Hotel restaurants rarely get my vote for best restaurant in any town. Even the most elegant resorts in the world tend to have some little flaws in service, attitude or execution that leaves you unsatisfied. Florida is blessed with resorts. From the panhandle to Amelia Island to Key West – there are hundreds of
choices for an exceptional resort experience. On Clearwater Beach there is no less than than a dozen places calling them selves a “resort”. In reality. only a handful can be considered a true resort.
On the north end Clearwater Beach is a true resort with all the amenities – gulf beaches, pool, spa’s, planned activities and very nice accommodations from suites to single bed rooms. The resort is known as The Sandpearl Resort. What makes this resort exceptional is their restaurant, Caretta’s. The other beach resorts, the Hyatt, the Wyndham Grand and The Opal Sands (sister property to the Sandpearl) have acceptable dining options, but nothing to compare to Caretta’s at the Sandpearl.
Caretta’s offers the standard gulf view dining option with a comfortable lounge for before or after dinner beverages. What makes Caretta’s different is the creativity of the chef and the willingness to be inventive, even with a nightly offering of his own design. Many resorts have fine menus, but few offer creativity and adaptability to an individual guests taste. The basic menu is beef and seafood. Yet each entree’ can be customized according to a diner’s preference. The Chilean Seabass can be made with components of the tuna dinner or the chicken can be offered with sides that normally complements the filet.
Once the diner has selected their preferences, you can expect perfection in every presentation. This is execution! And this is the difference!
Clearwater Beach has a number of fine dining options from independent restaurateurs. The Beachcomber has been a staple for over 50 years, Blinkers is a relative new comer and Cesare’s does a decent job with Italian. They are all good choices, but they have not lived up to the standards Caretta’s has set for perfection time after time.
The Wine Room
Caretta’s can elevate your group dining experience to another level. In a room that doubles as a wine cellar, you can plan for group to be surrounded with wine selections and unequaled service. The room can hold up to a dozen people easily. Th experience is private and remote from the main dining room. This iis a true intimate dining experience offered by Caretta’s by reservation only.
So, clearly the Best Fine Dining Restaurant on Clearwater Beach is Caretta’s at The Sandpearl. Remember, this IS fine dining. Be prepared to pay for the exceptional service, location and execution.