Blue Harbor at the Westin Hotel on Harbor Island made a big splash at their grand opening last week featuring seafood inspired dishes. The hotel has recently completed a $26 million renovation, converting the current Blue Harbor spot to an open space with a full bar and serving Florida’s favorite seafood dishes with flair.

General Manager Shawn Nayyar says they wanted to get away from the one room closed off feeling, “We really wanted the Florida feel and when a guest is here visiting, it’s all about the sunshine. We wanted fresh light coming through to connect with nature.”  

It’s relaxed yet refined dining. The completely new interior compliments the open concept dining room with intimate seating areas placed through the eatery. The forty-six-foot-long bar spans the entire width of the space. It’s made from carved wood with a man-made quartz top.  Other design features include wood floors and a thirteen-foot-high vaulted ceiling, finished with a wood trellis to define the seating area. All the elements combine to provide a warm and inviting area for up to 64 guests which the space can accommodate.

Executive Chef Tony Hang is passionate about using quality ingredients. Blue Harbor Eatery & Bar will use seasonal and local produce, as well as sustainable seafood practices. Dinner highlights include Florida Bouillabaisse with seafood, fennel, saffron broth and rouille, and Gulf Black Grouper served with sweet pea risotto and roasted mushrooms. Hang originally came to help with the transition but decided to stay. He says they want to reach both the in-house hotel guests and the community with their elevated beach food, “The more the better!”

The Blue Harbor dishes will include grouper, lobster, oysters, cocktail shrimp and all of your seafood favorites, but if you only have time for one dish, Nayyar recommends the grouper, “It’s absolutely fresh and we always get rave reviews.

Don’t miss out on the special cocktails that Blue Heron serves with a big splash. Head Bartender William Frost has contemporary interpretations and inspired twists on time-honored cocktails. Handcrafted beverages include the watermelon martini, made with botanical gin, Martini & Rossi Dry Vermouth, pureed watermelon and lemon zest. Another favorite is their white sangria made with pinot grigio, white peach puree, peach schnapps complete with an immersed strawberry peach popsicle.

Blue Harbor offers a daily happy hour from 4-7 p.m., featuring small bites and classic cocktails. It’s located at 725 South Harbor Island Boulevard. They’re open Monday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m. Fri ; noon to  – 1 a.m. on Saturday and noon - 12 a.m. on Sunday.

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Photos courtesy of Blue Harbor