The Discriminating Diner went on the road to Lakewood Ranch to check out a highly recommended restaurant just 1 ½ hours north. A long way to travel you say. Not really and not when you combine it with other adventures. Speaks Clam Bar in Lakewood Ranch is just off I-75 exit 217 to the east about ½ mile.
Speaks Clam Bar is a seafood restaurant with an Italian flare where the theme is loosely based on a speak easy. They offer “Fresh seafood, Italian Specialties, Housemade Pasta, Craft Cocktails & a Swell Time” according to their website.
We chose to give them a try for lunch. Atmosphere is very open and bright. It does get a bit noisy with the sounds of all the diners. They have booths, tables and a room in the back of the restaurant that might work well for larger groups as it can be closed off with curtains.
We started with one of their craft cocktails, The Perfect Crusto ($11) which is made with Grander Panamanian Rum, Amaro Nonino, Combier, Fresh Lemon, & Orange Juice, with a sugared rim. It was perfect for our early lunch. We then had the Shrimp Balls to start. These were so ridiculously good. You get 3 large, crispy, fried Risotto balls with a choice of sauce, we chose medium, that have shrimp and melted cheese in the center. They were just perfect.
For entrée’s we chose the Maine Lobster Roll ($19) – Chunks of fresh cold-water Lobster on a toasted New England Roll and chose the fries. They had the best fries and we have eaten many fries, but these were excellent.
We also had the Lobster and Shrimp plate ($17). This had lobster & shrimp salad served on top of a salad of mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The salad was huge, and the portion of lobster and shrimp salad was large. They also serve rolls with your meals. When they say they use fresh ingredients, they are being honest. From the shrimp and lobster to the mixed greens to the fries, it was all made with fresh ingredients and the taste and flavors showed it.
We completed our meal with an expresso and a cappuccino. We needed the extra caffeine for the ride back to Fort Myers. Our server was Cassandra and she was excellent. She knew the menu, made recommendations when we had questions and was friendly and professional. She would check on our needs without being intrusive.
Speaks Clam Bar also has a location in Sarasota (St. Armands) and will have one in St. Pete in 2021.
So if you feel like exploring other culinary options outside of our local area, then head on up the road and give Speaks Clam Bar a try. It is well worth the ride.
Overall Rating: Wicked Awesome
Speaks Clam Bar Lakewood Ranch –
8764 E State Rd 70 Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202