It was not an accident that a brother from the suburbs of Chicago and another relative from South Carolina joined the Marco Lambs at Little Bar Restaurant for their yearly dining experience. It was closed during their last visit but now even their favorite appetizer, stone crabs, is in season and on the menu.
Goodland is home to about 200 residents and overlooks Buzzard Bay between Stan’s Idle Hour Bar and Paradise Found Restaurant. This small fishing community is humming with activity during the season as visitors drive or come by boat to enjoy the laid-back Old Florida vibe.
According to Little Bar’s website, they are open seven days a week until at least midnight…or until everyone is through singing. They have been a local tradition for 42 years and maintain a cult-like following. And at this visit, it did not disappoint. The ambience is casual, pleasant, and friendly with a waterside setting – we had fun watching boats come and go. The indoor dining room featured a large collection of nutcrackers!
The menu is quite extensive and sometimes you’ll have a hard time deciding what to order. We’ve sampled their dinner menu during previous visits and we were always tempted to try something new. For this visit, we stayed true to what we always order.
For starters, everybody ordered salad and Lisa recommended the creamy garlic salad dressing. For appetizers, we ordered fried calamari and a platter of stone crabs – they were fresh and delicious. The calamari were golden brown and crunchy on the outside and tender and tasty on the inside and served with marinara sauce and wedges of lemon.
For the entrée we were very pleased with the blue crab cakes with lobster cream sauce. The crab cakes were golden brown, firm, and tasty and came in generous patties served with a baked potato. Had to take one crab cake home – which will make a delicious light lunch.
Blackened mahi mahi was another favorite. Mahi mahi is a warm water fish found in the Gulf of Mexico or Hawaii. It has a firm texture, mild taste and very flaky when cooked right. The mahi mahi was just right – moist and flaky, served with a touch of cream sauce and a baked potato. It was a simple yet very satisfying meal.
You can’t go wrong with the grilled swordfish, another favorite served with a small bowl of linguine and a wedge of lemon. Swordfish is a mild tasting white fish that is meaty and firm, and experts recommend that you cook a swordfish like you would cook a rare steak. Little Bar’s swordfish was seared just right and served firm, flaky and tasty. Another simple meal yet delicious.
Another favorite was the deep-fried oysters – served with very little seasoning – which is as it should be. The oysters should taste salty, slightly sweet, even briny and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Other than a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, it was served with sweet potatoes fries, wedge of lemon and marinara dipping sauce.
Topping off the list of the seafood entrée was the twin Florida lobster tail served simply with melted butter and a lemon wedge accompanied by a side order of baked potato. When cooked right, the lobster meat should melt inside your mouth moistened with just the right amount of butter or a squeeze of lemon.
Overall, the Little Bar Restaurant was a great choice as always. During Covid, Little Bar should be on the top of your dining list. From the check-in to the waitstaff, everybody wore masks, and the restaurant was very clean.
Little Bar Restaurant is on the water located at 205 Harbor Place, Goodland, Florida. Telephone: 239-394-5663.