christie craig
christie craig christie craig
christie craig
christie craig christie craig
christie craig
christie craig
christie craig christie craig christie craig christie craig christie craig christie craig

A Grand Restaurant
Galveston, Texas
By Christie Craig

Across from The Grand, the 1894 opera house, a new restaurant has taken center stage. While the 24-foot bar, slate floors, seaside decor and welcoming staff create a show worth staying for, add the delectable food and an impressive wine collection and the Saltwater Grill deserves a standing ovation.

christie craigThe restaurant, best described as up-scale casual, is a collaboration of its three owners. For over a year Joey and Johnny Smecca and Danny Hart went “restaurant hopping”. Perusing for ambience, style, and an inviting menu, they traveled across several states, until their vision took shape--a vision that wasn’t complete until they found Chef William Pickavance, a graduate of Culinary Institute of America.

“You’ll find our food fresh, favorable and not fried,” says Johnny Smecca. Indeed, what you won’t find in the Saltwater grill are deep-fat fryers or large freezers. The seafood is flown in daily and each morning a new menu is printed accordingly. The only fried item on the menu is a memorable appetizer of lightly breaded asparagus served with crabmeat.

christie craigMaking well-deserved repeat performances on the menus, are several other appetizers such as the moist Corn Gulf Blue Crab Cakes complimented with roasted corn and tomatoes, or their wide selection of fresh oysters. For a further teaser try the roasted tomato soup, with cumin coriander or their speciality salad topped with tangy mustard vinaigrette and crumbled bleu cheese.

Main courses include over a half-dozen seafood dishes, however, the menu also introduces some impressive plates such as the succulent 22-oz t-bone, seasoned lightly and complimented with sun-dried tomato butter. A real star on the menu is the healthy dish, Shanghai Delight.

christie craigDepending on availability, you select your choice of fish, Chilean sea bass, gulf red snapper, or halibut. The filet is steamed to a flaky perfection and served over a medley of colorful spinach and bok choy in a ginger soy broth. The flavors come together like a well-timed orchestra, neither overpowering the other. The grilled Atlantic Salmon with herbed rice pilaf and roasted tomatoes is another a show stopper. No matter what your entree don’t leave before savoring the grand finale. Ahh, the deserts! The white chocolate, cranberry and pecan cheesecake is a smooth indulgence, but the hot chocolate truffle cake deserves an applause. Crusty on the outside like a perfect brownie, a well-placed fork sends the warm hot-fudge center spilling onto the tangy raspberry coulis and whipped creme.

While parking might be a problem, the Saltwater Grill is worth a few rides around the block and like the opera house across the street, it is indeed grand.

Saltwater Grill, 2017 Postoffice Galveston, TX. (409) 762-3474.

Open for Lunch Monday through Friday 11-2 A.M. with Kettle bar serving oysters, soup, and limited menu, open 2-5 P.M,; for dinner Monday through Friday 5-10 P.M., on Saturday and Sunday opened 5-11 P.M. (sometimes later.)

Wheelchair accessible. Self-parking. Reservations encouraged. Most credit cards accepted. Dinner for two, food only: $40- $75.

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