‘Watts for Dinner’: Crunchy, cheesy SpeakEasy

Will Watts

A lot of things will draw you to The SpeakEasy on Marco Island. The atmosphere, especially the waterside dining; the food and the cast of characters inside – visitors and Islanders alike.

Things got off to an appetizing start with the artichoke dip ($12.99). This cheesy baked goodness is served with house-made chips, which are the true star of this dish. Taste wise, think flatbread cooked to tortilla-like greatness. You can tell there’s artichoke in the dip only by the texture. The taste is all cheese. And that’s ok with me.

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For my main entrée, I selected the linguini and meatballs ($17.99), featuring three house-made meatballs served over linguini in a marinara sauce. The marinara is amazing! The noodles are cooked to perfection. Unfortunately, the meatballs were less than inspired. Dry, overcooked. Sorry to say, but true. I’m guessing this was just a happenstance and not a regular thing.

My dining companion had the short-rib pot roast ($19.99). It’s a thing of beauty! A generous portion of meat served with mashed potatoes, gravy and mixed vegetables. Everything was in order with this dish.  

Looking back to my December 2020 review, which was takeout due to the pandemic, one of the big standouts of that meal was the French onion soup. I referred to it as a heavenly combination of bread, cheese and onion broth.

On the app side, we partook of the cheese curds that comes with a side of chipotle ranch. These are the best curds I’ve had on Marco Island. A must try.

Another standout that visit was the blackened salmon topped with a lemon butter beurre blanc sauce served with sautéed spinach and your choice of potatoes (in this case French fries). This dish is a solid performer with lots of visual appeal. And the sauce is a must try.

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Back even further, in October 2019, we were sitting waterside for a late afternoon lunch when I had a real standout sandwich. I ordered the “Mile-High Club” with ham, turkey, bacon, avocado, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and your choice of white, wheat or rye bread. This sandwich is a monster; it comes cut in quarters and each was too thick to fit in my mouth. This sandwich is more than the sum of its parts; the tomato is diced, and the ingredients are layered uniquely and perfectly; the avocado layer near a generous bacon layer. The cheese is thick, but not too thick. You have your choice of sides: fries, sweet potato fries, slaw or onion rings.    

The Speakeasy’s comfortable atmosphere and wide assortment of dishes offers something for everyone in the family or group outing. Want pizza? Fish? Burgers? No problem! Happy eating!

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. Not all dishes are featured in print, but you can find a gallery of all reviewed dishes online at marconews.com.

If you go

The SpeakEasy

  • 1106 N Collier Blvd., Marco Island
  • 239-970-2929
  • speakeasymarco.com