BLUEWATER BAY — The easiest way to find L.J. Schooner’s Dockside Restaurant in Bluewater Bay is to turn onto Bay Drive off State Road 20 and continue until you reach the marina.
The restaurant is inside the building that also contains the marina store.
Arriving early for dinner, Schooner’s begins serving dinner at 5 p.m., we opted to sit and enjoy the sunset and a bowl of L.J. Schooner’s rich, delicious seafood gumbo.
Schooner’s has a nice variety of seafood and non-seafood appetizers, but the gumbo was a wonderful choice on a windy, cold evening.
In addition to the gumbo, they also offer a soup of the day by the cup or bowl. The evening of our visit, it was broccoli cheese.
If your taste runs more toward raw or steamed oysters or steamed shrimp, these items are available from the oyster bar during Oyster Bar hours.
At Schooner’s, salads, fried baskets and sandwiches are offered at both lunch and dinner. Chicken pasta and vegetable primavera with marinara or Alfredo sauce are also offered with a more extensive menu of build-your-own pasta available after 5 p.m.
Salads include a southwest, seafood, Greek, chicken and a tropical salad served with chicken, shrimp or crawfish.
Fried baskets include shrimp; grouper; oysters; crawfish; scallops; chicken strips or, if you’re really hungry, the Captain Bones Basket, which includes shrimp, scallops, oysters and grouper.
Baskets are served with fries, coleslaw and hush puppies.
Sandwiches include grilled cheese, seafood, chicken, turkey and hamburgers. Both the grouper and chicken sandwiches may be ordered fried, grilled or blackened.
Sandwiches are served with your choice of seasoned or sweet potato fries, coleslaw, onion straws, chips or hushpuppies.
Dinner specials are served with a dinner salad, vegetables and rice or mashed red potatoes.
After we finished our gumbo, the waitress brought us a basket of hot yeast rolls and butter.
Our dinner salads soon followed and were comprised of spring greens, red cabbage, carrots and grape tomatoes.
Dressings include the standard offerings plus Chef Wayne’s Famous Sesame Orange Vinaigrette.
Dinner specialties include seafood, chicken and beef items as well as combinations.
My guest chose the Schooners Platter of fried grouper, shrimp, oysters and scallops with a side of rice pilaf.
All the fried items were coated in a light batter that complimented the taste of the food.
The grouper was tender and moist and perfectly cooked as were all the items.
My entrée choice was the delicious crab stuffed shrimp, which I enjoyed with tartar sauce rather than the accompanying remoulade which is a personal preference.
I ordered the mashed red potatoes which were very flavorful.
The vegetable served with our entrees was a seasonal medley of squash, zucchini, cauliflower, onion and red pepper.
Dessert is a must.
Our choice was the white chocolate macadamia nut cheesecake. Add a cup of coffee and you have a delicious ending to any meal.
Other dessert choices include pie, ice cream and tiramisu.
Arriving early for dinner, Erica, our waitress, was very accommodating. She brought us our gumbo, and kept our drinks filled until dinner service began.
Large windows overlook the water, and almost every table in the restaurant offers a view of the water.
Go early and watch the beautiful sunset.
The décor is casual with nautical charts adorning the table tops.
A final taste
L.J. Schooner’s is a little out of the way, but well worth finding.
L.J. Schooner’s Dockside Restaurant & Oyster Bar
Bluewater Bay Marina
290 Yacht Club Drive
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday - Saturday
9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday, Brunch 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Appetizers $4.95 – $11.95
Soup $3 - $5.95
Salads $8.95 - $9.95
Entrees $5.95 - $32.95
Dessert $1.95 - $3.50
Credit cards accepted