An Everything-Florida Dining Experience: Deep Lagoon Seafood Expands in Southwest FloridaNov 21, 2021 08:20PM ● By KEVIN ROONEY
For coastal casual cuisine in Southwest Florida, Deep Lagoon Seafood and Oyster House offers a great combination of fresh seafood and postcard views of dream boats and sunsets. With three locations and a fourth under construction, Deep Lagoon has earned a reputation for serving up an inviting dining experience that is everything Florida. Its simple slogan is “Fresh – Local – Social.”
Every detail inside the restaurant places diners at ease, allowing them to settle in for a sensory journey for the eyes and palette. “We felt like we could take our hospitality experience and bring this concept to market where you left saying, ‘That is a great restaurant!’” says owner Grant Phelan.
The walls are festooned with nature photography from official Florida state photographer Alan Maltz. The design of the dining area, with its signature ocean and sky-blue tabletops, is meant to evoke a tropical vacation.
Phelan and his parents, Tony and Kathleen Phelan, have built a restaurant group that now features six different concepts, all located in Florida. (These include Pinchers, Texas Tony's Rib & BrewHouse, The Bay House Restaurant, Phuzzy’s Boat Shack, and Island Crab Company.) After opening the first Deep Lagoon Seafood in North Naples in 2016, the Phelans knew they had a winner. Reviews and customers came from all over Southwest Florida, and it became apparent that there was a demand for a true fresh Florida fish market restaurant in Fort Myers.
“Southwest Florida is God’s greatest dining room,” says Tony. “People from everywhere want to come to our back yard and get away. We love pleasing guests and offering an experience like no other.”
The family went looking to expand the concept and ended up partnering with MarineMax to add its second location at the corner of McGregor Blvd. and A&W Bulb Road in Fort Myers. The finished product has quickly become a place for boaters looking for a waterfront dining option that has dockage and can be easily accessed by boat.
They followed up with another waterfront location in fall 2019 at the Esplanade Shoppes at Marco Island, which once again resonated with diners looking for waterfront views while they enjoy fresh seafood. The Phelans have since relocated their original Naples location to a new spot in the Marketplace at Pelican Bay. A fourth location will open in spring 2022 on Casey Key near Sarasota—again on the gulf with sunset views.
District Executive Chef Nic Hartzer and his culinary team have created a kitchen that works directly from the in-house market, serving up classic contemporary American seafood with an updated fusion of a fresh coastal marketplace with locally sourced ingredients. Fresh fish and oysters from the best locations in the United States are delivered daily.
Deep Lagoon’s menu includes gulf-caught hogfish, black grouper, snapper, jumbo shrimp, and scallops. Signature dishes include the Chili Rub Tripletail, Grouper Oscar, Cedar Plank Salmon, and Tropical Mahi.
All of these dishes can be paired with satisfying libations. The wine list is extensive, and the knowledgeable staff have no problem recommending a wine to pair with your seafood dish. Signature cocktails are plentiful for the discerning craft-cocktail enthusiast, including the Violetta Fizz featuring muddled rosemary and fresh cucumber.
If your plans include experiencing everything Florida has to offer in waterfront dining and fresh seafood, make it a point to get to a Deep Lagoon location. It has helped raised the culinary bar in Southwest Florida.
Kevin Rooney is living in Southwest Florida, and a frequent contributor to TOTI Media.
8777 Tamiami Trail, N. Naples
14040 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers
760 North Collier Blvd., Suite 105, Marco Island