John and Lori Tedesco Williams and family have a pretty good grasp on the Space Coast and what Brevardians want, so in 2014, when they took over Islands Fish Grill on Fifth Avenue in Indialantic, they knew shat their eatery should be: a small, local family restaurant.
“We offer a welcoming, family environment, never a sterile chain feel,” said Jared Moretti, chef and Lori’s son. “We want our guests to feel comfortable and happy, not rushed or stiff.”
Thus Islands Fish Grill has thrived, with its “simple seafood menu that allows chefs the creative freedom to highlight local, seasonal options.”
So, on its changing menu are Crab Cakes Caprese and Orange-Rosemary Shrimp and Crab Fettuccine, as well as local favorites like Onion-Crusted Grouper, a variety of salads and shellfish offerings as well as market-priced fresh catches.
And there is that down-to-Earth — or is it sea? — attitude.
“We make our guests feel special by offering tableside dialogue, not a rote, memorized list of items we have,” Moretti said. “We pride ourselves in serving first-class food in a casual, beach-friendly atmosphere.”
Can’t see the menu? Click here.
He and fellow chef Anthony Fernandez shared more about the restaurant:
Tell us about a unique feature of your building or dining room. Islands Fish Grill is located in one of the more historic buildings in Indialantic. We have highlighted the natural, comfortable feel of the environment with artwork by some of the area’s finest beach artists. The beach community has so much to offer; it is the perfect complement to our local flavor.
What is the most surprising thing about your restaurant? The most surprising thing about our restaurant is that we are beach casual. Islands Fish Grill is a 20-year-old establishment. From its inception, it was a formal dining experience, but times have changed and so have we. Since we took over in 2014, we have changed our vibe to family-friendly beach casual. We still offer a great dining experience, but with a more relaxed attitude That falls in line with pricing expectations. People assume we are an expensive dining option, but it would be difficult to find fresh fish dining options at a more favorable price.
What are the keys to your success? This is a make-or-break industry with so many components. For us, it is keeping it fresh. It would be so easy to get pre-packaged, frozen fish and call it fresh, but that is not what we are about. We are in early, fileting the fish every day. We collaborate on new dishes, It is so important to be able to bounce ideas off each other and be open to differences of opinions. That’s what makes a great dish: a good team.
What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a diner? Fresh-caught local salmon.
Describe the dining scene on the Space Coast. A hidden gem.
Islands Fish Grill
Address: 111 Fifth Ave., Indialantic
Hours: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays
Online reservations? Open Table
Noise level: Moderate
Dress code: Beach casual
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