This was our second visit to The Sandbar on beautiful Anna Maria Island and it was everything we remembered on our first trip about five years ago.
We arrived about 45 minutes before sunset and were fortunate to find a table facing the beach. They've expanded the outside seating; a good thing, as most people opt to eat outside rather than in. Our friendly server greeted us and announced that we should enter the nightly contest predicting the official time for the setting of the sun and so, of course, we did.
We started the dinner with a smoked fish appetizer, served with crackers and capers. Both my partner and I enjoyed this prelude with our glasses of wine. As the sun began its descent, we placed an order for one of their signature salads: Wasabi Crusted Salmon Salad served with a ginger dressing. I chose the Grouper Reuben, another of their recommendations. My partner's salad was gone before I even had a chance to sample it; that speaks for itself. My grouper sandwich was good, but the accompaniments (sauerkraut, dressing and cheese) made the bread soggy and messy. Next time I'll just order the grilled grouper as it was outstanding.
Be prepared to spend more than you planned at this spot. There aren't any reduced drink and/or food prices on the menu. Our appetizer, dinners, and wine came to $78 before the tip. But they didn't charge for the spectacular sunset so I guess you could say the entertainment was free!
Did we win the sunset time contest? We were off by 1 minute and 10 seconds...maybe next time!
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