The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 12 No. 17 - February 8, 2012


Feast on fish at Blue Marlin

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Adam Ellis | submitted
Adam Ellis offers fresh seafood dishes
and fine wine at the Blue Marlin.

If you like your seafood fresh, your dining experience casual and your wine interesting and obscure, there's a new place in Bradenton Beach that could fill the bill.

In November, Adam Ellis opened the Blue Marlin Grill in the heart of historic Bridge Street. You'll know the Blue Marlin by the vibrant blue color of this historic 1920s cottage, and once inside you will feel like you're in a seafood house in coastal Maine.

Ellis and his staff restored the cottage, which has been in his wife Marianne Norman-Ellis' family for 20 years. In keeping with the feel of an intimate coastal restaurant, they retained the original wainscoting and wood flooring and cleverly built tables and benches from recycled dock wood. The walls and ceilings are painted pale blue and white with nautical artwork, black and white photos, oars and ships lanterns scattered around. Ellis' staff is made up of friends who also happen to be artists, so the original artwork in the restaurant is also for sale.

There is a lovely curved bar, also hand built, and an outside deck they call The Trap Yard. The décor is deliberately understated so as not to take away from the food, which focuses on daily fresh fish brought in directly from the Cortez fishing fleet.

Adam Ellis has worked in restaurants on the Island and also in town for many years. He has experience in commercial fishing and understands how the fishing industry and seafood restaurants need to work hand in hand. He buys his fish daily in Cortez, which not only provides his restaurant with the freshest possible fish, but also gives him the ability to offer daily specials with that day's catch.

Although the focus of the menu at the Blue Marlin Grill is fish, it also offers a steak sandwich, which is so much more than a sandwich, short ribs and roasted chicken. The fish dishes include grouper and snapper blackened or sautéed, shrimp and grits, garlic shrimp, Stone Crab Mac & Cheese, fresh oysters and, of course, the daily specials. They offer Cortez chowder and tater soup, salads, starters like Cortez smoked mullet spread, shrimp egg rolls, shrimp cocktail gazpacho, and side dishes. There is something on the menu for everyone at every price point. Don't leave without tasting the Guinness chocolate cake, Abuela's flan or grilled pineapple ring and other dessert specials for Valentine's Day. Starting in February Ellis plans on opening at 1 p.m. with a few lighter additions to the existing menu.

Ellis is proud of his wine list, which is always changing and mostly includes Spanish and California wines from small vineyards like Lola, all available by the glass. Beer is on tap, as well as bottles and cans.

On Friday and Saturday nights there is entertainment in the courtyard with a different live band weekly, so check out the entertainment schedule on Blue Marlin's web-site. The deck is a great place to listen to local bands after a delicious dinner.

Someone once told Adam Ellis that if you're going to start a restaurant make it a place you'll like because you'll always be there. The casual coastal feel of the Blue Marlin Grill is a restaurant that you're also guaranteed to like.

Blue Marlin Grill

121 Bridge Street
Bradenton Beach

Monday through Saturday:
5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Starting in February:
1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

All major credit cards accepted


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

A valentine's gift

Investment Corner

The traditional day for spouses and loved ones to celebrate their relationship arrives next Tuesday. A lot of cards, candy, roses and dinners will be shared, but there is one gift that may have more enduring value than the others.

I have observed, in my almost 25 years as an investment professional, that couples tend to divide life's responsibilities through the years and while this works great when both are healthy and vibrant, it can cause problems when one spouse experiences a loss of capacity to fulfill his/her responsibilities, or worse, passes away.

Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of dealing with household finances and the management of investment assets. While every relationship is different, based on the personalities of the couple, for the World War II generation and the majority of the baby boomer generation, it seems that the male traditionally takes the lead in handling the investments and perhaps overall control of the financial situation.

This model is based in tradition rather than the reality of today, where not only do women tend to live longer, but the time spent being widowed may be much longer due to the long life-spans we enjoy.

The worse-case scenario is for the man to take care of not only the production of income, but the investment of savings, with the woman having little to do with either. When the man in the relationship suffers from health related difficulty or death, the woman is left with the responsibility of overseeing whatever asset base exists to create income to provide support for the rest of her life.

If she has no experience in these matters, she can easily fall prey to slick sales pitches from advisors who may not have her best interest at heart. Making this situation worse is that she may feel pressured to make financial decisions while still in a state of grief or shock. Even if the couple has used a financial advisor over the years, the situation still may not be good.

Recent statistics show that a majority of women change financial advisors after their husband passes away. The implication of this need to change advisors is that the partner who was in charge of the financial affairs probably chose the advisor unilaterally as opposed to a mutual selection process a number of years before. The surviving spouse may not like the personality of the advisor or believe he/she is the best person to help, driving his/her need to make a change at a time when these decisions are unadvisable due to the anguish of recently losing a loved one.

Perhaps the most enduring valentine's gift is to have a discussion with your spouse or partner about how the financial and investment affairs are being handled in your relationship. A great place to start is to develop a list of companies and account numbers for all of your banks and savings accounts, as well as insurance policies. If something unfortunate or unforeseen happens to one of you, at least the other will be able to locate where assets are maintained and how to access them.

The next step should be to go over the basics of the investment plan and its objectives, along with how the advisor, if one is used, helps in the process. If one spouse doesn't think the advisor is the right person for him/her to work with if the other partner is unable to participate, then perhaps a discussion is in order about a potential change of advisor, or develop a plan in advance of an unfortunate event of how to make a change if one is necessary, perhaps even identifying the new advisor or firm in advance.

No one likes to think about the eventualities of life on a happy occasion like Valentine's Day, but perhaps your gift to each other should be an agreement to talk about these issues within the next few weeks and begin planning to help your partner's transition when the inevitable does happen.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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