If you’re a grouper groupie, Clearwater Beach hits the spot. Grouper, firm-fleshed and mild is considered a “real Florida” treat and you won’t find it fresher than at restaurants here. From small cafes to fine dining establishments, anyplace that serves fish will have its own take on this local delicacy. Here are a few examples I’ve found of the many creative ways of preparing this particular piscine pleasure.
Each of these restaurants serves locally caught grouper – guaranteed fresh. For fine dining, guests at Bob Heilman’s Beachcomber look to the daily specials section of the menu. If it’s available, try the Beachcomber Bronzed fillet of Florida black grouper – more lightly seasoned than blackened – topped with herb-garlic butter.
For more casual dining, Frenchy’s Rockaway Grill and Palm Pavilion, both right on the beach, vie for variety of presentations. Frenchy’s incorporates grouper into its protein choices on at least three different salads. Egg rolls stuffed with Cajun-spiced grouper, corn, black beans, red pepper, onion and jack cheese with a tropical jalapeno dipping sauce fuse at least three cuisines in one tasty treat.
The Palm Pavilion lists several grouper sandwiches and a specialty, the Palm Fish Taco. Most intriguing offering – fried fish cheeks. Who knew?