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Restaurant Review: Lucky Pelican, Sarasota, FL

Hidden in a weird sort of strip mall in North Sarasota, along the east of I-75 is this little seafood restaurant…”The Lucky Pelican”

It is in such an odd place that you would think no one would know about it but word must have got around.  The night we were there it was packed.  We waited over 45 minutes for a table.  The poor kids–they were hungry and we had promised them some good seafood.

Luckily, it was still happy hour and the server brought us two beers for the price of one.  Score!  However, they bring both out at once.   So, there we were, two adults, sitting with two hungry kids, at a crowded table, in the bar–with four beers.  I would have felt a little self conscious except the whole place was in a party mood–it was busy, it was loud, and no one was paying the bad parents in the corner any bit of attention.

When we finally sat down, we were starved.  I wanted to try everything on the menu but we quickly ordered a couple of appetizers to quiet our hunger.

We had the bacon wrapped scallops….I mean, how could you not?  They were just as good as they sound.  Mmm, just looking at that picture makes me want some right now!

And, the smoked fish spread–which was good but not amazing.  I wish I would have ordered a double order of the bacon wrapped scallops.

Aaron had the lobster bisque–which he loved.  (I couldn’t try it because I’m allergic to lobster.)  I had hoped for a clam chowder but they didn’t even have it on the menu.

We also had the tuna tartare–which was basically raw tuna on a bed of avocados, with some cucumbers….It was great. Very light and refreshing.  A prefect accompaniment to my other choice……

Fried Oysters!  So so good.  And, they were locally raised.  The fattening aspect becomes a moot point since I was making a healthy choice for the environment.  That is one great thing about the Lucky Pelican–they had many sustainable, locally caught and raised seafood options.  We had felt for a long time that we couldn’t get good seafood in Sarasota—but Lucky Pelican delivered.

Aaron had the fish and chips to go with his lobster bisque (he didn’t eat for two days after).  He thought it was good—but not the most amazing fish and chips of his life.  We all loved the coleslaw though….it was super.

And the kids burger was bigger and better than many that we have seen.  There was no skimping here.  Of course the kids scarfed them down and started begging for dessert.  Unfortunately,  it was already about 8:30 on a school night and we needed to get the rascals home.   I guess that just means we will have to go back for some more local seafood and dessert.

I highly recommend the Lucky Pelican…..the food was great and the kids loved it (which is very important to us).  It did take us a long time to get a table but I am guessing that in the summer months (when the Northern visitors go back up North) it wouldn’t be so bad.

I also recommend just popping by there during the day to purchase seafood from their seafood case.  I was able to get cobia and Spanish mackerel—both local and sustainable species at a fair price.  You will not see those species at your local grocery store and they are delicious and worth trying.  If you are a food (seafood) lover, you really need to buy seafood from places other than Publix and Sam’s Club.  There are so many other species of fish that are caught in such small quantities that they can’t possibly sell them to the big supermarket chains.  If you don’t try them, you are really missing out.

Lucky Pelican

6239 Lake Osprey Drive

Sarasota, FL 34240