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Restaurants & Bars Florida


Big Daddy | | Jun 9, 2009 12:14 PM

We just spent the week in Pensacola, and a few places deserve mention.

Dharma Blue: What a great restaurant. It's been recommended in a few threads on this board, but nothing recently so I thought I'd revive the buzz.
We had a fabulous meal there, both sushi and from the regular menu. The service was great. The setting was wonderful (on the patio, overlooking a neat park).
And the food! Both types of sushi I tried featuring conch were incredible. The yellowtail was as buttery as any I've tasted in years.
My wife and I split the artichoke bisque, which was rich (although it had that canned artichoke taste, the cream did help balance it out mostly).
My wife is a vegetarian and inquired about the fried green tomatoes she had heard about. The waiter said that was for lunch only, but without our asking made an inquiry with the chef and returned to say they were available. Now, Pensacola ain't the South, but the fry cook sure had the technique down. My wife paired the FGT with some creamy grits.
I heartily recommend the grouper crusted with sun-dried tomatoes. It came with a generous portion of spinach and mashed potatoes. The fish was perfectly crispy on the outside and moist inside.

Wisteria Tavern: It's hard to find -- just a shack along a beautiful boulevard of live oaks -- but worth seeking out.
Don't go for the decor. It's pleasantly dumpy, more like a clubhouse than a bar. The bathrooms are outside.
But do go for the beer. They have about a dozen taps, mostly with micros (try the Stone's IPA and the Kona Pipeline Porter), and an incredible selection of imported and micro brews.
Terry, the owner ("your pornstar today," the bill says) knows his beer and makes great recommendations.

Joe Patti's: Yes, it's a market. But in heaven, every fish market is like this one. Fish of every stripe -- fillets and whole, shellfish, bivalves and baby octopus -- a bakery, coffee bar, wine store and sushi restaurant.
The sushi is extremely inexpensive, and when I visited it had the distinction of having an all-female staff preparing it. The fish was very good, especially the razor clams. My only complaint: the nigiri rice balls were too big and overwhelmed the fish.

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