Located right by the ocean, Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach is an upscale seafood restaurant known for its delicious brunch and beautiful outdoor patio. After years of wanting to try Boathouse, I finally got to go for dinner on a Friday night. I made a reservation a few weeks ahead of time because I heard that the wait time can skyrocket to almost an hour during peak hours. Unfortunately, none of the tables on the patio were available, but my friend and I were seated by the window with a panoramic view of the beach.
We decided to start off with coconut shrimp, which came with four pieces of Mexican white prawns rolled in coconut flakes with a sweet chili lime dipping sauce on the side. The prawns were huge and the coconut flakes were lightly fried, making each bite very satisfying. The dipping sauce complemented the shrimp well, but it wasn’t anything special. Although I enjoyed this appetizer, I expected more and I would probably go for another starter next time.
For my main dish, I opted for a Boathouse specialty, the cioppino. The dish consisted of a spicy tomato broth filled with mussels, clams, fresh fish, shrimp, scallops and stone crab claw and was topped with two pieces of mesquite-grilled garlic bread. I’m pretty indecisive and always want to try a little bit of everything, so this was the perfect dish for me. I loved the variety of all the seafood and I appreciated that they put equal portions of each type of seafood in the dish because it made me feel like I was really getting my money’s worth. The garlic bread was very savory, as expected, and served as the perfect complement to the tomato broth, as it soaked up its flavor very nicely. The portion size of this dish is fairly large, as I wasn’t able to finish everything and ended up taking it home.
My friend had the pan-seared scallops which came with lobster and crab risotto, broccolini and spicy tomato basil broth. The scallops were seared to a perfect golden-brown and tasted very fresh, but my favorite part of this dish was actually the risotto. The rich, velvety texture paired so well with the umami flavors that we couldn’t get enough of it. The portions for this dish were also pretty sizable, although we didn’t end up with any leftovers.
Overall, I had a great experience for my first time at Boathouse. Dining with the beach right next to you during sunset is a perfect way to end the week and I’d love to come back to try their brunch and happy hour. If there’s one thing I’d recommend before visiting the restaurant, it would be to choose your clothes carefully because one slip up could easily get your white shirt stained with tomato broth, which is exactly what happened to me.