Escape the heat, under the sea at Guy Harvey’s

The cool, under-the-sea ambiance of Guy Harvey’s Island Grill is a perfect escape from the heat of August in Southwest Florida. Sitting amongst the 800-gallon tanks full of colorful tropical fish, Guy Harvey’s is like diving under the cool, blue sea – no diving experience required. The filtered light coming through the windows is cool and blue and, along with the decor, adds to the underwater atmosphere.

The hours have changed a bit for the summer, with the restaurant open from 5 to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Hours will return to normal when season returns.

For now locals and tourists can enjoy lunch or dinner in the relaxing atmosphere without the wait or the crowds.

“We have happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m.,” said Mike Sweeney, manager. “We don’t start serving dinner until 5 but the door will be open at 4 so come in and have a drink.”

Happy hour includes $2 domestic drafts, $3.50 wines and $3 wells along with a selection of appetizer specials, all served at the bar.

The best thing about Guy Harvey’s is the menu which features the unique dishes from coastal areas around the world. Everything is prepared to perfection and presented with flair. Whether customers are in the mood for frozen drinks and light, chilled seafood, or a hearty dinner and dessert, every selection has been carefully chosen.

The regular menu is stacked with seafood dishes that are not only delicious, but also chosen responsibly from species that are not over exploited or endangered. Any seafood lover will find a treat on this menu. Stay cool with the flying marlin’s raw bar featuring chilled specialties such as jumbo shrimp cocktail and Alaskan snow crab legs. For those who can’t choose just one item, the bounty of the Seven Seas brings together oysters in the half shell, chilled snow crab legs, cocktail shrimp and lump crab meat. Wash it all down with a cold draft beer from the bar or choose one of the signature cocktails.

A favorite for many customers is the Hawaiian Cosmo which is a blend of Skyy Pineapple Vodka, Dekuyper Triple Sec and cranberry with a splash of pineapple juice. Customers may want to carry this tropical drink outside to sit under the shade of the palm trees and watch the boats on Smoke House Bay. The open courtyard picks up a nice breeze that rustles the palm fronds and puts everyone in a tropical mood.

For those seeking more of a dinner entree, the last shrimp standing is a specialty of the island grill. This entree features a large mound of crisp, lightly-breaded shrimp tossed with a spicy sauce. It is served with a mound of golden rice and sautéed vegetables.

The non-seafood lover will find that the Captain’s Galley features dishes of pork and beef and the Captain’s Island features chicken dishes. Many choose the Caribbean Island Chicken which is a spicy chicken sautéed with peppers and onions and tossed in a curry coconut sauce with chopped peanuts. The dish is served over island rice and is the perfect mix of spicy and sweet that will have diners scooping up every last bit of sauce.

Every sandwich lover knows that the real test of greatness is the bun. Guy Harvey’s does not disappoint. All sandwiches and burgers are served on the Amoroso rolls which are flown in from Philly. For a real treat, try the crab cake sandwich topped with a Key West remoulade sauce. For a lighter lunch, the Texas style fish tacos combines blackened Mahi Mahi, tropical fruit salsa, cilantro slaw and chipotle sour cream on fresh corn tortillas. The tacos come with tomatillo salsa, black beans and rice. All sandwiches are served with French fries, cole slaw and a pickle.

Finish out the meal with a dessert like the molten lava cake with warm, oozing chocolate cake, vanilla ice cream and raspberry and caramel sauces. Or have a slice of key lime pie, or the unique banana split ice cream pie which features layers of bananas stacked with thick caramel, strawberry and vanilla ice cream and then garnished with chocolate, caramel and raspberry sauces.

Guy Harvey’s is located on Marco Island at 760 N. Collier Blvd. Suite 109. Information is available at 642-2248 or www.guyharveysislandgrill.com/marcoisland.

If you go

What: Guy Harvey’s Island Grill

Where: 760 N. Collier Blvd. Suite 109.

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday (bar opens at 4 p.m.); 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Information: 642-2248 or www.guyharveysislandgrill.com/marcoisland.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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