For weeks I watched the transition take place; the former space of longstanding Zoria and the short lived Main Street Oyster Bar being transformed into the new Half Shell Oyster House. Started in the summer of 2009 in Gulfport, Mississippi and shortly thereafter in Biloxi, the Sarasota Half Shell Oyster House is a joint venture between Bradenton resident Dino Mirando, and the Gulf Coast Restaurant Group headed by Bob Taylor.

Located at 1991 Main Street, on the corner of Links Avenue, the Half Shell Oyster House is an impressive space. Dark rich wood tones, tiled floors, wrought iron railings, white linen tablecloths, and a large high ceiling space, the newest place on Main Street exudes southern charm and offers a menu which is totally complementary.

Signature Charbroiled Oyster

Center stage on the menu, oysters of course, with the Half Shell signature charbroiled being one of many choices. Shrimp, crab cakes, and fish round out the seafood selections; however there are salads, pasta, chicken and steak for the non-seafood lover. In other words, the Half Shell offers a broad choice of menu items for all diners. The Half Shell Oyster House opens daily at 11am.

Pre-opening Reception: A “Win/Win” Event

On Friday January 6, 2012, the Half Shell Oyster House sponsored a pre-opening reception supporting the Mark Wandall Foundation.

About the Foundation:

The Mark Wandall Foundation formed in 2003 in honor of Mark Jeffery Wandall who tragically lost his life due to the negligence of a red light runner. The primary missions of the foundation are to support and nurture children in our community who have experienced loss in their lives and to educate and raise awareness regarding traffic safety and compliance.

This pre-opening reception was most certainly a win/win event attended by hundreds of people. Launching their first event, The Half Shell Oyster House underscores their care and concern for the community; while donating all the food, drinks, wine, beer, venue and staff for the evening, creates a well-received fund raising event for the Mark Wandall Foundation.

What better way to stress test your staff, make sure you are ready to open,  and give something back to the community?

Well done!

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SRQ Reviews Network - Dining Guide

Perhaps one of the more unique dining experiences in Sarasota is dinner at Ray’s at the Serving Spoon.

A Cordon Bleu trained and multi-venue restaurateur, Chef Ray Schilcher specializes in coastal cuisine. Hailing from Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts, Ray has developed and perfected his craft over many years in a variety of gourmet venues. For some additional background on Chef Ray Schilcher, you can see our prior post entitled “Sarasota’s Best Kept Gourmet Dining Secret.”

Martha's Vineyard stuffed shrimp

On Friday, April 30, 2010, Ray’s @ The Serving Spoon will host a Martha’s Vineyard Night to celebrate the years Ray lived and cooked on “The Vineyard. The menu for that weekend will include many of his customer’s favorite dishes from all FIVE or his restaurants.  The menu will be the same for both Friday & Saturday night, but on FRIDAY the restaurant will be filled with present and former residents of this incredible little island measuring 87.48 square miles, located off the South of Cape Cod Massachusetts, the largest TRUE island off the East Coast of the United States.  The restaurant is filling up fast for this special occasion, so if you would like to be part of this event, call Melanie for reservations at 941-377-2486!

Ray’s at the Serving Spoon, a “Must try Mondays” selection.

SRQ Reviews, the restaurant guide you need to find the best dining in Sarasota, Florida.