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‘Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Sand Bar – Bar food and beyond

Will Watts
Correspondent

Something changed this week. And we took notice. On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was lifting coronavirus restrictions on restaurants across Florida as he pushed the state into Phase 3 of reopening.

While good for business, at least in the interim, the outcome for public health remains to be seen. But when we picked up our to-go order on Saturday at our next dining destination, Marco Island’s Sand Bar, the place was packed. My party was the only ones wearing a mask, including staff. Nearly every seat at the bar was taken and there appeared to be no social distancing.

More:‘Watts for Dessert’: Find your sweet spot at Dolce Mare

For sensitive readers on this touchy subject, I’ll remind you of two things: This was an observation, not a judgement on my part; and this is a food review – an opinion piece – not a news article.

Now on to the food. We ordered two appetizers, fried calamari ($9.99) and mozzarella sticks ($8.99). The star of both was the marinara sauce. So good. The dishes themselves were exactly what you’d expect, no points deducted for execution; no bonus points for creativity.

We also shared a veggie flatbread ($13.99). The bread itself was amazing and the dish was very cheesy, featuring mushrooms, green peppers, onions and big slices of seasoned, ripe tomatoes. This one’s a real winner.

I ordered a Cesar salad ($8.99) and added shrimp ($6.99). The wood-fired shrimp were big, plentiful and had an amazing taste. The dressing was undetectable. I think the restaurant failed to add dressing. The croutons were big and soft chunks of bread. You also get two slices of buttered bread. If I could have only tasted the dressing. Hopefully this was just a mistake and not a reflection of the salad.  

For my entrée, I had the miso glazed salmon ($23.99); grilled and topped with mango salsa, served with mixed veggies and a side of rice. This meal was a hearty winner. I highly recommend it.

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My partner in dine had the grouper Veracruz ($25.99); sautéed with garlic and featuring capers, green olives and served with spaghetti tossed in a light tomato sauce. Also, a winning dish. Lots of pasta served with this one and it makes a great dish on its own.

Sand Bar is obviously a bar and does a great job with “bar food.” It also has several dishes that elevate it beyond a bar menu. If you dine with a significant other who needs his/her wing fix, but you’re not that into it, then Sand Bar is perfect and has something for you too!

More:Hey Marco Island, looking for a place to eat?

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

If you go

Sand Bar

  • 826 E. Elkcam Circle, Marco Island
  • 239-642-3625
  • sandbarmarco.com