‘Watts for Dinner’: Cocomo’s Grill – Fresh air, ‘Drunken’ shrimp and more

Will Watts

Our next dining destination is Cocomo’s Grill, “home of the hogfish,” on Marco Island.

Normally, when there’s a pronouncement like that, I must try the dish. Unfortunately, I have a strict policy about not eating anything in death that resembles what it looked like in life. I never cook or eat whole hens, or whole fish. In calamari, I only eat the tubes. It’s a thing.

I do have some exceptions though. Like our appetizers. We selected the buffalo shrimp ($12) and the “Drunken” shrimp ($12, half pound or $23 for a full pound) to share.  

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The buffalo shrimp are “dredged in flour and tempura batter” and fried until golden brown, then tossed in buffalo sauce and served with bleu cheese. These were really good. I have a friend who believes buffalo sauce is only for chicken. He doesn’t know what he’s missing.

The “Drunken” shrimp are peel and eat shrimp marinated in dark beer and Old Bay, then beer steamed with garlic and served hot with cocktail sauce. These tasted really fresh, simple and delicious. All the work to peel ‘em makes the experience all the better. Anticipation.

For his main entrée, my dining companion had the “Grouper Luis” ($29). It’s blackened grouper topped with one of Cocomo’s homemade crab cakes, then finished with a chipotle and key lime beurre blanc sauce. You can choose a side, and he picked the baked potato.

Firstly, this is a huge meal. And it earned praise. If there was an issue to be had, it is with the sauce. My recommendation is to order it on the side.  

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For my main dish, I selected the portabella sandwich ($10) with sweet potato fries. It’s a marinated mushroom grilled with roasted red pepper then topped with spinach, parmesan cheese and a pesto sauce. This sandwich is super colorful, very original and super hearty and delicious. I highly recommend this dish.

For dessert, after questing our waiter, I had the chocolate cake ($7). What’s with the questions, you ask? I don’t want a tort, or oversized cupcake. If I order cake, I want a slice. And it was! A perfect way to end this meal.   

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My companion had the fried cheesecake ala mode ($8). The cheesecake part was more like blintzes, but overall, this dessert earned rave reviews.

One last thing, it was noticeably fresher in Cocomo’s than your standard restaurant. On my way to the washroom, I noticed a sign, “Notice to all customers: We have installed a Triadaer air purifier system that covers 3,000 square feet. Cocomo’s Grill welcomes you to a healthy space where air and surfaces are actively sanitized against viruses and bacteria.” Why isn’t everyone doing this? Way to go Cocomo’s.

A nice atmosphere, great service and amazing food. You can’t ask for anything more. Happy eating!  

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

Cocomo’s Grill

  • 945 N. Collier Blvd., Marco Island
  • 239-394-3600
  • cocomosgrill.com