Had to suggest a fish spot for a business dinner north and west of Tampa and settled on Splash! An Ocean Grill. This is a lovely, upscale, urban looking, open kitchen restaurant, stuck in a strip plaza beside a nail salon and a Subway.
VERY generous pours on wine at the bar, and three of us enjoyed a fried Calamari appetizer. Menu said with aioli, which I love, but hadn't expected that it would be hot and dumped all over the Calamari, thought we would dip. Delicious, in any event.
The oak grilled fish of the day, grouper, salmon and seabass yesterday, could be prepared with several sauces. Similar concept to Bonefish. The regular menu and specials, mostly seafood, included the Splash salad, greens with tiny bits of bacon and a couple of figs, vinaigrette, fine, and either roasted garlic mashed potatoes, pasta with tomato sauce or rice, and also included perfectly cooked and buttery green beans. We chose salmon with fruit salsa, sea bass with spinach and almonds, kind of a florentine/almandine treatment, and the rare tuna done in an Asian style. All uniformly excellent. Perfectly cooked fish, lovely presentation, simply wonderful. I feared the oak grilled business, often that treatment leads to acrid and bitter stripes on delicate fish flesh, but here it was just a hint of smoke and delicious.
Tried to share a chocolate cheesecake kind of thing that was just plain awful. Gummy, yucky, with a horrible chemical taste. We all tried one bite and put down our forks in dismay!
Friendly young server, helpful with suggestions and patient with us lingering over wine.
As a guest, I did not see the check, but entrees are in the fifteen to twenty dollar range, and in my opinion well worth it.
Splash! An Ocean Grill, 3973 Van Dyke Road, Lutz, FL 33558 Phone: (813) 269-8611.
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