SUN PHOTO/LOUISE BOLGER
Dave Sork, general manager of The City Pier Restaurant,
has been with the restaurant since the Anna Maria
City Pier reopened in 2000.
By Louise Bolger
sun staff writer
More than a dozen years ago I visited Anna Maria Island
for the first time, and like so many other tourists took
a walk on the Anna Maria City Pier as the sun was going
down. The setting sun cast a pink glow on the surface
of the water, and as if on cue, a pair of dolphins glided
by. It was one of those magical moments you keep with
you always. All these years later, the dolphins are still
playing in the bay waters surrounding the pier and pelicans
are still diving for their dinner. You would think it
couldn't get much better than that, but at The City Pier
Restaurant, perched at the end of the pier, it has.
David Sork, the general manager of the restaurant, has
been with the restaurant since the pier reopened for business
in December 2000. Sork says the diverse menu offered at
The restaurant has evolved right along with the changing
demographics of the Island. This is especially reflected
in the daily lunch and dinner specials which have taken
on a gourmet flair.
They day Sork and I spoke, the specials were smoked salmon
lasagna and potato leek soup, both homemade. You can also
order ahi sesame tuna, grouper oscar, a variety of seafood
pasta dishes, a portabello sandwich and croissant sandwiches
with crab cake and seared tuna. But if you're craving
a burger, peel and eat shrimp, steamer pots, baskets of
fish and chips or popcorn shrimp, you won't be disappointed,
these old favorites are on the menu as well.
The restaurant also has beer and wine and Carla's Key
Lime Pie and Turtle Cheesecake for dessert. Since the
restaurant supports the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch,
for each piece of cheesecake sold, it will donate 25 cents
to Turtle Watch. And, to round out your dining experience,
on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you'll find Howie Banfield
If you're more interested in catching fish than eating
it, you can take advantage of the restaurant's blanket
fishing permit to wet a line. Bait and tackle are available
to purchase on the pier. Add a bucket of beer and fish
to your heart's content with your only problem being the
dolphins and pelicans challenging you for your catch.
After living in Florida for 25 years Sork says there
aren't a lot of places left like the pier where you can
come out with your fishing pole, take a stroll or have
a great dinner.
He says, "It's a great place to be and you get to
see dolphins every day."
So if you haven't been out to the pier recently, ride the
Island trolley to the last stop and take a mini-vacation.
Creating magical moments is what Anna Maria is all about.
The City Pier Restaurant
100 Bay Blvd., Anna Maria
11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday through Thursday
11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday
Happy hour, Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m.
Entertainment: Friday, Saturday and Sunday