October 15, 2012 | 9:18am
South Florida is famous for a number of things: the 2000 presidential-election recount, terrible drivers, year-round sunshine, and, well, stone crabs. Starting today, stone crab season is back. That means tomorrow restaurants will be filling their menus with the tasty little claws. And in case you had a summer-party-induced memory lapse, we have a list of places to check out for the area's most venerable crustacean.
Billy's Stone Crab Restaurant & Market
Situated directly on the intracoastal waterway in Hollywood, Billy's has been around for over 38 years. Both the restaurant and the market offer fresh stone crabs, purchased directly from local fishermen. The restaurant features two floors and an outside dining area. The upper-level is fine dining, while the downstairs and outdoor areas offer a more casual atmosphere. Private events in the wine room are also available. Billy's is open daily from noon to 10:00 pm.
Formerly the legendary Joe Sonken's--an old rat pack and mob hangout in its heyday--GG's Waterfront Bar and Grill has been newly remodeled into a fine dining spot directly on the intracoastal. With three dining rooms, a private dining wine cellar, and outdoor seating on the new 900 ft dock, the restaurant serves customers steaks, seafood, and the esteemed stone crabs. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner everyday starting at 11:00 am.
As the name implies, this downtown Boca Raton restaurant specializes in stone crabs. While Jake's does serve steaks and other land-based food items, seafood is the main focus: with a large emphasis on fresh Florida seafood. The restaurant offers fine dining inside, with a more casual vibe on the deck or terraces outside. It is open from 5:00 to 10:00 pm, seven days a week.
J & J Seafood Bar and Grill
Located directly on Atlantic Ave in Delray Beach, J & J Seafood Bar and Grill specializes in contemporary American cuisine. Chef-owner John Hutchinson concentrates on using local seafood in new and imaginative creations; oftentimes taking ideas and flavors from Mexico all the way to Asia. Hutchinson describes the restaurant as casual fine-dining. Indoor and outdoor seating options are available. It is open Tuesday through Friday starting at 11:00 am, Saturday at 11:30 am. At the moment, it is closed Sunday and Monday.
Situated right on the intracoastal across from Fort Lauderdale beach, Coconuts serves locals and tourists alike. The menu is full of a wide array of seafood specialties. During season, stone crabs are one of the highlights. Guests can choose to sit either inside or out on the dock. And the restaurant is dog-friendly outside
. The restaurant is open at 11:00 am, seven days a week.