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Restaurant recommendation in the Rotonda area - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Dining

This summer we spent a very pleasant 10 days on the Gulf Coast of Florida at Rotonda. As relatively new villa owners, we had not recognised the importance of reserving some key time during the year for ourselves to visit our own home away from home. Hence, we found ourselves unable to get the full length of our holiday in our home and we decided we rent another villa on the coast.

We are fairly familiar with the Gulf Coast along the Clearwater to St Petersburg stretch but had not had the experience, and as it turned out, the pleasure of staying in the Rotonda area.

The villa was fairly new and beautifully appointed and furnished, set in a conservation / lake setting. With a Bar B Q provided, we decided that some nights we would stay in and cook and enjoy the surroundings and the wildlife – aren’t baby alligators nosey, we found they just love the smell of the BBQ!!! Other nights we would try some of the many recommendations made by the villa owners.

Fairly close by to the villa was a restaurant by the name of Johnny Leverock’s. (Seafood House, Est. 1948). We had eaten at one of these restaurants before in the Clearwater area and remembered it as being excellent. We didn’t book, but it did seem that in the particular area we were staying in, it did not, appear to be high season although it was August time. Several of the recommended restaurants were all closed and not opening again until after September 01st until April / May time of the following year.

We followed the directions given, and I have to admit were a little curious when we were directed to turn in, to what appeared to be a boat yard. This area was full of boats in various stages of repair. Anyway, we carried on and eventually the roadway opened out into a Car Park and Johnny Leverocks was situated right at the end.

We were shown to a table straight away, we were located at the rear of the restaurant, in a table right by the window which overlooked a stretch of water –just perfect.

There is a Lunch menu, Dinner menu and a Sunset menu. As it prides itself on being a Seafood House, then naturally the majority of the items of the menu have a “fishy” theme. However, there are several options for non fish eaters. These choices include pasta dishes, chicken meals or Steak dinners. And for those of you who love both, there are several “Surf and Turf” type combinations.

A wide variety of starters which include Bacon Wrapped Scallops, Escargot, Steamed Mussels, Oysters Rockerfeller or tried and trusted Calamari. All reasonably priced at under $7 each.

Traditional main courses include Onion Crusted Salmon, Mahi-Mahi and a strange sounding Scrod Jason which I am assured by my (fussy eater) son was fantastic –praise indeed from a 14 year old!!

Whilst enjoying our time, just relaxing and taking in the scenery, the waterway below us was a hive of activity. Plenty of boats to-ing and fro-ing going about their business or just for pleasure. We were able to watch the sun dip down slowly, a fiery red in colour until it became horizontal with the water and then disappeared for the day behind the stunning waterfront properties on the opposite bank.

For those of you who adore, Lobster, Crab and Shrimp – you wont be disappointed at Johnny Leverocks. Feast yourself on Tropical Coconut Shrimp, Alaskan Snow Crab or Caribbean Tails – Twin lobster tails, flavourfully baked and served with drawn butter.

For those of us, not eating fish that night, my daughter enjoyed the Baby Back Ribs and I feasted upon a Filet Mignon which was cooked to perfection.

All Main courses at lunch and dinner are served with a choice of sides and some less traditional salad dressing including my favourite a Raspberry Vinaigrette. They also bring up the dark loaf of molasses bread and warm butter which can be a little off putting in colour but tastes divine.

There are deserts – if you can manage them!! And a full bar, should you want an alcoholic drink. As with many restaurants, if you stick to Sodas these came with free re-fills.

An excellent evening, great location, memorable food, and reasonably priced.

Address: 7092 Placida Road, Cape Haze. Tel: (941) 698 6900.

The advertising slogan for the restaurant is to remember “If it’s fresher than Leverock’s, it’s still swimming”

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Page added on: 5 November 2005
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