After nearly three decades in the kitchen, you tend to get it right.

That’s the case with executive chef Tom Miller of The Snook Inn, one of Marco’s most established and long-serving restaurants.

The restaurant – sitting right on the Marco River in Old Marco at the end of Bald Eagle Drive – is about as casual as they come, but its reputation for fine food under the culinary wand of Chef Tom is undeniable.

“We try,” he says modestly.

Take, for example, some dishes he conjured up for the Sun Times’ restaurant series: Caribbean blackened snapper set on rice with black beans and a thick, chunky and tangy Pico de Gallo sauce. It’s an original Chef Tom creation, and remains a customer favorite.

Also more than tempting is his twin 4-ounce Canadian lobster dish with vegetables and a drum butter lemon sauce, which can be enjoyed broiled or deep fried, depending on preference.

The Asian shrimp salad, Chef Tom says, is a popular lighter dish, and consists of grilled shrimp with red peppers, cucumber, red onion, pineapple, Mandarin orange and salsa done with a sesame ginger dressing. It’s also an original.

If that’s not enough to lure diners to “The Snook,” as it is popularly known, consider the evening all-you-can eat buffets that run through Dec. 11.

Mondays you can feast on barbecue rib, Tuesday on steamed or grilled shrimp, Wednesdays on fish and chips, Thursdays on a combo of haddock, tilapia and fried shrimp, and on Fridays it’s the legendary seafood buffet with a huge variety of what the Snook calls “gifts from the sea.”

Prices of those buffets, incidentally, range between $16.50 and $23.95, while regular seafood items range between about $22 to $25. Appetizers, think conch fritters, wings or fried oysters are around $10 and under, while lunch sandwiches and salads are between about $10 and $15.

If you go:

What: The Snook Inn

Where: Olde Marco at the end of Bald Eagle Drive

Food: Specializing in seafood, with some “mainland” items and assorted sandwiches, salads and snacks available.

Prices: Average

Hours: 11 a.m. (lunch) through midnight, seven days a week

Late night menu: 10 p.m,-midnight

Reservations: No

Take out: Yes

Entertainment: Live very day from 6 p.m. Afternoon gigs start in November

Telephone: 394-3313.

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