Saturday, July 5, 2014
I See Sharks On Gandy
The Belle of Ballast Point and I have been frequenting I.C. Sharks Seafood Market for years. Sharks has the best variety of the freshest seafood we have ever come across in the Tampa Bay area. For the last several years we have been eagerly awaiting the opening of the I.C. Sharks Tiki Bar and Restaurant.
The tiki bar came first and on several occasions we have enjoyed ice-cold beer and tasty snacks at the bar overlooking the water. Finally the restaurant opened and Sharks posted a menu, and though limited, we decide to try them around noonish on the 4th. Sharks has done a spectacular job on the bar, restaurant, and outdoor dining nooks and crannies.
The Belle and I started at the indoor bar with a half dozen oysters on the half shell for me and a couple of cold brews for the two of us. These Texas oysters were well shucked, but lacked the delicious salty taste of the sea. That is not a negative for Sharks; it is just not the season for great Gulf Coast oysters. I would love to see some Northern oysters on the menu during the hot summer months.
After the oysters, we wandered out to the tiki bar for a couple more beers and some more food. The Belle had a hamburger cooked her way…hockey puck done.
I had an order of steamed shrimp. The shrimp were not shrimpy. They were a nice size and perfectly steamed, served with a mundane ketchup and horseradish cocktail sauce. Jess, our entertaining barmaid, said the shrimp were sprinkled with Old Bay, but it was an undetectable sprinkle.
While the shrimp were good, there just was not any wow-factor. Sad to say, that was my impression of the entire menu. With so much spectacular seafood in the market, I just do not understand why the kitchen is not whipping up spectacular dishes utilizing that large variety of seafood. A little innovation could put I.C. Sharks menu over the top. Another way to approach this is to look at a competitor’s menu, and do not copy it. Show some originality.
We will continue buying our seafood from I.C. Sharks. I am just hoping that the restaurant is a work in progress.