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Winner Winner Seafood Dinner: The Salmon in Palm Harbor edition

I don’t usually order salmon when I eat out because salmon, unlike grouper, mahi mahi, flounder, snapper, and tuna, doesn’t live in the Gulf of Mexico. If you want salmon in Florida, you’ve got to fish the Atlantic, or the St. John’s River in winter. Despite the dearth of salmon on Florida’s west coast, you can still find the occasional quality salmon entrée around town.

So where are these delicious salmon entrées that I speak of? I’d be lying if I told you I’d tried all the salmon served in the Tampa Bay area. However, I have had some excellent salmon in Palm Harbor at both Mystic Fish and Ozona Blue Grilling Co.

Cedar Plank Salmon at Ozona Blue

Several sources say the Cedar Plank Salmon is one of the best entrées at Ozona Blue, otherwise I never would have tried it in the first place. But after seeing my father order the same dish – the Cedar Plank Salmon – every single time we go to Ozona Blue, I figured there must be something pretty damn good about it.

Ozona Blue pool
The pool at Ozona Blue
Smith Bayou
Smith Bayou

Now for a little background on Ozona Blue for those that have never been…Ozona Blue is like poolside dining with a view of the water. It’s located in Palm Harbor, FL, right off of Smith Bayou. People probably come here more for the scenery/atmosphere than the food, but the food is good too, especially…wait for it…the Cedar Plank Salmon and the appetizers. All kidding aside, the salmon is the best dish I’ve had at Ozona Blue. If you haven’t already tried it, I highly recommend it for your next visit to Ozona Blue.

Pot Stickers
The Pot Stickers appetizer at Ozona Blue is delicious.
Cedar Plank Salmon
Look at that big ole hunk of salmon.

Kona Salmon at the Mystic Fish

The Mystic Fish is a gem of a little seafood restaurant tucked into the Cloverplace shopping center in Palm Harbor. In addition to being one of the best seafood chefs in the area, Chef Doug Bebell is a wizard with sauces. His Kona salmon features a unique pistachio-dill pesto sauce. My only complaint is that I wish there was more sauce on my fish.

In addition to great sauces, Doug makes great mashed potatoes, rolls with garlic butter, salad, and…actually, it’s all good. That’s what I love about this place – every single salad, appetizer, entrée, side, and dessert is of top quality. Nary a detail goes unnoticed here. The restaurant is extra popular between 4:30 and 5:30 pm due to their stellar early bird specials.

Kona Salmon
Kona Salmon at Mystic Fish

More Seafood Dinners

Want more seafood? Of course you do. I started Winner Winner Seafood Dinner in May 2016, and I’ve eaten a lot of seafood since then. Here are some of my favorite seafood dinners:

Fish & Chips at Lagerhaus Brewery & Grill in Palm Harbor

The grouper and shrimp at Rusty Bellies in Tarpon Springs

The Grouper del Sol at Marina Cantina in Clearwater

The grouper (sandwich, tacos, nuggets) and the Stone Crab claws at Thirsty Marlin in Palm Harbor  and Swordfish at the Bonefish in Safety Harbor

Triggerfish special at Café Alfresco in Dunedin and Just Caught Grouper at Salt Rock Tavern in Oldsmar

Jennifer Ring
Jennifer Ring is a freelance writer & photographer living in the Tampa Bay area, on Florida's west coast, home to some of the best beaches in the state.