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Dry Dock Waterfront Grill

412 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key; 941-383-0102;

When it comes to Florida dining, there are certain things everyone should try at least once, and if you’re fortunate, once a year or month. My list definitely includes a great grouper sandwich at a waterfront restaurant, and I can’t think of a better place for such a pairing than at Dry Dock Waterfront Grill. Located at the Boathouse marina on the bay side of Longboat Key, Dry Dock offers inside second story dining area as well as dockside patio seating.

In 2015, locally owned and operated Gecko’s Hospitality Group purchased Dry Dock, which opened in 1989, promising that it wouldn’t change a thing about the popular restaurant with the panoramic views of Sarasota Bay. And, yes, the quality has remained. Last summer, for instance, OpenTable, the online restaurant-reservation service company, placed Dry Dock on its “100 Most Scenic Restaurants in America for 2019.” Meanwhile, Gecko’s Hospitality Group has continued to grow, with the 2016 addition of Dockside Waterfront Grill, recently named the top ranked restaurant in Venice, according to Yelp.