Low tide, high tide or sunset, the new Tide restaurant is a sure bet.
The other night I was in the mood for a casual dinner. I knew the Tide restaurant had new owners, Kith Reeves and Joe Joseph, so I thought I'd check it out.
The Tide is in the Apollo condominium complex on the south end of the island. It is downstairs looking over the Gulf of Mexico. It features two full bars, one outdoors and one indoors.
The outside bar is open during the day and for sunset. It has seating in the sun or shade for a dining experience right on the gulf.
That's one thing I like about the beach on Marco, if you want to walk the length of the beach you are bound to get a little thirsty. And if you want to take a break and get something to eat or drink, you have several watering holes to choose from.
The Tide is a good restaurant to pick because diners don't have to pay the hotel prices for the food and beverages. They have happy hour every day from 2 to 5 p.m. This makes it even more appealing for an adult beverage or a nice snack while you're taking a break from the sun and a long walk. And, for being on the beach on Marco Island, the prices are very reasonable.
The inside features two dining rooms. And the inside bar has 40 seats with over 30 TV's scattered around them, along with a shuffleboard table, pool tables and dart boards.
So, I thought, is this a sports bar with 'pub grub?'
Well, I guess it is kind of a sports bar, but not with "pub grub." The food is far from that. I don't dislike "pub grub," but I'm usually not too impressed with the presentations of it.
The Tide takes it to another level. Chef Mike O'Conner makes his stuff not only look good but the taste is there, too. Try the warm brie. It's placed on a pool of Marsala sauce topped with crispy fried leeks and surrounded with seasoned grilled French bread slices. Two people could share this and be satisfied. ($9.25)
After the tasty brie I had the crab-cake appetizer — five mini crab cakes placed on shaved lettuce with carved lemons and a lobster-cream dipping sauce in the middle.
These crab cakes are delicious and full of fresh lump crab. They contain little filler and are sautéed until golden brown, all for only $9.95.
They serve the same menu all the time with a variety of items, all kinds of appetizers, soups, large entrée salad, and a salad bar.
There are 14 different sandwiches, wings and things, finger food and full dinners. The USDA, lean ground-beef burgers with cheese and chips are only $6.25. And they serve thin-crust pizza after 5 p.m.
There is a disclaimer on the menu that at peak hours the pizza may take up to 45 minutes to prepare but they have plenty of beer and lots of things to do while you're waiting, like playing trivia on the TV with your own control panel.
I ordered a personal pizza with mushrooms, onions and garlic. It was out in no time at all.
The next time you're wandering down the beach and want a sandwich, don't forget about the new Tide restaurant and bar. And if you're not on the beach, just drive to the south end of Marco and go to the Apollo condominium complex for a sunset dinner or snack.
The Tide takes most major credit cards and are kid friendly. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m., seven days a week. For more information, call the Tide at 389-0509.
• When cooking pizza at home, I like to grill it on an outdoor barbecue.
I make and shape the dough while the coals get hot. I'm not too picky about the shape of the dough, I like a rustic look. Depending on my choice of toppings, I grill the veggies for flavor. I also roast the garlic for a sweeter taste.
Then, I brush one side of the dough with olive oil and place it oil side down on the grill under indirect heat until grill marks show. Then I take a pizza paddle with some cornmeal on it and slide the dough, grilled side up, on the paddle. Brush the grilled side again with a little oil and top it with sauce, toppings and cheese. I like goat cheese and ricotta on grilled pizza.
Then, I take the paddle and slide the pie on the indirect heat again. At this point, I like to put the lid on the grill so the cheese will melt and it will smoke a little. When the bottom is crispy, the pizza is perfect.