Early fauna crawled from the sea, eventually returning with the capacity for complex thought, rudimentary tool use, and an extremely primitive tartar sauce. Taste succulent origins with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of seafood and fusion fare at Ophelia's on the Bay in Sarasota.
Nestled tightly against the broad azure swathe of Little Sarasota Bay, Ophelia's reverberates with sensory refrains unleashed by virtuoso chefs. The menu, which changes nightly, overflows with seafood-rich fusion dishes as inventive as an eccentric uncle's fishing stories. Current offerings include lobster-infused blue crab bisque ($11), which eases diners into maritime harmony and rolls across taste buds on green-chili crème fraiche whitecaps and waves of sherry-cream. Loll in the furnishings of the sweeping patio as grilled chilean salmon ($27) runs a flavorful campaign from a dais of jasmine rice draped in blueberry-lavender sauce. A breast of duckling ($30) alights upon a succulent nest of poached anjou pear and blackberry compote, fueling diners' contented sighs and the jealous tears of Poseidon. Caper through the sprawling red and white wine lists while gazing out upon the blossoming gardens, water-lily pond, and frolicking statuettes.
Ophelia's on the Bay
A flash of silver glimmers in Little Sarasota Bay, mere feet from the lush, tropical patio of Ophelia's on the Bay. It could be the belly of a leaping dolphin, the petals of a water lily, or the shiny lures of fishermen as they reel in the evening's catch. No matter its source, this sparkle reminds guests that simple pastimes such as nature gazing and family dinners are among life's greatest riches.
In the kitchen, chefs use black grouper and tuna to showcase recipes from Florida's coasts and seaside countries such as France, Nicaragua, and Japan. Maine lobster tails morph into Mexican-inspired rellenos, and New England sea scallops bask in an emulsion of caramelized shallots and dill. Within the dining room, floor-to-ceiling windows frame views of the bay, where sea captains dock their boats or play Marco Polo with the nearby nesting herons. As the evening sky dims, moonlight casts a romantic glow over the patio's white tablecloths, and guests raise glasses of French champagne to a lovely evening under the stars.
9105 Midnight Pass Rd.
Sarasota, Florida 34242Get Directions