Sunday, June 7, 2015

This Guppy Ain't No Small Fry

I can't imagine why it has taken us so long to drive a few miles up Gulf Boulevard to dine at the simply delightful Guppy's on the Beach Grill and Bar, but that's what we did yesterday afternoon with our dear friends and dining partners, Sweet Polly and her Super-Hero.

We didn't have reservations and the inside dining area was packed, but we were offered immediate seating on the outdoor patio. It was a mild evening so we dined au naturel ... uh, maybe that should be al fresco (my French is somewhat manquant). The dress code at Guppy's is casual, but my bride points out that it isn't that casual. Oh, well!

Once seated, our server promptly appeared and took our drink orders: a Wente Chardonnay by the glass, two splits of Prosecco, and the evening special Mojito. While enjoying our adult beverages we pored over the menus and finally decided to choose from Small Plates to more thoroughly explore Guppy's gastronomic delicacies.

I have made it my mission in life to eliminate as many of the highly intelligent cephalopod molluscs as possible before they mutate into a long lived creature that surpasses mankind in brain power. As a consequence I had to have the delicious and perfectly prepared Char Grilled Octopus, with a tomato dill coulis, feta cheese, kalamata olive, lemon oil and banana pepper Mediterranean style sauce. That was probably the best octopus dish I have ever consumed.

That octopus was the high point of my Guppy's experience but I have to say emphatically that the other seven plates served were some of the best tasting dishes I have had on either side of Tampa Bay and that includes a recent dining adventure in New York City. Eat your heart out Big Apple.

My next favorite gift from Poseidon's kingdom are oysters and the next two plates were sheer perfection: Fried Gulf Coast Oysters with tequila lime cocktail sauce; then Angels on Horseback with oysters and applewood smoked bacon broiled with Burgundy herb and garlic butter.

Our table also enjoyed Guppy's Homemade Fish Spread with Captains Wafers (a pleasant departure from Saltines), Crab Cake with creole mustard aioli, and Prince Edward Island Mussels sauteed in olive oil, garlic, chorizo, spinach, tomato, white wine, and ajillo sauce.

But wait! There is more. Stuffed though we were, Ashley showed up again with our last two dishes: an obscenely good Escargot broiled in Burgundy garlic butter and the melt in the mouth tender Braised Beef Short Ribs.

As if all that wonderful food wasn't enough, our total for the evening came to just $155.06. We split the bill down the middle so each couple paid $77.53 and each tacked on an additional 20% for Ashley.

For the Belle of Gulf Boulevard and me, I can definitely envision a return to Guppy's.

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Guppys on the Beach

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