style meals include the spicy punch of jerk shrimp ($8.99–$10.99) and the less belligerent flavors of curry chicken ($4.99–$7.99).
Crabby Bill’s chefs serve up succulent seafood alongside stunning views of the Marina on Lake Toho. Warm up jaws with florida alligator bites made from real gator tail, dusted with seasoned flour, flash fried, and served with stone sauce ($6.99). Watering mouths can saddle up to the shell bar, which slings raw and prime gulf oysters from Florida, Louisiana, and Texas prepared in a variety of ways including the Crabbyfellar, a plate of six baked oysters topped with house-made creamy crab and spinach dip ($5.99). Tantalize taste buds with surf and turf combinations such as the center cut filet mignon paired with grilled sugar cane skewered-shrimp basted in garlic butter ($17.99) or try fresh gulf grouper, which is caught off the coast and then blackened, grilled, or fried, before it's released into guests’ bellies ($18.99). For king-size appetites, try a 1.5-pound of alaskan king crab, a mountainous monarchy of legs and claws ruling over the table, demanding offerings of drawn butter to coat its rich, sweet meat ($32.99).
Since 1946, Norwood's Restaurant and Wine Shop has complemented fresh-caught seafood and aged Angus beef entrees with a well-stocked cache of fine wines and drinks. While basking in spacious dining environs that feature rustic wood architecture, diners cure deep-sea cravings with fish dishes that permit a choice of seven different preparations: salmon fillets dressed in mango-salsa disguises ($20) can have their cover blown by prying forks, and hog snapper might get infused with the sweet slathering of a pineapple chutney ($25). The staff serves fish entrees alongside yukon-gold mashed potatoes and a vegetable medley. Diners on a strict pasta-only diet, or in need of an object soft enough to preclude serious repercussions after throwing it at a vice principal, can enjoy the supple shrimp-and-scallop alfredo ($18.50).
Diners at Dolphin View Restaurant often sense that they are being watched. The feeling is far from paranoid or unwelcome, however, as the prying eyes belong to seabirds and jumping dolphins. These creatures are common sights in the waters that border the eatery, where open-air seating affords views of their play. Wooden tables stand on the slats of a dock or the sandy expanse of the beach, framed by cloth canopies and hanging plants. In these environs, guests feast on plates of grilled fish, shrimp, and signature sandwiches, such as the Dolphin burger. The menu also features less ocean-centric options, including burgers, chicken entrees, and glasses of salt-free water.
For an even more immersive mix of food and scenery, guests can reserve spots on one of Dolphin View Restaurant's dinner and river cruises. Each experience begins with an all-you-can-eat buffet at the open-air pavilion. After dinner, passengers embark by boat through the waterway, marveling at the coastal scenery and wildlife as they sip beer or wine.