Waterfront Eats

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All Aboard

Visit these waterfront restaurants in Florida and North Carolina.

By Gregg Mansfield

Taking the center console to a waterfront restaurant or bar is a treat. There’s something special about pulling up to the docks, tying off the boat and walking into the restaurant to have a burger and a beer.

This issue we feature restaurants in Florida and North Carolina shared by Center Console Life readers. Get out the center console and let us know what you think.

Marina Jacks 2webMarina Jacks

Florida’s Sarasota has a rich boating history from Chris-Craft Boats to Donzi Marine. Its culinary history is just as rich and one of the favorite spot for boaters is Marina Jacks, which is owned by Suntex Marinas. Boaters have plenty of food options when they arrive at the marina near downtown Sarasota.

For a casual outdoor lunch or dinner and to enjoy the Gulf of Mexico breezes, go to Blue Sunshine Patio Bar & Grill. Live music is on tap most days with the music starting in the late afternoon. Favorite eats include the baked oysters Rockefeller on the appetizer menu and the blackened grouper tacos on the main menu.Marina Jacksweb

For a higher-end experience, the Marina Jack Dining Room offers sweeping views of the inter-coastal waterway of Sarasota. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner. The dinner menu features steaks and seafood, as well as pasta dishes.

Marina Jacks has more than 300 slips with ample space and plenty of transitory docks to slip in for a few hours. If planning to spend the night, advance reservations can be done online.

Marina Jacks, 2 Marina Place, Sarasota, FL 34236 www.marinajacks.com

Persimmons2webPersimmons Waterfront Restaurant

A summer night at Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant in New Bern, N.C., is straight out of a Hallmark Movie Channel. Boaters waiting for an open dock slip can enjoy the music from local bands and look out over the water.

When Persimmons was being built a decade ago, the owners found submerged logs at a neighboring marina that was previously a lumber mill. Some of the wood was used for the tabletops, while a persimmon tree was milled into a host stand.Persimmonsweb

Persimmons prides itself on using locally sourced ingredients and most of its meats, produce and seafood come within 90 miles of the restaurant that is in an inlet off the Atlantic Ocean. The creole bourbon butter shrimp comes highly recommended and for the main entrée is either the blue ocean mahi and local lump crab or the blackened salmon and shellfish etouffee. If your seafood bucket is full, try the porterhouse porkchop with an orange juniper glaze.

The docks are on a first-come basis. Reservations are encouraged for the restaurant, but not required.

Persimmons Waterfront Restaurant, 100 Pollock St., New Bern, NC 28560