A Grand Restaurant
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.
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
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,
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.