By Kimberly Krol
In Clearwater Beach for a wedding, two friends and I decided to enjoy dinner at Sea-Guini, inside Opal Sands Resort. Upon entering the resort, it wasn’t the lure of the cuisine that captivated our immediate attention, but the impressive indoor sand sculptures in the lobby. Soon, however, it was the ambience, food and staff at Sea-Guini, serving fresh caught seafood and Italian-inspired dishes, which commanded our full consideration. Couples or families traveling with teens or adult children will be delighted by this hotel eatery.
Our server was exceptional. Her detailed knowledge of the menu and recommendations were impressive, and helped us make some great food decisions. Additionally, she let us know where all the ingredients were sourced from, allowing us to consider local specialties. We started with three appetizers. We all agreed the crispy calamari, served with Calabria pepper aioli, crispy zucchini, sweet tomato chips and house pomodoro sauce, was the best we’ve ever had. The bruschetta — fresh, garlic-rubbed grilled brick oven farmers bread, fresh tomato and basil, creamy burrata cheese and balsamic drizzle — and the tuna tartare were equally tasty.
The hardest part was selecting entrees. I opted for a local dish: pan-seared hogfish, served with Florida corn broth, sweet Gulf shrimp, a smokehouse bacon and potato hash (awesome!) and roasted cauliflower. While I enjoyed every bite, I had food envy for my friend’s ricotta gnocchi, flash seared and served with spinach, pancetta, winter truffles and sage-pecorino cream sauce. My other dining companion ordered Sea-Guini’s penne alla vodka, served with fresh broccolini, sweet fennel sausage, heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella. He started with a cup of the lauded lobster bisque, which lived up to the hype. We paired our meal with a bottle of Villa Maria, Cellar Selection, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand.
Despite being full, we needed a sweet finish, and the zeppole, tossed in cinnamon and sugar and served with dark chocolate sauce and white chocolate mousse, was the perfect finish and designed for sharing.
Check out Sea-Guini when in Clearwater Beach — it’s a must for exceptional adult dining!
Sea-Guini Opal Sands Resort – 430 S. Gulfview Blvd. #100 Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
or call: 727 450 6236