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Barnacle Bill's Seafood Restaurant of Sarasota Review

Review - 1=Excellent - 2=Very Good - 3=Good 4=Fair 5=Poor

For details on Barnacle Bill's, click here.

Tina Pinho party of 2 had dinner at Barnacle Bill's on the North Trail and ordered Pecan Crusted Snapper and Fried Shrimp and rated the food very good because, "Fresh and Flavorful" and writes on March 6, 2005, "We sat at the Bar waiting for our name to be called while enjoying a cocktail, which by the way was the smallest martini glasses and on the rocks glasses I have ever seen. Can they spare it? Two sips and your finished. Hostess Adrian called our name and we had to ask several times because her accent was so bad and we were not the only ones who had to ask what she was saying. She sat us in the booth and did not give us menus. What kind of hostess does not give you menus. After 10 min. the Bartender came to pick up his check from the previous customers and we asked if we could get some menus. He couldn't believe this happened and quickly went and got the hostess and our waitress Odalys. There were no set ups on the table and the table had to be wiped. Odalys apologized and she did everything she could to make us happy. The salads were fresh but now you can only get ONE dressing. Raspberry vinaigrette. She said they started this 2 mos. ago and I personally like a variety. My Snapper was very good only the mashed potatoes and the vegetables were cold. Odalys offered to send them back and get me some hot ones, but I was so disgusted at this point I declined. My husbands shrimp (12) to be exact with cocktail sauce were very good he said and his French fries were hot. We will not be in a hurry to go back to this restaurant. Something is definitely missing here and so it's back to "Bonefish Grill" for us where you don't have to put up with all this nonsense."
Service Rating: 5
Ambience Rating: 3
Wine List Rating: 4
Cleanliness Rating: 3
Kid Friendly Rating: 3
Value Rating: 3
Overall Experience: 3

Anonymous had Crab Cakes Benedict at Barnacle Bill's and rated the food excellent and writes on January 24, 2005: "We had a starter of Smoked Salmon, which looked just like its picture in the local magazine. It had red onion, tomato, sour cream, capers and served on a superb warm potato pancake. Lobster Bisque had little bits of lobster in it, but was excessively creamy.
A real triumph was Crab Cakes Benedict. A crab cake on each half of a muffin topped with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce was simply divine. Chips were also pronounced as “some of the best ever”.
Chocolate cake dessert was devoured quicker than a dozen piranha fish can strip a leg.
Crab Cakes Benedict.
Summary: Great for lunch, although the dinner menu looks superb as well."

Anonymous rated the food good because, "half of it was very good, the other half was pretty terrible." and writes on 10/12/2004: "I enjoyed my dinners, but my boyfriend was served horrible food both times we went. His crab cakes were burnt and his flounder was completely tasteless. The vegetable side was skimpy and over boiled. My advice is to skip dessert, it's sub par at best. The chocolate "mousse" tasted like chocolate Jell-O and the "fresh" fruit was anything but. The crowd was all senior citizens, which wouldn't have been a problem if we didn't have to overhear a woman talking quite loudly about her various aches, pains and stomach problems. Not a great atmosphere."

Cindy G dined at the North Trail Barnacle Bill's and rates the food excellent because, "very flavorful & cooked perfectly" and writes on 11/11/03, "It was a busy Friday night but we didn't wait long for a table. Our server, Adam was attentive & kept a smile at all times. My son(9yrs old) ordered crab cakes w/Caesar salad. The crab cakes have plenty of crab & just the right seasonings. Salad was good but a little heavy on dressing. I had the steak Neptune, filet w/crab covered w/hollandaise set on top toast points= yum! Ordered med. rare, steak was cooked perfectly & very tender with great flavor. I am not crazy about the steamed veggies but the broccoli was fine. We shared a slice of cheesecake which our server nicely added extra cherries so both of us could have some. As we were leaving it was very busy so try & go either early or later then regular dinner time."

Anonymous, in a review written May 31, 2003, ordered crab legs, soup, grouper, potato crusted snapper and rates the food poor because, "The was my fourth experience at this restaurant and most likely, my last. I've also eaten one time at Barnacle Bill's on Main Street. Two of the four dinners ordered were tasteless and the presentation was horrendous. The potato crusted fish was very, very greasy. In addition, the green "stuff" floating next to my fish was supposed to be pesto!! If the waitress had not told me what it was, I would have had absolutely no idea. It had no taste whatsoever. After scraping the greasy potatoes off my fish, the fish was one dimensional ..... that is, FLAT!! However, the bread and salad were very good. The chef could take a few lessons from Bonefish Grill." Anonymous goes on to say, "My potato crusted snapper (I think it was snapper) was the blandest tasting dinner I've ever had. In addition, the presentation left a lot to be desired. Greasy potatoes covered the fish was served with pesto sauce (at least that's what the waitress called it!!!) that spread out over half the dish was so flat tasting. The chef forgot to remove the vegetables from the "baggie" they were cooked in and the waitress failed to notice the plastic bag before she serving the dish. However, the bread and salad were good. This was my fourth visit to Barnacle Bill's and more than likely my last. My friend and I were extremely disappointed."

Peter Charles writes on 11/10/2002: "We travel to Sarasota from the United Kingdom about 4 times each year - spending on average about 90 days in town. No visit is ever complete without dining at Barnacle Bill's. We will even drive to Tamiami if Webber is full - but Webber is our favourite - keeping Main Street for lunch time. I rate the food excellent because it is always cooked the exact we we all like it at Barnacle Bill's - and the service by friendly staff is typical of what we have come to expect in the U.S. - caring, fast and polite. Anyone thinking the standards are low - should visit the UK and compare. The choice of menu, the service, the ambience and the excellent food make it a must whenever we are in town The only disappointment is that we can't always get in. That really hurts on an 8,000 mile round trip. Maybe they should have transatlantic reservations!!"

Anonymous writes on 3/20/00: "I rate this restaurant as overall excellent! I've been here with my husband 5 times and the food seems to get better every time. We usually sit at the bar, and the service by Bill (the bartender), is always excellent and personal. I usually get the stuffed mushrooms and my husband likes the escargot served in a rich broth over polenta. The wild green salads are the best! Our favorites include the lobster strudel and the Chilean sea bass with a teriyaki glaze. If you always wanted to try something but weren't sure if you'd like it, this is the place to get it. You won't be disappointed. I promise!"

Joy K. writes: "Grouper was our preferred fish. Three of us had the grouper over angel hair pasta; the other had broiled grouper. Excellent and very fresh. The seafood gumbo was filled with savory chunks of fish and crab. The escargot was fresh and garlicky.
We also ordered two pounds of steamed shrimp for takeout. Delicious!"



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