Nestled on Stock Island's Safe Harbor, the local-favorite Hogfish Bar and Grill has been ranked among the best seafood restaurants in America by Travel and Leisure Magazine.
Owned by Bobby Mongelli, the laid-back dockside establishment at 6810 Front St. is best known for its eponymous hogfish, served in a variety of ways.
Travel and Leisure writer Geraldine Campbell recommends the "killer" hogfish sandwich, topping the cooked filet with Swiss cheese, mushrooms and onions on a piece of fresh Cuban bread.
"Our top picks include as many (if not more) down-and-dirty establishments -- where no-frills decor meets the freshest grouper -- as high-end restaurants helmed by top toques who marry French techniques and worldly ingredients with pristine bluefin cobia, and escolar," Campbell wrote. "One thing is consistent: Each of these local favorites, in big cities and small towns, is a catch."
The unassuming Hogfish is ranked right up there with the venerable Manhattan mainstay Le Bernadin run by celebrity chef Eric Ripert. The only other Florida eateries to make the cut are Star Fish Co. in Cortez just west of Bradenton and Garcia's Seafood Grille and Fish Market in Miami.
The full listing of 32 restaurants is available in the magazine or through www.travelandleisure.com.