Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Sandbar: Beachfront Dining on Anna Maria

Located on the north end of Anna Maria Island, the Sandbar Restaurant has been a popular favourite among locals and visitors for decades, known for its fresh Florida seafood and sensational views overlooking the white sand beaches by the Gulf of Mexico. The tradition of entertainment and relaxation at the Sandbar dates back to 1911, a time when Anna Maria was only accessible by boat. Many people came from Tampa, landing on the bay side and making the short hike to "The Pavilion," a favoured meeting place and the site on which the Sandbar Restaurant now sits. Now owned by the Chiles Restaurant Group, it is one of a family of three waterfront restaurants, each with a unique beachside feel: The BeachHouse, Sandbar and Mar Vista Dockside Pub, each having a casual laid-back atmosphere, serving fresh Florida seafood with breathtaking views of the water, and all at affordable prices. Great for lunch, Sunday brunch or arrive for dinner and enjoy spectacular sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico.

View from the Sandbar Restaurant overlooking the beach and Gulf of Mexico

A welcome cold Stella Artois beer on a hot sunny day

Caesar Salad with grilled salmon

Grouper Fish Taco topped with lime crema, cole slaw, baby cilantro and served with grilled zucchini

Sandbar Key Lime Pie

Sandbar Red Curry Scallops
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of The Sandbar

1 to 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
32 large sea scallops
Flour to dust scallops
4 tsp toasted coconut
1 oz micro Thai basil 

Red curry glaze:
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup cream of coconut 
3 oz curry paste
2 oz miso

In medium bowl combine each of the curry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Transfer to a saucepan and heat just prior to serving. Heat a large sauté pan and add oil. When oil is hot, lightly dust scallops in flour and carefully add to pan, cooking in batches if necessary. Sear both sides of the scallops until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Divide the scallops among warm serving plates and top with warmed red curry glaze to taste. Garnish each serving with toasted coconut and basil. 

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