On Friday night we headed over to RattleFish Raw Bar & Grill which is tucked away off Westshore and Tyson in south Tampa. RattleFish is located on the edge of the planned NewPort Tampa development and is also next to the new WestShore Yacht Club.
In June, the Trib reported that the owners of RattleFish are selling the popular restaurant and the marina, which has only been open a few years, to a developer who plans to turn the spot into a high-end "dockominium" for boaters. The developer reportedly intends to make RattleFish into a private restaurant/club house within 16 months. The restaurant plans at least sound foolish.
I could live without some of the try-too-hard-to-be-trendy crowd that frequents RattleFish (particularly the bar area), but the place consistently has good food and a relaxing island vibe that doesn't feel like Tampa. Too bad the food quality is likely poised to head downhill when the place gets converted (how many really great meals have you ever had at most country clubs? I've had very few!). Anyway, I guess we can enjoy the "real RattleFish" while it's still here.
On Friday night we had warm crab and spinach dip with chips as an appetizer. I ordered the chopped salad with grilled shrimp and Traci had a blackened chicken sandwich (the bun was soggy, not good) with slaw and fries. My salad was tasty and the New Orleanian in me loves that RattleFish's croutons are spiked with Tabasco.
My favorite dish out of our several visits to RattleFish has been the fish tacos (not unique anymore, but tasty) and the seafood margarita (a delicious chilled salsa and seafood dip). The outside deck area is great for drinks and sunsets.
Bottom-line: Check out the "real RattleFish" sometime soon for good seafood and a relaxing island vibe before it gets absorbed into the latest South of Gandy upscale development.