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Great seafood recommendations in Tampa or nearby places?

And by seafood, I mean all out seafood; I'm going to skip over anything on the menu that isn't from the sea. I'm not sure if it's going to be lunch or dinner though sorry....I'm especially excited on trying stone crab claws since they seem to be in season right now.

i've done a little searching and frenchy's in clearwater seems to be highly recommended (google says it's a 30minute drive from tampa), but their menu isn't as extravagantly comprehensive as I would like, if that makes sense. Is there an all out seafood place that deals mostly with local florida catches? I mean I like snow crabs but I would like to sample what florida's waters have to offer.

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  1. Since you mentioned a long drive to Frenchy's, for stone crabs, be sure to call first. Stone crabs are very hard to get right now, and they may be out.

    Gotta laugh at your screen name!

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    1. Highly recommend Middle Grounds Grill on Treasure Island - to me, they are the best seafood restaurant in the area (fresh fish, imaginative preparation) and their stone crabs are even better than Joe's in Miami.

      1. Then you should consider Joan's place which is called Mid-Peninsula Seafood. It is located in Gulfport which is just west of St. Pete. This is an unadulterated seafood market/restaurant. You won't get real fancy dishes as at high-end places but the seafood will be fresh and you can get it baked, fried, grilled, blackened, etc. Make sure you try some of Don's smoked fish spread if you go. Here is a link for their website: http://www.midpeninsulaseafood.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: RibDog

          Another vote for M-PS. Basic delicious local fresh grouper sandwich, prepared any way you like. Also, one of few places anywhere to feature cracked conch (which is from Providenciales, it's not legal to harvest it in Florida). Fun but simple Caribbean atmo, beer in plastic cups.
          Stone crab is indeed scarce and pricey this year. I was generously gifted a couple colossal claws for lunch later today - $46/lb from WF in Sarasota yesterday, half pound each.

        2. I recommend Oyster Catchers at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay. It looks like you are from out of town. This is at the Tampa end of the Courtney Campbell Causeway, linking Clearwater and Tampa. It is near the airport. The official address is 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa. The phone number is (813) 207-6815.

          This is a serious seafood restaurant with spectacular views. I particularly recommend the Sunday seafood buffet, running from 10:30 to 2:00. It is $45 a person, so it isn't cheap, but then, this is a fancy seafood restaurant, with great views, at a big hotel. The cuisine is serious, upper-end Continental food. I hope that you enjoy it.

          1. You're getting good advice on this forum. I want to second Oyster Catchers. This is the place to go for fine dining and seafood. Frenchy's is an institution, but you go there for beach grub, not fine cuisine. Great grouper and inexpensive stone crab.

            1. You may want to call ahead and ask about stone crab claws. They are in short supply right now and tough to get anywhere. A lot of the seafood companies are working hard to import them from other places, so the ones you get might not even be local.

              2 Replies
              1. re: UptownKevin

                I have not tried to get stone crabs this year. Why are they hard to get?

                1. re: gfr1111

                  Late warm water currents and a profusion of octopi have combined for a very poor catch so far this season. Smaller catches means layoffs and fewer boats going out and traps set, which further reduces the harvest. These are cyclical conditions, it's just a bad year.

              2. Middle Grounds is the king of seafood restaurants at the moment.