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Take A Culinary Journey to the Middle Grounds Grill on Treasure Island

Take a drive on Gulf Boulevard, and whether you’re heading north or south you’ll find yourself on Treasure Island, home to a local favorite for fresh seafood, steaks and signature entrees.

We took some time to catch up with the Middle Grounds Grill Executive Chef, Justin Cotton to find what inspires his cooking, and focus on one of the signature entrees Middle Grounds Grill is best known for, their Three Nut Crusted Grouper.

Middle Grounds Grill

Middle Grounds Grill – How they got their name.

The name “Middle Grounds Grill” was inspired by the famous Florida Middle Grounds, located approximately 100 miles off the Treasure Island coast; world class angling destination that is known for its abundance of fish. Middle Grounds Grill prides itself on providing diners with only the finest, fresh catches the sea has to offer.

Middle Grounds Grill

The Middle Grounds Grill – a Menu That Says it All.

The Middle Grounds Grill menu speaks for itself. Arrive hungry and you can start with appetizers like their Seared Tuna Sashimi, prepared with sesame seared yellowfin tuna, soy dipping sauce, pickled ginger, cusabi aioli, sriracha sauce and wakame seaweed salad. There is also a Smoked Fish Spread, Lemon Infused Crab Cakes and Coconut Almond Crusted Shrimp just to name a few of the scrumptious appetizers. The menu includes: Certified Angus Steaks, crab legs, lobster tail and pork, chicken and pasta entrees result in a well rounded and diverse offering of dishes from the land and sea that will please the entire family.

Treasure island Restaurants

Justin Cotton, a Local Chef Who Personally Fishes Tampa Bay’s Waters

Locally born and raised in Tampa Bay, Chef Justin enrolled in culinary school at the young age of 18. Justin has fished all of Tampa Bay’s best spots, in addition to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. “Being a local and having grown up in and around the water has enabled me to develop a real appreciation for all things that come from the sea. That translates into my cooking,” said Chef Justin. “Our focus is to prepare the freshest seafood available, with absolute consistency. Our customers should be able to order any one of our entrees today, and have it be exactly the same taste and quality six months from now,” Chef Justin continued.

Seafood Restaurants on Treasure Island

Middle Grounds Grill – Lifelong Ties To The Sea

The Middle Grounds Grill was founded nearly 11 years ago as a transformation from the Coover family’s well-known restaurant: Robby’s Pancake House. Today, that transformation has become a local favorite. This restaurant is casual and fun with an upscale atmosphere. Anyone who loves world-class seafood and steaks will love the Middle Grounds Grill. Like so many others, you may find yourself coming back often.

Middle Grounds Grill – Three Nut Crusted Grouper

Three Nut Crusted Grouper Middle Grounds Grill
Three Nut Crusted Grouper at The Middle Grounds Grill


  • Pistachios
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Walnuts


  • Grind together into a breadcrumb consistency
  • Add salt and pepper to grouper filet and densely cover in three-nut crumbs
  • Oven bake, then place over Coconut Basmati Rice
  • Drizzle with Mango Buerre-Blanc Sauce

Serves 1

Take a drive to the Middle Grounds Grill.

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