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“The Finest Dining in Apalachicola”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Ira's at the Gibson Inn - CLOSED

Ira's at the Gibson Inn
Price range: $5 - $32
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Description: We are a beautiful restaurant located in the Gibson Inn which is on the national historical register having been built in 1907.Our cuisine is called New Florida cuisine featuring local fish and the freshest ingredients all prepared creatively by Chef Ira Mittelman.So come on in for a quiet dinner, or a family night out(we have a children's menu. Or if you want to bring your 4 legged friend we have outdoor seating
Level Contributor
114 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“The Finest Dining in Apalachicola”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013 via mobile

Dining at Ira's was an exquisite experience. Chef Ira Mittelman is a rare combination of exceptional chef and personable host. It was obvious from the first delectable bite he is committed to high quality food using fresh ingredients.

My family's meal began with 2 appetizers - the ravioli of the day which happened to be a shrimp ravioli, and a sliced tomato with basil, Romano cheese and balsamic. Everything was incredibly fresh and flavorful. Our salads were also very good. The addition of pine nuts on the Caesar salads was an interesting addition, at least our 7yr old thought so!

The entrees were outstanding. We had a pasta with a homemade sauce which was as good as anything we have tasted in the Italian neighborhoods of The Hill in St. Louis. The surf and turf special of ribeye steak and grilled shrimp was delightful and perfectly paired with the asparagus and Florida red mashed potatoes. The 2 different grilled grouper dishes were perhaps the best grouper dishes I've ever tasted. The grouper with mango and habanero pepper was especially fine.

As other reviewers have mentioned, the key lime pie is the real deal. The flourless chocolate tort lava cake was also terrific.

The service staff members were all outstanding. Each was attentive, knowledgeable and very friendly, particularly Glen. He was among the best servers we've had in any restaurant. Without question Chef Ira has one of the very best staffs in the area.

While it has been over a decade since we have visited the Forgotten Coast, my wife and I have incredibly fond culinary memories of the area thanks in large part to the late Chef Eddie Cass and his Magnolia Grill. Since our return visit this week we have been looking for that special place that offered the perfect blend of culinary excellence and personable experience. We have found that with Chef Ira. We ate at the Owl Cafe earlier in the week. It was good; however, Ira's at the Gibson Inn is better. The food, the service, the ambience - Chef Ira offers the complete experience and this is the finest dining in Apalachicola.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Twoliver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    39
    10
    11
    3
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Apopka, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Incredible!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

My husband had a steak and it was one of the biggest I've ever seen! He said it was delicious!!! Good atmosphere. Great service.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Just okay”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

There aren't any fine dining restaurants in town, but this is one of the two that we found were the nicest. Located in a historic inn. Food wasn't bad, just not exciting. Seemed overpriced for the quality of food. They didn't have any oysters on the menu!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank wb93639
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mccovey44, Owner at Ira's at the Gibson Inn, responded to this review, July 9, 2013
Thank you for the review. It seems difficult to believe you were at the restaurant. Oysters are featured 2 ways on our menu. On the 1/2 shell and sautéed in a lime cream sauce. Also they are the very first item on our menu. Being in Apalachicola we take great pride in having our oysters brought to us right off the boat.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississippi, USA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best wait staff!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013

The food was very good but what impressed me THE most was the wait staff! When we arrived we were immediately escorted to the table of our preference, though it hadn't yet been cleared. They swept away and reset before we were settled in our chairs. Then, when we ask for the chef's opinion on a wine selection we learned he was home ill. However, the next thing we knew the staff was back with the bottle he recommended - they had called him to ask. It was a delicious red, not even on the menu!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MSChap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
“a passion for quality”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2013

Anyone who visits Florida's Panhandle knows that Apalachicola is as adorable as a speckled pup under a bushel basket. And surrounded by waters teeming with some of the country's best seafood, it would seem hard for any restaurant to miss the mark.

But all chefs aren't equal and Ira Mittelman at the Gibson Inn deliciously makes that case. In the tradition of new American cooking, Chef Ira keeps a tomato and herb garden out back of the delightful, rambling 1900s inn. Not farm to table but back yard to kitchen.

Fresh basil in a tomato and basil salad provided an olfactory hit better than any aromatherapy session. The tomatoes rivaled Daddy's organic crop from my childhood several decades ago in Carolina.

Key lime pie was REAL---tangy sweet, yellow, and slightly bitter. Not some cream cheese imitation with lime flavoring. If I lived in Apalach, that pie would be a weekly treat.

Pasta sauce is made with fresh tomatoes and Ira gives spicy spaghetti alla puttanesca a nice twist, substituting gulf shrimp for anchovies. A slice of poblano pepper cheesecake was sublime as were the mushroom spring rolls and chilled cantaloupe soup.

Fine dining you ask? Yes and no. Carefully prepared and presented food with fresh and authentic ingredients. But for Saturday brunch, a to-die-for plate of house cured lox and bagel with enough tomatoes and greens to make a side salad cost $12. It could easily serve two.

And the bagel put the last one I ate---in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan---to shame. Maybe Ira makes those from scratch too?

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Rachel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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