Salt Island Chop House and Fish Market

Florida Guide > Dining

We first noticed Salt Island Chop House and Fish Market when we were driving along International Drive and saw a rather large sculpture of an angler fish - possibly one of the ugliest fish you have ever seen - outside what looked like a really nice restaurant. Not having time to stop that day, we made sure it was on our list of places to go for dinner later in our trip.

When we did finally make it to the restaurant, we discovered is that they do valet parking, which was great. The décor inside the restaurant is quite contemporary and, as the name of the restaurant suggests, it is based on a watery theme. On your left as you go in is a floor to ceiling aquarium and on your right are cabinets with fantastic displays of fish and steaks. The lighting is subtle and subdued and very inviting.

We were shown to a table and were very attentively served by not one, but two, servers. Sometimes that could be confusing actually, but they certainly gave us excellent service.

The menu offered a seasonal selection of dishes which are a mixture of Caribbean food and Southern and Pacific flavours. The dishes offer fresh seafood – oysters, sea bass, clams, lobster, shrimp and tuna to name a few, chicken or steaks – which are cooked on an oak wood-fired grill in a semi open plan kitchen. There is an extensive wine list, with over 250 vintage wines on offer, and a wall in one section of the restaurant is completely given over to the wine cellar – it’s a magnificent sight.

Having selected what we thought would be modest appetizer dishes we were presented with fantastic looking, and quite large, plates of food. Not wishing to waste a morsel of the tasty dishes we polished them off! Our next course was also beautifully presented and quite substantial and very tasty. We were so full after those two courses that we had no room for pudding, so I can’t comment on whether they were lovely or not! I’m sure they would have been, based on the quality of the other two courses.

We sat inside in the main section of the restaurant, but there are other areas you can use. There are private rooms for special occasions, or for business meetings, and there is also an outside area, called the Sand Bar. You can have a meal while sitting in the Sand Bar section, or you can also just have a drink if all you want to do is enjoy the atmosphere. Here in the Sand Bar the bar serves speciality martinis and cocktails. They also have the Wave Bar which is inside and has jumbo-vision screens of underwater sea life.

Because of where we were seated, we didn’t hear any of the entertainment, but every night they have Caribbean guitar playing in the Sand Bar and local jazz artists perform in the Wave Bar.

It was not a cheap night out – but the standard of the food is reflected in the price. I will certainly be going there again.

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