There’s certainly no lack of seafood in St. Pete, but a new restaurant in St. Pete is introducing a different twist. Ragin’ Reef, a casual seafood spot, is now open at 5281 Park Street North, in the same plaza as local favorite Carmelita’s Mexican.
Ragin’ Reef describes itself as “a casual Maryland seafood restaurant with a slightly Southern twist.” The new spot made its debut this summer, and the early reviews say it’s more than worth a visit. The seafood-forward menu showcases more than two dozen items, from apps and entrees to “reef baskets,” to tacos, skewers and salads. The restaurant also offers beer and wine.
We’ve yet to make a visit to this new spot, but several of the items have our attention, from the “wicked shrimp” and lobster and spin queso, to the Crabb ‘No’ Cakes, baked haddock, and scallop skewers. Ragin’ Reef takes pride in their crab cakes, which one early reviewer complimented was “REAL lump crab in their crab cakes with very little filler.”
Said another review just this week: “What do you want from a local seafood joint that caters to locals and not tourists? How about flawlessly fresh seafood, perfectly cooked, and at a very fair price? … This is a tiny, unprepossessing place, so don’t expect table lines, but do expect great proteins. So give Ragin Seafood a thought when you feel like fresh seafood in a non-corporate setting. This is the kind of hidden gem that deserves a chance.”
The family-run restaurant is owned and operated by a couple from Maryland, who opened the original Ragin’ Reef in Frederick, MD more than a decade ago. This is only their second location, and based on the reviews, the couple is hard at work in the kitchen and serving tables here in St. Pete.