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Restaurants & Bars 6

Island Way Grill, Clearwater

joan | Nov 13, 200303:20 PM

Tried Island Way Grill for the first time this past weekend. Same ownership as Salt Rock Grill and Seminole Bistro, both of which I love, so I've been eagerly awaiting this place.

First impression: absolutely gorgeous restaurant, glass everywhere, waterfront setting, open cooking with seafood showcases, raw bar, and sushi! Beautifully decorated too.

We were shown to our seats without a wait (medium full - pretty busy for a late Sunday evening). We then waited 25 minutes for anyone to come to our table. Another couple seated two tables away from us were got up and left. We were determined to enjoy ourselves though...eventually we got tired of waiting and flagged down the "water glass filler" and told him how long we'd been waiting. He replied that he'd "take our order" if we liked (that surprised me - usually in high end places the waiters and the water servers don't cross jobs!).

We ordered conch chowder, clams on the half shell, and for dinner I had the Szechwan seared tuna appetizer and my better half had Teriyaki top sirloin steak. Prices were reasonable for the beautiful setting.

Bread and butter were brought to us - I'm spoiled by the olive oil and spice mix served at the Salt Rock - here it was typical white bread and cold unflavored butter. The conch chowder got a thumbs down from both of us - not rich or meaty, and there were beans in it (I wondered if they were meant as filler?)! and no sherry as promised. Weird. Clams on the half shell were fresh and tasty. However, my tuna was...on its third day. It was beautifully presented in a stack, and really tasted just fine , but it lacked that glossy smooth look of really fresh sushi grade -- guess that's what I get for going on the third day of the weekend. The steak teriyaki was very tender, but the sauce was so-so, more like BBQ sauce than teriyaki. Accompanied by delicious wasabi mashed potatoes.

Waiter offered a trio of desserts, on the house because of our wait. We asked to have it to go, and snuck a taste on the way home: fabulous key lime pie, rich molten lava chocolate cupcake, and ginger creme brulee, which was disappointing.

There you have it...about a 5 on a scale of 1-10, all things considered. We probably won't be making the 45 min drive to the Island Way again. Maybe if we were closer...

Anyone else been?


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