The Black Molly Grill

He had me at “No Tilapia”.

Being surrounded by water on 3 sides, there are a lot of fish a seafood restaurant in Florida can offer- grouper, flounder, mahi, swordfish, cobia… but farm-raised tilapia and swai {a fancy word for Viatnamese Catfish}?  NEVER!  So when The Black Molly Grill 1/2 owner, Ryan, told me he chooses their fish from the local market I had to ask this clarifying question: “What about tilapia?”

“We will never serve tilapia.”  In fact, the only farm-raised fish they offer is salmon.

Now that’s a local restaurant I’m happy to support!

The kiddos and I met Mom at The Black Molly Grill for dinner Friday night.  It’s 7 minutes south of historic St. Augustine, so it’s mostly locals here.  The white paper covering the tables makes this family-friendly restaurant “markedly” different.  {haha}  The littles set to work creating masterpieces as we waited for our appetizer- Spinach Artichoke Dip with Homemade Blue Corn Chips.  ($8.99).

It  arrived promptly and there was plenty to share- the cheesy goodness was enjoyed by all!

A house salad came with my entree.  Olives, tomatoes, carrots and more topped the mixed greens.  {Black Molly gets bonus points for no iceberg!}  I tried the house dressing with mine- a vinaigrette.  It was fine, but next time I’ll upgrade like Mom did.  Check her salad out:

The Mediterranean Salad is available as an entree ($9.99), or for $1.99 you can sub it as your side salad.  The balamic glaze over feta cheese, roasted peppers, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes was much more memorable than the house.  Yum.

I decided to try their Bloody Molly ($8)- which started a funny conversation between me & Mom:  How in the world do you drink a bloody mary with a giant celery stalk in it?  Do you stir with the celery and remove?  Eat the celery after each sip?  Leave it in and poke yourself in the eye?  After trying all three, I decided removing the celery was the right choice.  ;)  Can you tell I don’t drink much?  Fun times.

We hadn’t finished our salads yet when the entrees arrived.  After shifting plates around to make room, we had a chance to try our dinners- and each others.  That’s the great thing about eating with a big family- you get to taste half the menu in one visit!

My favorite dish- hands down- was what the boys split {we never order off the children’s menu- I want them to learn to enjoy real food, not fried chicken fingers at every restaurant!}.  They asked for Mahi California ($20.99).  The filets were lightly dusted with breading and prepared in lemon butter then served with a cucumber-dill-tomato sauce.  This preparation was flavorful yet light enough to compliment the fish- not overpower it.  The kitchen divided theirs onto 2 plates and served with sweet potato fries which were a big hit.

I should mention that- in addition to the regular menu, The Black Molly offers locally caught fish and 4 sauce preparations daily.  The California the boys ordered was one of those.  Mom tried a second- the Mahi Atlantico ($20.99).  The sauce was made of red peppers, caramelized onions and sundried tomatoes.  Another great sauce!

I tried something different.  Datil Chicken is on the menu and I was eager to try the spice of datil peppers!  But we were here to enjoy fresh fish, so I subbed cobia.

I still have mixed feelings on my dish.  I did love the creamy goat cheese and the spice of the pepper jelly but expected the pepper jelly to be part of a sauce- not to have the actual jelly on my fish.  It’s a delish pepper jelly with a great spicy kick!  But I don’t think I’ll order that preparation again.  Next time I’ll stick with the freshly prepared sauces.

There were other dishes on the table- a caesar salad for Lauren {she ate every bite!} and broccoli for baby Clara {steamed al dente but not seasoned- could’ve used some s&p, herbs or butter}.  Portions are generous and everyone left satisfied.

It was approaching bedtime and we were going to save dessert until next time- but we learned that every dessert is prepared in-house by one of the owners…  So we decided to share dessert at home.  I am so glad we did!!  The dried-cherry-chocolate-cheesecake ($6.99) was amazing!

And, as much as I loved the cheesecake- I have to admit the Key Lime Pie ($5.99) was even better!!  We lived in the Keys when I was a kid {MM21- Shout out to Cudjoe Key!}.  We had a prolific Key Lime tree on our property and sampled plenty of pies in the Southernmost City.  I could be called a Key Lime Pie snob.  This Key Lime Pie was great!  He took a standard favorite and made it his own- well done!  I love the extra crunch in the crust {is it turbinado sugar?}.

My mamma really loves me because she shared not 1, not 2 but 3 bites with me!  We loved it.

If you’re visiting and looking for a great family restaurant, I definitely recommend Black Molly Grill.  Owners are long-term-locals and are hands-on both in the kitchen and on the floor keeping things running smoothly.  Fish is fresh, sauces are creative and desserts are delish!  I’m looking forward to heading back with my hubby to try the filet, burger or pasta… but it’ll be hard to talk me out of that Mahi California if it’s on the menu!

The Black Molly Grill
504 W Geoffrey Street
open lunch & dinner
904-547-2723
Black Molly Grill on Urbanspoon

Comments

  1. Would love the recipe for the Brocolli salad – food was awesome went there 3 times while on vacation

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