THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT BEGINNINGS & HISTORY
The cottage was one of the first homes on Anna Maria Island, built-in 1922. It was known as “Lorraine Cottage” at the time and for many years after, Lorraine was the name of the builders’ daughter. The main room of the cottage had wood panel walls recovered from the inside of an old ship and a stone and brick fireplace, just like the one you see today. For many decades, the cottage served as a seasonal residence, with several additions made as ownership changed hands.
The cottage’s first commercial use was as an art gallery in the 1970s. In 1999, an English couple purchased the restaurant and rebranded it as The Waterfront, which it is today.
The Suzor family bought The Waterfront Restaurant in 2002 and still owns and operates it today. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the majority of the original cottage in the early hours of March 18th, 2004. Only the original fireplace and back building remained.
Because the restaurant was designed with Lorraine Cottage in mind, these remaining fixtures played an important role in the new construction. It reopened in October 2005, 19 months later, with many of the original staff and management.
The Waterfront is the ideal blend of relaxation and opulence. The views and food are simply divine, but the atmosphere and people will keep you coming back for more. You’ll enjoy fresh flavors and one-of-a-kind drinks while surrounded by lush décor and a stunning view of the water. The Waterfront is ideal for a romantic dinner with your significant other or a relaxing night out with your family.
BEST SEAFOOD ON AMI: THE WATERFRONT RESTAURANT
The Waterfront’s dinner menu features new takes on classic dishes as well as daily specials. Begin with the lobster bisque or tuna sashimi from Bimini Bay, then move on to chicken parmesan, grouper cakes, or shrimp and grits for your main course.
Sides like maple glazed bacon fried Brussels or wild mushroom risotto perfectly complement each dish, and you can find the best pairing from their extensive drink menu. There’s also a kid’s menu with classics like grilled cheese and fish and chips.
Below are a few sample reviews from Tripadvisor and Yelp.
A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote:
We visited on a hot day, for lunch and requested a seat out on the covered, front porch and it was honored. With a view of the blue water across the street, and the breeze blowing, this spot offered refreshing respite from the hot sun. It is classically furnished, and feels like a place Hemingway might eat! We started with a tuna sashimi appetizer that was perfect with a crunch and wasabi sauce. We also had grouper cakes over a salad. One of the best fish cakes ever tasted. Compared to other beach-y/tourist-y food options in the area, this place stood out for the quality and atmosphere.
A Yelp reviewer wrote:
The offerings on this menu are really unique and diverse. There is something for everyone – fresh fish, southern specialties (fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese!), steaks, Asian inspired dishes, Thai inspired dishes, wonderful salads and the best key lime pie on AMI in my opinion. It’s the perfect blend of creamy and tart and just plain heaven. You must get it or take it home for later.
I ordered the pork belly and scallops which were served on a bed of kimchi fried rice. The scallops were large and tender. The pork belly was delicious and crispy and fatty. I will say I though the sauce or blend of seasonings may have been a bit too heavy so I brought the second half home to have tomorrow and plan to add maybe some plain rice to it. Overall really good.
Great location on AMI as well. No reservations taken here so get there early during peak seasons and be prepared to wait. It’s worth it.