I went to Billy's because of a friend's high recommendation. I was horribly disappointed. I ordered a few dishes, including the ultra large portion of stone crab claws. They were so over-cooked I had to drop their pieces into the lobster bisque to both moisten them and give them flavor. Sixty dollars for one order should have given me a great meal. This one was pretty awful.
And then there is the bisque, which had good flavor but not a single piece of lobster or other seafood. I am from New England. We invented bisque. This was not bisque.
The black bean side dish was awful, mealy and undercooked. Beans are easy to cook. Soak them in UNsalted water overnight. Drain them and cook them in UNsalted water. Add the salt after they are cooked. The sodium in salt otherwise turns the shell into mush. And if you have ever heard of things like bay leaves, oregano, sherry or heaven forfend, avocado leaves, use them. I am not a pro chef but even I know this.
The fresh oysters were adequate by FL standards, which means that warm water oysters do not compare to cold water oysters from Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon or Japan.
My martini was good except... when you order a martini "up" you do not shake the heck out of it with a ton of ice. James Bond movies have ruined martini making. It should be stirred, NOT shaken. Shaking a martini with ice does not "bruise" it as one myth holds, but it does mean the ice melts and dilutes the drink. Bad form. My second beverage, and that of my partner, had an undetectable amount of alcohol.
There are at least two different dining rooms, one that is low key and the other that had both a live singer (good voice) using a music machine, big screen TVs for sports and a date-night/pick-up vibe. I only discovered it when I was leaving and went to use the men's room.
I might go back for the bar scene but I would not consider returning for the food. Just go to the store, buy a few pounds of Maine lobsters (half the price of the crab claws) and cook them at home and then go out to the bar. Or go to DTSP and the 4th Street Shrimp Market for their all-you-can-eat crab buffet
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