My favorite restaurant was packed yesterday at lunch. We couldn't find a table outside on the deck. When we find a table on the deck with the full ocean view, we can watch pelicans and gulls landing on the dock and see the fish swim if we look down from the sides of the deck.
I love the deck; yet the inside is terrific, too, still with some ocean view, rock walls, a fireplace (not that it is needed), and a high cathedral ceiling in the main dining room where the fireplace is.
While it is winter for most of the country now, this is South Florida with 79 degrees in January with a sweet breeze from the Atlantic, and Dolphin Bar in Jensen Beach is right on the ocean. My first favorite restaurant used to be Rottie's in St. Lucie before the hurricanes Frances and Jeanne demolished it.
Luckily for the area residents, Dolphin Bar recovered very quickly after the hurricanes and opened its doors within a few months. Most any restaurant on the water gets spoiled and serves less-than-great dishes, but not Dolphin Bar. I never ate anything there that I didn't like.
Their salad bar is great; although, when I go to a restaurant, I like to be served. One should have the right to act lazy in a pleasant atmosphere.
A side dish of salad, however, comes with most of the main dishes, and it is of choice greens and julienned carrots, radishes, red onions, and other scrumptious salad material. Their thousand island dressing is my favorite, and the bread rolls are freshly baked and warm.
They also serve the best kind of wine, if you order. Even the house wine can be very agreeable. In my case, since wines dislike me, my drink pick usually is the lemonade, or iced-tea, or coffee.
The appetizers and the entrees can enchant any customer with great variety and careful, artistic preparation. Fresh fish is the best, really fresh. The Oriental Tuna is a favorite of mine. Most other customers enjoy shrimp prepared in many different ways.
Yesterday, I had a dolphin sandwich. Dolphin is another kind of fish, mistakenly named, and not the cute kind of dolphin that jumps up and does tricks in the Sea World.
Last week, I had the Oriental Tuna, the sight of which made another customer ask the waiter, “I want what that lady over there is having. "
My husband swears by their prime rib, but everything on the menu tastes good. Although the menu is said to be Bahamian, the place certainly pleases a broad range of appetites.
The portions are not small, but they are not too overflowing that they make you gag either. I like to eat every morsel, but I end up having half of the main dish wrapped for later, to save space for desert.
They have a chocolate cake to die for, and the tiramisu makes me forget about that little cholesterol problem I am having. What is so impressive to me is the feel of the restaurant. The bar is full with friendly people and customers arrive by car or by boat, since the restaurant has a 200 feet long dock.
The attire is not formal, considering the high quality of food. This makes the place even more attractive. Classy but casual would describe it the best. The owners are down-to earth people who live in small cottages on the grounds, while the restaurant has a flashy past.
The place used to be The Outrigger Resort, owned by 1940s singer and movie actress Frances Langford and her husband, Ralph Evinrude. Indoors, the walls in the foyer flaunt the photos of celebrities like Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Ginger Rogers, Jackie Gleason, and Richard Nixon.
The prices are not expensive at all, considering the quality; although, some restaurant critics of the area place Dolphin Bar as expensive. To me expensive is when you don't get your money's worth and end up feeling sick to your stomach.
Then, the best is still to come. Outside the restaurant area to the side of the building, a boutique shop offers many varieties of tropical bric-a-brac, some choice wine, clothing, jewelry, and other interesting things. Inside the shop a very lovely, petite young lady helps the customers.
Although I hate shopping, I drifted to the boutique yesterday, because of the music. That young lady with the magic smile told me she always played CDs and this one was from Armik, the Flamenco guitarist and composer. No wonder, I was drawn in there, because I, too, have several Armik CDs.
Well, if anybody is displeased with the Dolphin Bar, it is probably because they expect a chic French menu with waiters in tuxes. Dolphin Bar is not that, thank God. It is the scenery, ambiance, friendliness, and good food. I am glad that we have one restaurant left within short distance to us with all the other sea-front restaurants in the area not rebuilding after the hurricanes or selling out to condo complexes.
Joy Cagil is an author on http://www.Writing.Com/ which is a site for Writers . Joy Cagil is in no way affiliated or acquainted with the owners of Dolphin Bar.