TUESDAY MARCH 8, 2022 |
With its decadent piles of Dungeness crab legs, lobster tails, shelled shrimp, mussels and lobster tails, the Seafood Boil at Phillippi Creek has a domino effect on diners. When a table orders the feast – served in a boat-shaped platter and piled high with fresh seafood – echoes of “What’s this?!” and “We want this!” ripple through the restaurant.
Made by chefs Pedro Flores and Rafael Manzano, the Southern-style dish is designed to feed two very hungry people (although, even then, a take-out box is usually in order). Looks like
heavenly perfection, right? So what’s the problem ? It’s a bit messy. Take off your rings and tuck in your towel, because you’re going to need a lot of wet naps. This glorious, gooey mess comes from a combination of Old Bay seasoning and melted butter. A thick layer of garlic and parsley red potatoes lines the bottom of the boat, with a few wedges of garlic toast on top, corn on the cob and all the shellfish you can crack.
As you indulge, soak up the views of the creek. Sit outside under a picnic table shaded by an umbrella on the wooden dock and explore the water for dolphins and manatees. You can even reassemble your boat. Pair your boil with a tropical drink like a Chocolate Monkey – with silver rum, banana liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream, vanilla custard and mashed banana (served frozen with swirls of syrup from chocolate, a wedge of pineapple, a maraschino cherry and a mini umbrella). There’s a daily happy hour and lots of key lime pie for dessert. And if you don’t fancy a whole seafood mush, skip the award-winning fish tacos. There’s a reason The Creek has been Sarasota’s premier seafood experience for nearly four decades. Ready to get deliciously messy? Boy oh boil, so worth it.
Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar, 5353 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 941-925-4444. creekseafood.com.
Pictured: Creek Seafood Boil. Photo taken by Abby Weingarten.