Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Blue Marlin Grill on Historic Bridge Street

Set in a 1920’s cottage on historic Bridge Street, The Blue Marlin is the culinary haven of restaurateurs Adam and Marianne Ellis. Launched in 2011, Ellis and his wife restored the cottage, which had been their family for years. In keeping with the feel of an intimate, coastal restaurant, they retained the original wainscotting and wood flooring and cleverly built tables and benches from recycled dock wood. The 'black and white' room displays black and white photos of locals and their fish catches. Antique ship lanterns, fish mounts and oars scattered throughout lend the cottage a charming, intimate atmosphere. There is a lovely curved bar that mimics a boat and a great outside deck and courtyard they call “The Trap Yard”, which features love music on Friday and saturday nights. The décor is deliberately understated so as not to take away from the food, which focuses on daily fresh fish brought in daily from AP Bell Fish & Co in Cortez, which not only provides his restaurant with the freshest possible fish, but also the ability to offer daily specials with that day’s catch, from Key West Pink Shrimp, Gulf of Mexico Lane Snapper, Two Docks Little Neck Clams and gourmet Black Grouper— a former fishermen and restaurant industry veteran, Ellis believes in the importance of always using the freshest locally sourced ingredients. In addition to the fresh catches du jour is a savoury selection of chowders, spreads and side dishes, such as "Cortez Chowder" with fresh grouper cheeks and shrimp in a tomato saffron broth, Florida Gulf Shrimp and Grits, Linguine with White Clam Sauce and decadent desserts like Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. Ellis is also proud of his wine list, which is always changing and includes wines from smaller vineyards. Someone once told Ellis “If you’re going to start a restaurant make it a place you’ll like because you’ll always be there”. The casual, coastal feel of the Blue Marlin and sensational menu of fabulous fresh fish and seafood guarantees we might also be a fixture for years to come.

Weathered bell on the old wooden door entrance to the Blue Marlin

Adam Ellis of the Blue Marlin on historic Bridge Street

Chalkboard with the day's fresh local catch

The interior features original wainscotting and wood flooring with cleverly built tables and benches made from recycled dock wood with painting by local artists 

With a good wine list, I was delighted to find that they had a lovely organic Grüner Veltliner from Biohof Pratsch, a relatively small estate in the Niederosterreich region in lower Austria

A light crisp wine with a touch of lemon herbal freshness 

Lightly salted warm edamame

Burrata and Tomato Salad with homemade pesto and balsamic drizzle

Beausoleil Oysters from Nova Scotia

"Cortez Chowder" with fresh grouper cheeks and shrimp in a tomato saffron broth

Linguine with Two Docks Littleneck Clam Sauce and garlic toast

Gulf of Mexico Lane Snapper with rice and green beans, which to my surprise arrived deep fried

Grilled local Grouper

Table in the 'black and white' room with old photos of locals and their fish catches

Grouper Fulford
Serves 4 
Recipe courtesy of Adam Ellis, The Blue Marlin

4 8-oz grouper filets
4 eggs, divided into 4 whites and 2 yolks
Flour for dredging
Salt and pepper, to taste

Lemon Butter:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 450°F. Heat a pan with oil on medium-high heat. Season the fish with salt and pepper, dredge it in flour and coat it with the beaten egg mixture. Place the filets directly into the hot pan. After 3 to 4 minutes in the pan, flip the fish and finish it in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until the oil starts to bubble out of the fish. Just before serving, melt butter in saucepan over low heat, then add the lemon juice and warm briefly. To serve, transfer the fish to a plate and brush it with lemon butter.

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