Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spoto's Oyster Bar, Palm Beach Gardens: Oyster bliss

Spoto’s Oyster Bar
4560 PGA Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
Lunch and Dinner

By Jane Feehan

Shell fish lovers will find many pleasures at Spoto’s Oyster Bar: a sophisticated ambiance, great service, but above all, excellent oysters, mussels, clams, shrimp and other shelled delights.

From the cold waters of the northeastern U.S. and Canada, oysters take top billing here. Unlike their counterparts from the warm Gulf and Florida coastal waters, northern oysters tend to be less fleshy, delicate and a bit more salty. Spoto’s serves Blue Point, Well Fleet, and a variety of others as they find them.

Fellow diner and I enjoyed a sampler platter, about 20 oysters on the half shell, and what a palate pleaser. Ice cold and fresh from Long Island Sound, Cape Cod, and Canada, the oysters were served with lemon, three sauces and plenty of crackers. We couldn't decide which ones were best; they were all delicious. We then shared a meal of Panko fried scallops, also from cold waters, with rice and asparagus. This part of the meal was less exciting. The scallops, though fresh and of good texture, were unimaginatively prepared. Spice cake from the dessert tray served as the ending. Not nearly as good as it looked, the cake was heavy and short on flavor.

Other diners sitting at high top tables next to us raved about their seafood salads and chowders. A jumbo shrimp cocktail for $12.95 looked like a show stopper. My inclination would be to stick with  shellfish for the main course; that’s their specialty.
Whether one visits Spoto’s for shellfish (how about some oyster shooters?) lobster, salads, chowders and soups (including gumbo), pasta, and land lover dishes, there’s an inviting array of options to put together a meal without denting the wallet. 

A raw bar, the Blue Point Lounge, and a patio provide plenty of seating and socializing venues. There’s a good crowd at Spoto’s during the season and if there’s a wait, it’s worth it for their oysters and other shellfish.

Tags: oysters, oyster shooters, Palm Beach Gardens seafood restaurants, Palm Beach Gardens fine dining, clams, lobster dinners, shrimp dinners

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