‘Watts for Dinner’ the Takeout Edition: Charley's Boat House worth the trip

Will Watts
Correspondent

Our next dining destination is Charley's Boat House Grill & Wine Bar in Fort Myers Beach. We made the trek the Monday following Easter. While I’m aware that the seasonal crowds thin out after Easter, I’m not sure why I thought it would happen the next day. Thus, my first mistake, not making a reservation. And my second: Assuming there would be bountiful outdoor dining spaces. And my third: Not realizing that much of Estero Boulevard was under construction.

To be fair, the road construction was not much of a problem going in. Heading out was another matter altogether. But the projected one hour and 45 minute wait for a table, well that prompted me to make this a takeout edition. It told me something else about this restaurant, they must be popular; which means it must be good. Also, peeking in their dining room, I could tell they were distancing tables. Good for them!

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We placed our order at the bar, then headed across the street to the beach and the Gulf views. The sun was working its way down. I headed out across one of the widest beaches I’ve ever seen with powdery white sand. Beautiful!

On to the food. Things got off to an appetizing start with the grouper bites ($18), which we ate in the parking lot! What!? We were hungry! The dish features the fish, battered and golden brown, and served with either tartar or remoulade sauce. We picked the latter. The batter was crisp and amazing. The sauce was unique and delicious. These were some of the best grouper bites I’ve ever had.

We also had the Charley’s Cargot ($15), after we arrived back home. You can select shrimp or escargot to be baked in garlic butter with Romano and mozzarella cheese. Kudos to Charley’s for a unique dish made with simple ingredients that work well together. And thanks, but I’ll save the sails for another day.

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We also partook of the French onion soup ($9) which is “gently simmered and topped with toast points, Swiss cheese, provolone and broiled until caramelized.” This soup is a must try. A really great French onion.

For my main entrée, I had the “Garden Harvest Sauté” ($24) featuring vegetables sauteed with fresh garlic and tossed in pesto and served over linguini. Just as good as it sounds. I added some mozzarella and parmesan, but it would have been great without it. This dish is a great way to lighten up pasta, even if it’s just a little.     

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You can get the Chilean sea bass ($41) grilled, blackened, or prepared with lemon pepper or garlic butter. My partner in dine picked the latter. This meal comes with unlimited salad bowl, a season vegetable blend and your choice of baked potato, sweet potato, garlic mashed potatoes, French fries or the starch of the day (excluding pasta dishes). He picked the garlic mashed potatoes and the veggie of the day was green beans. This dish looked amazing and tasted even better. The fish was juicy and cooked to perfection. Both sides were infused with garlic and the green beans still had some crispness. So good!

It’s a bit of a drive to get here but the views make it worth it, as does the food. Make the trip today, you won’t regret it. Happy eating!

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If you go

Charley's Boat House Grill & Wine Bar

  • 6241 Estero Blvd, Fort Myers Beach
  • 239-765-4800
  • boathousegrill.net