Florida Guide > Dining
The Fishery Restaurant, Placida Road, Cape Haze, Charlotte County.
When we first purchased our villa in Rotonda, we would go to Boca Grande Island to spend time on the great beaches, marvel at the iguanas which inhabited the island. We would visit the village centre which had a Florida feel with quaint shops and restaurants and the locals use golf carts instead of cars as transport. This is the spot where the Bush family head to in the winter to soak up the Florida sun. We had some people staying in our villa at Xmas 2005 who were amazed when most of the Bush family set up camp with their Secret Service agents on the beach beside them.
To get to Boca Grande we would take the causeway from the Mainland. On Placida Road we saw this cluster of buildings just after the causeway and discovered amongst other things a restaurant called the Fishery. It looked a bit of dump and what was the Fish Market which serviced 18 fishing boats is now a derelict building, around the corner you come to the charming restaurant. There is now only one fishing boat as time marches on.
Initially it did not particularly appear attractive at all despite backing onto the bay. We steered clear, but we read reviews and spoke to some people who recommended it, so we thought we would give it go.
We went midweek one evening and entered the restaurant to be pleasantly surprised, the staff were friendly and the place was busy with a mixture of locals and tourists, it oozed character we were shown to a table by the large picture window which overlooked Gaspiralla Sound, and the other small islands in the area. There was a long dock where people who had come by boat could tie them up. There was a car park for us mere mortals.
We ordered from the extensive menu, there is lot of fish as you would expect but also steaks for the likes of me, I was impressed by the basket meals they did as well, portions were huge, and prices were average and did not break the bank.
Before our food arrived on that first visit, we went out onto the dock and marvelled at view, it was so relaxing watching the pelicans dive bomb in the water for their tea. Then we saw a dolphin swimming close to shore looking for his tea as well.
We went back inside and promptly told the waitress about the dolphin, we were excited to see dolphins in there natural environment, which was quite simply amazing. She was unmoved and commented they were there most nights. She added that when she was a kid around 20 years ago she would go down the Fish Market which at that time was the home to the fishing boats and feed up to 20 dolphins who would gather waiting for the local fishermen who landed there catch in the hope of getting some titbits, that must have been some sight! ! .
On another visit when we came out there was mother racoon with her cubs and mother cat with her kittens. It is obviously a routine that diners bring leftovers from the meals out for them and on this occasion the racoon and the cat were in competion for the food while their young continued to play together in the bushes.
It was lovely to watch them and added to charm of the place, so if you are ever in this part of Florida then we can recommend a trip to the Fishery not only for the food but to see some of the Florida Wildlife.
Author: Derek Birchenough
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