I consider myself something of a shrimp-and-grits snob. I’ve eaten the iconic Southern dish from here to Charleston and New Orleans. My favorite used to be the Ya-Ya Grits at a restaurant in Pensacola. It’s been dethroned, however, by the Shrimp and Unbelievable Grits on the new menu at the Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille at ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort & Spa.
Believe the “unbelievable” part. Laced with roasted corn, poblano cheese, and chorizo, the grits languish in an insanely delicious smoked tomato sauce. They make the bed for meaty shrimp dusted with cornmeal and pan-fried. The crowning touch: slices of fried green tomatoes for a final Southern accent.
The shrimp-and-grits are but one indication that Chef Greg Nelson’s recently debuted menu says “wow.” We started with cocktails: I, a Murky Water (i.e. dirty martini with just the right touch of olive juice and two blue cheese-stuffed olives); my husband, one of four Florida craft beers listed.
We sampled quinoa salad and cracker-crusted crab cakes for starters. A white-peach vinaigrette adds subtle sweetness to the tri-color quinoa’s texture. Sandwiched between apple slaw and cayenne remoulade, the crab cakes burst with flavor and moistness.
Rob ordered coconut-crusted shrimp served po-boy style, the shrimp jumbo and juicy. Tasty and perfectly executed as it was, the side dish of red beans and dirty rice practically upstaged it. Over-sated, we passed on the dessert tray. We’ll return soon to try other selections on Chef Greg’s menu. Wow!