2 Georges at The Cove

This weekend, many of us will be facing the same quandary: Finding a place to take our out-of-town visitors. When you live in South Florida, you’re always searching for spots by the water where you can treat friends and family from colder climes to warm breezes and simple pleasures like fresh fish with a squeeze of lime or a plate of golden-brown conch fritters washed down with a Corona.

One such destination is Two Georges at The Cove, which until last year was The Cove Marina & Restaurant, open since 1974. Steve Scaggs, owner of Two Georges in Boynton Beach, bought the Deerfield Beach institution — a rustic seafood house on the Intracoastal — 14 months ago. He had enjoyed The Cove as a Baltimore teen on a family vacation here.

Ambience: Scaggs spruced the space up, added 19 TVs and making some menu changes. The open-air restaurant, with nearly 400 seats, has lots of dark wood, with nautical items hanging from the rafters. There are plenty of tables by the docks, where many diners arrive by boat, but you can see the water from just about any seat.

What Worked

  • Cocktails like fruity Planters Punch and spiced rum Dirty Banana
  • A wiine list with nine reds and nine whites and nearly 20 labels by the glass,
  • Delicious Mary’s conch fritters-  huge triangles that look like French toast, available as a small (three) or large (six) order and served with cocktail and tartar sauces
  • Starters like chicken wings, smoked fish dip and fresh-shucked oysters
  • Perfectly cooked coconut shrimp served with an orange marmalade dip
  • Light, flaky and flavorful pretzel-crusted grouper – baked fish with a crust of crushed Snyder’s of Hanover Nibblers finished with a drizzle of mustard dill sauce and refreshing kiwi salsa
  • Swordfish over multicolored corkscrew noodles – a generous amount of the meaty fish in a garlicky butter sauce
  • Fresh, juicy and supple blackened dolphin fish sandwich served with crunchy fries
  • The bright Deerfield Salad – blackened or grilled succulent fish fillets set atop a mountain of mixed greens with sliced strawberries, candied pecans, chunks of pineapple, blue cheese crumbles and a summery strawberry balsamic vinaigrette
  • Cool, creamy, housemade Key lime pie with just the right pucker

What Didn’t Work

  • Average, too-thick New England clam chowder in need of more seasoning
  • A disappointing baked seafood platter with bland sea scallops and overcooked jumbo shrimp