STONE CRAB is an essential ingredient to every Florida vacation!
"A restaurant worth building a trip around"... Corby Kummer, The Atlantic Monthly
Situated along the bayside of Longboat Key, facing mangrove isles and calm blue waters, you′ll be entertained by dolphin, egrets, herons and more...all from your window seat.
Arriving for a late lunch, my dining partner and I placed our orders and took a quick stroll outside. We were entertained by a parade of clumsy pelicans, herons and egrets arriving for their daily feast. On the far pier, we spotted a few crab traps in for repair. We learned from the menu that Stone Crabbing occurs from October through May. The claws are carefully extracted from "live" crabs that are returned to the ocean and, as nature would have it, new claws for future harvesting are regenerated.
This is a great place for children. There′s a small play area for toddlers with colorful beads on wire roller coaster tracks, a case filled with locally gathered shells, a display of freshly caught fish and for those interested in feeding the birds, the bar will provide you with fish for tossing.
Back at our seats our appetizers were waiting. We feasted on Crab Rolls; deep-fried egg rolls filled with crab and veggies with a tangy cocktail sauce.
Although one of my favorites, ...the Crab Wrap, was screaming for recognition, the STONE CRAB just can′t be beat!
Corby Kummer of the Atlantic Monthly says..."Just as a summer trip to Maine must involve lobster eaten by the water, a winter trip to Florida should include STONE CRAB. One reason is that it tastes like a cross between Maine lobster and Maryland blue crab. Another is that it′s easier to eat...all you get are the big, meaty claws, which are usually cracked for easy pickings. The meat is firm, with a flavor less authoritative than lobster, but more distinctive than blue crab. Like lobster, stone crabs are boiled in plain water...no secret spice mix, as with Maryland crab and Louisiana crawfish.
My usual Florida pilgrimage is to Joe′s Stone Crab, in south Miami Beach. But, on a trip to Sarasota last February, I discovered a yet better place to eat stone crab...smaller and more intimate but equally full of Florida character, and right on the water. Moore′s is worth stopping for on the Florida Trail."
Presented simply, just claws on a white oval plate, with two side dishes and butter, mustard or...cocktail sauce, I was loving every morsel.
Moore′s not only captures its own stone crab, but also a variety of fish like grouper, flounder, swordfish, snapper, mahi mahi, pompano, tuna and catfish. All are prepared to order according to your preference, be it blackened, grilled, sautéed, broiled, steamed or fried.
Landlubbers will also be pleased with Filet Mignon, Porterhouse and Chicken offerings. Included are two side dishes from a varied selection of eight items (mostly heart healthy). Specialty Salads of seafood or chicken and sandwich of turkey, fish burgers, chicken, oysters, BBQ pork, or crab cakes, with a choice of one side dish are also offered.
So, bring that appetite as you′ll be digging through mounds of fresh succulent morsels, caught daily by Moore′s own Fishing Fleet.
Can′t get there, you say...Well, click on their name below and have Stone Crab delivered to your door!
DIRECTIONS: Boaters have easy access between markers 39 & 40 on the Intra Coastal Waterway while cars can take Gulf of Mexico Drive to the north end of the island, then east on Broadway Street.