The Offspring recently celebrated a birthday. I'm happy to say that she will still go out to dinner with her old folks. The Offspring is a budding foodie. She may never cook a meal, but she has been a willing and adventuresome eater. I might have had to disown her if she was a picky eater. (Although the phase when no foods could touch on the plate was a bit rough, I'm happy to say it has passed.)
We chose Snapper's Sea Grill on St. Pete Beach as our dining destination. How fortunate that it was at the tail end of the Spring Break madness and our wait for a dining table was not interminable. It was still cool enough in the early night air to enjoy our wines by the glass in the patio area before being seated. Snappers serves beer and wine only.
I will say that the restaurant is much smaller inside than I expected. There was a bit of a logjam of servers at the hostess stand, however the room was clean and bright, the booth seating was comfortable. The decor was nice in a complementary marine grey blue and white scheme. There are bright paintings to please the eye. I don't remember any background music but there was a lot chatter and clatter this evening. It wasn't unpleasant but it did make conversation a bit difficult at times.
As soon as we were seated and perusing the menu, an appetizing nibble emerged as our pre-dinner snack. Roasted Brussel Sprouts with crispy fried leeks and ponzu glaze, enough for the three of us to share while debating our dinner choices.
We chose three different appetizers, our daughter will never tire of her tried and true seared tuna. She loves her tuna and will always order it. The Mister chose a half dozen of stuffed broiled oysters. I ordered the beef sate with a peanut dipping sauce. While our choices were not groundbreaking or off-the-chart extraordinary, they were a credible example of just what we expected. Her tuna was seared, she had wasabi paste and pickled ginger and enough soy sauce to make her wicked hot dipping sauce. The Mister enjoyed his broiled oyster and said the flavor was just as he liked it, bacon, tomato, onion and boursin cheese. (not spicy, not fishy, not new.) My beef skewers were cooked appropriately medium rare and the dipping sauce was not hot as I would like, but it was perfectly tasty with the beef skewer.
I will say our server was attentive and our food arrived promptly. There is a distinct advantage to have a daughter who works on the beach and has many friends who also serve. We get excellent service from her friends.
We thoroughly enjoyed the creamy garlic dressing on the salads. The salads were well chilled, fresh greens and garnished with crispy tortilla strips. A cut above the norm. (As a former salad girl, there are few salads that impress and I did like Snappers house salad.)
We were in splurge mode for the entrees. This dinner is a celebration and everyone was "all in" for the go big or go home meal. The birthday girl chose the Surf and Turf option with a filet and lobster tail.
The Mister chose twin glazed thick cut pork chops served with delicious sweet potato fries.
All dinners were plated with a standard stirfry of squash, carrot and onion and a delightful popover mashed potato cup, an inventive combo bread and cheesy potato option. All plates were beautifully garnished with bright blooms and looked exotic in presentation. Plating is a serious business at Snappers, there is extreme care in making the meal look as good as it tastes. Stunning to look at and delightful to eat.
Our meals were not a reinvention of the wheel. They were commendable versions of an upscale beach front fare. All the dishes were cooked to the perfect degree of doneness. If you are in the mood for a meal that represents seafood and meats in abundance and cooked well in a familiar, albeit non-adventuresome manner, then Snapper's Sea Grill is for you. Sometimes, good food expertly prepared is all you need, bells and whistles are not always required. To be absolutely fair, there are menu offerings that promise the spice and zing of chipotle and tiger sauce, if you so desire.
The Offspring visited Snapper's again, with her boyfriend recently. They raved over the Mussels Diablo, the house salads, the Wasabi crusted Tuna entree, Seafood (lobster, shrimp, scallop) platter and a special side order of risotto. She was very impressed with the risotto.
All in all, we had a wonderful celebratory old school dinner, filled with joking, laughter and memories. It was a very pleasant evening, spent in convivial spirits and just what the daughter ordered. We were served well and well fed. Happy Birthday, wee one. Love always.
In a former life time I was known as "Tina, the Tourguide." Maybe I gained my nickname because of my penchant for telling 'people where to go' or maybe not. My former employ as a resort front desk manager allowed me to indulge in tasting, trying and then recommending restaurants for our diverse base of guests. It was the favorite part of my job....investigating what was new, what was popular and what would be a good fit for the diner. I was not compensated then or now for my dining choices, it is purely my personal opinion on finding the best tasting restaurants, value or splurge, family or intimate, to recommend to either guests or friends. That being said, I do have a personal bias to the old St. Pete establishments as a life long resident of the city I love. I am drawn to visit and review the places that have been re-vitalized into something new from my recollections.