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“Excellent Fish Restaurant in a mainly Greek Food area”

Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood, Grill
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view, Romantic, Large groups, Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: My husband Jack and I, along with our daughter and son-in-law, welcome you to Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill. Opened in June of 2005, Rusty Bellies is an achievement of three generations worth of goals spanning some thirty years. We are a family owned and operated establishment. Our family came to Tarpon Springs in the 1970's. My parents, Joe and Sue Reis, began the business by purchasing several boats, including a shrimp boat. Before long they had purchased the boat yard and developed the seafood business. In 1985, Jack and I took over operations, and it wasn't long before Jack began refurbishing boats. In 2002. we launched our shrimp boat, Julie Ann. The Julie Ann produces fresh gulf shrimp for Pelican Point Seafood and Rusty Bellies. Jack has since finished refurbishing the Redman, a grouper fishing boat, and the Crabracadabra, a stone crab boat. To this day the Julie Ann, Redman, and Crabracadabra are still family owned and operated by the Russells. Rusty Bellies Waterfront Grill is named for our family's love of fishing, namely gulf grouper fishing. A "Rusty Bellie" is the nickname given to the large male gag grouper. A "Rusty Bellie" generally ranges between twenty and sixty pounds, and is typically caught by the true at heart fisherpersons. As you look around our restaurant you will see photos of family, friends, and local fisherman that bring the freshest seafood to our dock. The menu gives credit to many of our fishermen by naming the dishes after their beloved boats. Of course, there are too many boats to give credit to each, but keep in mind their dedication to providing FRESH FLORIDA WILD CAUGHT SEAFOOD. It is an honor that we continue what our family began many yeas ago. We value our guests, and we are honored to have you dine with us. Please sit back and enjoy the view and allow us to prepare the freshest seafood, including gluten fee options, available for you. Julie and the Russell Family
Lancs.England
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Excellent Fish Restaurant in a mainly Greek Food area”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

I have visited Rusty Bellies on at least 4 occasions in past few years and have always had a good experience. I first visited it after some bad experiences in the Greek style restaurants that abound in the area. Service has always been 1st class, although on occasion have had to wait up to 30 minutes for a table. Fish dishes have always been of a high standard, but I do tend to steer away from the fried fish dishes which do tend to dominate the menu. Price wise I have found cost to be reasonable for the standard of dishes served. My only complaint is the number large TV screens showing soccer games from all over the world. I suspect that somebody is using the Sports Bar theme for the restaurant, a mistake in my opinion as the views outside are quite nice if sitting outside or at a window booth/table. They have a good selection of draft beer and wine which are not overpriced. I particularly recommend the shrimp dishes.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank InspLimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Rensselaer, Indiana
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fresh local seafood, terrific service, great experience overall”
Reviewed June 8, 2013

While walking into the restaurant, there were several people sitting outside on benches. I thought that there was sufficient seating for people that were waiting for a table. When leaving my name, the hostess said that the wait was about 30 minutes. I went and did a little looking around in the shops for a few minutes to kill some time and then made my way back. I watched the time and when I was actually called up to be seated it was about 32 minutes. They were pretty accurate in the time that was quoted for how long we would wait. We were seated and our server came up and greeted us within two minutes. Our server, Brittney, was very kind and welcoming. It didn't seem forced but was very genuine. We ordered and the food was delicious. The grouper was local and fresh. The shrimp were also gulf shrimp and tasted very fresh and flavorful. The service that Brittney gave us was excellent. Every interaction with the staff at the restaurant was kind, helpful, and sincere. I have worked in fine dining and 4 star restaurants for several years, I was very pleased with the quality of food and the quality of service that we received. I would go back in an instant. I highly recommend this restaurant. It is family owned and not part of a chain. Well done to the owners, managers, chefs, and staff!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Superb Seafood”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

Tarpon Springs sponge docks means all-Greek all the time but Rusty Bellies provides a welcome change. I would say that it is all-seafood all the time even though there is a limited possibility for steak, chicken wings and burgers. Nevertheless, if you are looking for seafood, you have found the right spot. Rusty Bellies gets fish fresh every day (their boat is next to the dock behind the restaurant) and from the busy lunch business, it must be gone after dinner. The menu is expansive and moderately priced with large portions. I ordered Block & Tackle which is a combination of shrimp, onion straws and calamari. Although it was listed as an appetizer, it satisfied me for lunch and for dinner that night. My dining partners had grouper and mackerel and the reports were good. Service was quick and pleasant. Do not hesitate to try Rusty Bellies.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JHannah426
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Bucket of Shrimp”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

We keep heading back for the bucket of shrimp. I might not be Bubba, but I've had more than my fair share of shrimp and Rusty Bellies is the best bucket going today. Maybe the best there has ever been. The only other thing I can recommend is the hush puppies. Way too many fried items on the menue. It seemed like the whole first page was just recombinations of a spread of fried items. We tried a few on our first visit and have not visited that mistake again.

There are a lot of very good Greek joints just down the block, but it only goes to show how much we like the Shrimp that we pass them more often than not to hit up Bellies.

I hear they are in for a new menue. I look forward to it, but even if it never happens it's still worth hitting the deck for a bucket of shrimp.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank Rowd1e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Holiday, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good Food”
Reviewed June 2, 2013

They serve good food, mostly seafood. Prices are on the higher side, but worth it if you have the budget for it.

  • Visited July 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GerryW3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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