Ocean Harvest Grill, 5120 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton, (941) 746-4500, oceanharvest.tv. Occupying the end of an unassuming building in busy northwest Bradenton, Ocean Harvest boasts enticing cuisine by Mark Baker, a one-time chef de cuisine for Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion in Honolulu. In addition to its seafood-barbecue menu, Ocean Harvest’s setting is a sort of fusion, too, combining laid-back diner, full-liquor bar, family seafood house and local city hideaway.
Business partners quietly discussing policy along the wall; ladies on group lunch dates crowded around high-top tables; a few salty regulars at the expansive bar.
A decent amount of seating should get you a table quickly, but the kitchen doesn’t cut corners, so don’t expect a wham-bam turnaround on your order. Service is still quick enough to get a slice of Key lime pie before heading back to the office.
Just what you’d expect from the setting and Baker’s experience with Roy’s. Ocean Harvest prides itself on fresh seafood—as well as smoked chicken and pork—in preparations stemming from Asian, Hispanic and Southern traditions. Take a tour with undeniably fresh, seared Wahoo appetizer with spicy soy mustard ($10), Mexican-style pulled pork tacos with lime and cilantro ($9), and maybe a crispy fried shrimp po’ boy ($11) or a good ol’ grouper sandwich—this version served with spicy lime mayo and salsa ($12). Adventurous palates will be drawn to the “squid fries” with curried sweet chili aioli ($11). Look for the $10 lunch menu as well as daily fresh catch.