I almost forgot I was in Arizona when we walked into High Tide Seafood Bar & Grill for the first time. The decorations, colors, and atmosphere seemed more suited for a beach city. Ship decorations and portraits of whales and marine life adorn the walls and bring the experience to life! I’d be lying if I said that this wasn’t exactly what we wanted, seeing as how we were anxious to try some fresh seafood and heard that this was just the place to do so. Fresh and delicious seafood can be hard to find in a desert city; although you would never know that by experiencing the menu at High Tide. And if you are in the mood for more of a land dish than a sea dish, rest easy knowing that your ingredients are locally-sourced from Tempe’s Capistrano’s Bakery and Queen Creek’s The Pork Shop. Supporting local ingredients is a big priority for Elite!
The seafood for High Tide is flown in daily and they specialize in steam kettle cooking. The custom Terrazzo counter provides an in depth personal view into the process as you watch chefs steaming and mixing the Steam Pot specials. A giant silver crab in the center of this palatial steam pot spread welcomes you to the experience as you watch your dishes being freshly cooked and served. Steam kettle cooking uses high pressure steam to indirectly heat your fish; allowing the flavors to remain intact and savory without overcooking. It’s quite a marvel to watch!
The cocktail menu is packed with refreshing cocktails with the flavors you want to see to compliment the crisp and refreshing seafood dishes. We started with the Raspberry Lemonade Mule with homemade raspberry puree and ginger beer; mules are easily one of our favorite cocktail creations of all time so we were excited to try this one out. It was delicious! And the fact that it was served in a julep-cup struck me as creative as well as completely-fitting of the beachy atmosphere. The Clooney Summer was our next order. This cocktail consists of tequila, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, and muddled strawberries and basil. When I think “fresh”, I think “basil” so this was a perfect concoction for me!
For appetizers, we went with the Cajun Style Shrimp Boil first. Fresh and cooked perfectly, the shrimp were supported by a Cajun sauce and charred sweet corn relish. The Crab Cake might have been my favorite item of the entire evening! This giant crab cake is served with lemon aioli, fried avocado, and micro greens. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have never had a fried avocado, I can’t recommend enough that you give it a whirl! It proved to be the perfect compliment to the flavors provided by the lemon aioli and a crunch to the tenderness of the crab cake itself.
For dinner, we enjoyed the Seared Jumbo Scallops with creamy herb orzo, tomato caper relish, and grilled asparagus with citrus beurre blanc sauce. The scallops were cooked to perfection with just the right amount of glaze provided by the accompanying sauces. Capers are always a welcome addition to my plate so the flavors they provide do nothing less than make this dish “pop”. The Pan Seared Pacific Halibut was served with a lobster beurre blanc risotto and grilled asparagus. I get a little giddy inside when I read the words “beurre blanc sauce” and this menu seemed to have it everywhere; making me one happy camper. All in all, wonderful and surprising flavors to this seafood menu. But don’t forget the land items on this menu! We didn’t have a chance to order the Surf and Turf Burger, although we plan on doing so sometime soon. This burger is buttery king crab, lettuce, tomato, and remoulade sauce on a fresh burger served on toasted brioche. But, what we did get a chance to try is the Famous Buttermilk Fried Chicken. Yes, fried chicken. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to order this dish when you visit! Served with Yukon mashed potatoes, garlic green beans, hot sauce, and drizzled with local honey, this proved to also be a home run for High Tide.
Cheers and Bon Appétit, Food Lovers!