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From the outside, The Oyster Society looks much like it did as the Marco Island Fish Company or Capt. Brien’s before that. But step inside, and vive la différence. From the cozy little sitting area in the front, to the private dining room, the live-performance stage and everything in between; the colors, artwork and furnishings set the perfect tone for a nice evening out to dinner.

We made reservations in advance and although we were 10 minutes late (parking was a nightmare) we were happily greeted and quickly seated. As the waitress recited the nights specials, impressively and conversationally, from memory, we were provided gratis bread that included a sweet cornbread and a small brioche loaf. Both breads were an excellent and delicious start to our meal and put any thoughts of possible delays far from the mind.

I selected the Cesar salad to get things going; baby Romaine lettuce, brioche croutons, a parmesan crisp and light, creamy, garlicky house dressing. I politely declined the anchovies. My partner in dine picked the beets salad, featuring fresh greens and gorgonzola cheese.   

For my main entrée, I selected the grilled Key West shrimp, which featured large wild shrimp (huge!), red pepper curry sauce and saffron-chorizo rice with grilled asparagus.

The sauce was smoky and delicious; and was the perfect complement to my cooked-to-perfection grilled shrimp. The rice was so good, I could see it starring as the main attraction and not just the side. The saffron and chorizo make beautiful music together; both tasty and subtle as to not overpower the shrimp. The grilled goodness carried over into the asparagus, which was sporting some charring yet still was crunchy – what an accomplishment!

For his main entrée, my partner in dine picked the eight-ounce Chilean sea bass (deep water Artic); which rested on a bed of beans and was surrounded by a wide array of tasty sauces. He had never had fish and beans paired together before and found the coupling exciting and delicious.      

For dessert, I had the “one toasted coconut,” featuring rum cake, coconut mascarpone rum cream, toasted coconut and a lemon mango glaze. It was the perfect end to a beautiful meal. Although it could have used a tad more rum (just saying).

My dining companion had the chocolate and Nutella semifreddo; chocolate ganache-graham cracker crust, frozen chocolate-Nutella mousse, Frangelico crème with a wild berry coulis. I would say heavenly; but that seems wrong for something this sinfully delicious. One of Marco Island’s best desserts.

The Oyster Society, a great atmosphere, amazing food and an experience to remember. Tens across the board.

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

The Oyster Society

  • 599 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island
  • 239-394-3474
  • Theoystersociety.com
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