Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar

I moved down to Florida to hang out with my mom. And my mom loves going out to lunch. (Dinner, too!) When I asked her where she wanted to go yesterday, she said somewhere on the water with good seafood.

You might think this would be an easy request, but we've tried MANY waterfront restaurants. It seems to me that when they have a great view, they don't make as much effort with the food. Maybe they assume people will come regardless of the ho-hum, very average meals.

Despite the fact that my mom has lived here in Sarasota for more than two decades, I had never been to Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar. As the name implies, this well-established restaurant sits right on the water. There are tables inside and outside, under a see-through roof. We sat outside.

The menu is huge! But I knew I wanted some kind of salad, which narrowed things down. I liked the sound of several, especially the Caribbean influence. I ordered the lettuce cups--something I've never tried before. My mom chose grilled salmon.

The service was pleasant and relaxed with a laid-back island vibe. In other words, nice and slow. It look us an hour for lunch, which wasn't an issue at all, but folks in a hurry might not be as patient. We were the first people there right at 11am, but by the time we left at noon, the place was packed.

My lettuce cups were delicious, filled with fresh ahi tuna, mango, cucumbers, and red onion. On the side, the ponzu sauce was salty and sweet. The red cabbage slaw was crunchy and spicy, like no other slaw I've ever tasted. I ate every morsel on my plate!

My mom enjoyed her salmon, but I neglected to photograph her meal. Sorry!

The view was wonderful. The sun sparkled on the creek. Fish were jumping! A few seagulls perched on posts, but they didn't come near the diners. I think it would be a nice spot to eat dinner and watch the sun set.

I will definitely return to Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar. With the tip, our lunch came to $50 for two people, so it's not cheap. But the food was so yummy and super fresh, I felt that it was well worth the price. And when you add in the water view, you get so much more!