FRIGATE’S WATERFRONT BAR & GRILL
ADDRESS: 1120 N Harbor City Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32935
It’s crazy to think that this will be my first restaurant review since the pandemic started early last year. With vaccinations happening, it’s my hope that things will be able to return to a new sense of normal. It’s also made me less apprehensive about dining out at restaurants, and I’m looking forward to start being able to generate this type of content for the blog again.
As it turns out, my friend Dave came back into town for an extended period of time on business travel. A couple of weeks ago, my other friend Rich and I made plans to hang out with him, and the three of us ended up deciding on going to Frigate’s Waterfront Bar and Grill, on Rich’s recommendation.
We chose a relatively nice evening to stop by the restaurant, and with the weather being not overly humid, we decided to stay outdoors and walk down to the backside of the restaurant to see about any table openings there. There’s a larger outdoor bar area down there, with some tables set up around it. It was first-come, first-serve, and we also got lucky that a group was leaving not too long after we started looking for a table.
The place was pretty busy for a Tuesday night, and one of the waiters made his way over to us after dropping off some food and drinks at a few other tables near us. From a food standpoint, the menu contained a nice variety of seafood, meats, salads, pastas, and sandwiches. I hadn’t really eaten a seafood dish (aside from sushi) in a while, so I put in an order for their Crispy Calamari appetizer and went with the Macadamia & Coconut Grouper Sandwich for the main event.
I will say, the view looking out towards the waterfront from the back of the restaurant was really stunning. We stopped by on a good evening, with the setting sun lighting up the sky in a multi-colored hue. The river itself was also very tranquil (we did see some fish and even a gator) and made for a nice backdrop as you’re relaxing and enjoying your meal. The restaurant also has its own private dock, so if people wanted to, they could take their boat through the river, dock it right in the back, and step off to get some food and drinks.
The order of calamari arrived at the table first, which Dave and I split. All the pieces ended up being nice and crispy after getting flash fried, and the sprinkle of Parmesan cheese was a nice touch as well. Our main dishes arrived not too long after that; my initial impression of the grouper sandwich was that it looked to be pretty hefty. I’d definitely need to compress it down a bit if I was going to attempt to even take a bite of the full sandwich.
I will say, however, that I enjoyed the calamari appetizer more than I did the grouper sandwich. The fish itself was fried nice and crispy, but I didn’t really get any of the macadamia or coconut flavor that I was anticipating. I also found some dirt on the piece of lettuce that was on the sandwich and had to clean that off. (Luckily I spotted it before taking a bite.) The grouper fillet was a good size for the sandwich, so I think you get good value there. It’s just that, flavor-wise, there wasn’t as much to help it stand out.
When it comes to real estate, you may sometimes hear the trope “location, location, location,” and Frigate’s definitely chose a good spot right by the water. The outdoor seating at the back of the restaurant offers up some great views, especially during sunset while we were there. The food experience for me personally, however, was a little bit more uneven. I like the location enough that I would want to return again, but I may opt to try another main course next time instead.
Let’s now take a look at the Frigate’s Waterfront Bar & Grill Dish Spotlight. Asterisks (*) below mark my recommended dishes.
** Crispy Calamari **
Calamari lightly dusted in seasoned flour and flash fried, topped with Parmesan and served with marinara sauce.
Macadamia & Coconut Grouper Sandwich
Grouper fillet encrusted with macadamia and coconut, flash fried, and served on a brioche bun. Topped with lettuce, tomato, and Bermuda onion, with mango chutney on the side.
And finally, here are my rankings for Frigate’s Waterfront Bar & Grill:
Food: 4 / 5
The food was definitely more of a mixed bag on this one. The calamari was definitely on point, but there was some room for improvement on that grouper sandwich. It was seasoned well, but I didn’t get the macadamia or coconut flavors as advertised, and the dirt on the lettuce was a detractor as well.
Atmosphere: 4.75 / 5
Those waterfront views can’t be beat. On a mild Florida evening like when we went, it was really comfortable to just hang out at the restaurant’s outdoor dining area in the back and relax.
Service: 4.25 / 5
Our waiter was pretty attentive and swung back by our table numerous times to see if we had everything that we needed. In addition, I also thought that the food came out of the kitchen in pretty good time, despite how busy it looked as well.
Price: 4.5 / 5
For the prices of the seafood dishes, I thought that they were definitely pretty reasonable. When you also factor in the atmosphere as well, I think it’s worth it.
17.5 / 20
Categories: Florida, Restaurants
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