Finding comfort (with a view) at Shore

Todays News

Pictured: Shore offers a sleek setting with sweeping waterfront views--a perfect backdrop to enjoy some island-inspired comfort food. Photo taken by Janet Allen.

After a long and stressful week of preparing for, hunkering down during, and cleaning up after Hurricane Ian, my family needed some comfort. We found it on the north end of Longboat Key at Shore.

As we re-emerged this past weekend, still worried about our friends, family and neighbors to the south who continue to struggle through the storm’s aftermath, one word kept coming up in conversation: grateful. Recognizing that our circumstances could have been far worse, and watching the devastation and harrowing accounts continue to unfold in Lee, Charlotte, and South Sarasota counties, we were reminded constantly of what could have been.

Looking for mental respite, a chance to leave the house, and desirous for someone else to handle cooking duties, we headed to Shore in search of an experience that would remind us of all the reasons we still love living here. We were quite familiar with Shore’s St. Armands location, but we’d never experienced the three-year-old Longboat Key version, which features a panoramic view of the Intracoastal Waterway.

We sat outside, marveled at the swooping and diving pelicans, and ate family style. The Allens then took down the entirety of a well-appointed charcuterie board that featured a combo of meats, hard and soft cheeses, pretzels, crostini, olives, grapes, spiced nuts and a tiny flavor punch dollop of a chutney that featured cherry tomatoes mixed with pickled yellow biquinho peppers.

For the entrees, we eschewed healthy, steered clear of the tempting seafood options that beckoned, and went straight for the classics: fried chicken and a cheeseburger. The chicken is free-range, organic, and marinated in a tabasco honey mix that infuses every bite with a sweet heat that mixes marvelously with the crunchy breading. Served with a side of mac ‘n’ cheese that made a nice Monday leftover lunch and a crisp slaw, this dish was a massive crowd pleaser.

So was the burger. Made from grass-fed beef that is ground in house, and adorned with Tillamook cheddar, a bacon jam and a side of truffle fries, it was thick, elegant as a burger can be, and a hearty dose of everything we needed in the moment.

While the food and service were top notch, the part of the experience we’ll remember is walking down to the end of the pier, where we snapped a family selfie while the sun set to the west, splashing the sky to the east with hues of deep orange, soothing purple and perfect pink. This work of natural art reminded us that despite the week’s events, there’s still plenty for which we can all be grateful.

Shore Longboat Key, 800 Broadway St, Longboat Key, (941) 259-4600, dineshore.com.

Pictured: Shore offers a sleek setting with sweeping waterfront views--a perfect backdrop to enjoy some island-inspired comfort food. Photo taken by Janet Allen.

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