New Restaurant Buzz: Coyne's Pier 28

By Megan McDonald July 16, 2012

The ultimate crab cake at Coyne's Pier 28.

There is a new place to "dock" your appetite in South Sarasota County. Coyne’s Pier 28 has opened next to the much-anticipated construction block that is going to be Costco at Sarasota Square Mall.

The Coyne's crew.

Thanks to fellow food writer Abby Weingarten, I decided to check out Coyne’s for myself. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure a family from Maryland could really make it in that location but judging by the positive feedback and bustling restaurant at every lunch and dinner, this place is here to stay.

Sure, you know anyone from Maryland swears that state makes the best crab cake. Well, let me tell ya: They probably do. Succulent lump crab seasoned just right, served with that spicy remoulade--now that’s Maryland at its best. In fact, in its first week alone Coyne’s sold more than 278 pounds of crab meat. I say trust a family from Ocean City that has been operating restaurants for more than 20 years and lives by the motto “Old Bay all day."

Coyne's crab pretzel. Drink with a frothy beer.

I learned a few new things about the Marylanders, one being that they have this dish called a crab pretzel. Coyne's version of the pretzel is as competitive within their family as an Italian grandmother doing a throwdown with her new daughter-in-law for the Sunday gravy prize. It is the type of thing you want to eat with a frothy cold beer, and they have plenty of that--and much, much more. 

Coyne's outdoor herb garden--the chefs simply snip fresh herbs as needed.

How do you know a fish house is really good? It makes a hell of a roasted chicken--that’s how! And the misfit wings--large deep fried duck wings with Low Country BBQ sauce--are ridiculously sinful and luscious.

Sit at the bar for oysters on the half, steamed crabs and clams, and a neighborly feel with a few splashy cocktails mixed in.

I think the best part about Coyne’s Pier 28 might be the family. There is artwork on the walls created by family members; I already mentioned Sandi’s contribution (that crab pretzel!); and the whole team started years ago with the original Coyne’s Pier 28 in Maryland. And this family knows Sarasota--they have been vacationing here for 60 years. Heck, that practically makes them natives!

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