Duffy’s brightens food, beer pairings at Stoneybrook
Posted March 29, 2015 | No Comments.
Big changes have come to the old Stoney’s location in Estero with the recent addition of Duffy’s Sports Grill.
Adjacent to the Stoneybrook Golf Course pro shop, the space had been dark, dreary and lacking in good food and atmosphere. However, now all that has changed. The space is now light, airy and family-friendly— with a broad selection of food and beer to match.
With 28 restaurants in Florida from Melbourne to Miami, Duffy’s chose this space in Estero for its first west coast location because, according to Director of Marketing Sandy Nelson, they saw the “growth potential and that it was surrounded by a vibrant community.” In fact, Duffy’s business model is second generation restaurant — they look for a spot with opportunities and grab it.
The restaurant offers quality, classic American food, as well as a small, but unique, craft beer selection. The menu includes many traditional sports bar favorites such as barbecue ribs, pastas, fresh salads, burgers and wings. However, the restaurant can accommodate just about everyone’s tastes, from vegetarian to gluten-free to a healthy options menu that is less than 580 calories.
There are about 10 draft beers and another 10 available in the bottle, including several from Florida. All drinks, except some crafts in bottles, are two for one every day.
As an appetizer, the Firecracker Shrimp provides an Asian flair. Consisting of fried shrimp covered in a creamy, spicy sauce, this starter is accompanied by a cucumber salad, a Chinese takeout box and chopsticks. Not as spicy as similar dishes at other restaurants, but the sauce still maintains a kick at the end. Even those who are spice-averse will like this dish.
The spice still needs a beer with some flavor to pair, and Dale’s Pale Ale by Colorado’s Oskar Blues is just such a beer. This beer has a toasty and caramel taste that refreshes but still finishes with a classic pale ale bitterness that complements the spice.
A classic pairing is barbecue ribs with a darker Belgian-style ale, so for one entree the Baby Back Ribs was paired with a Florida beer, Inlet’s Monk in the Trunk. The ribs are basted in a tangy barbecue space that gives powerful smoky flavors with a hint of tomato and sweetness. The meat falls right off the bone and, according to Nelson, this is a crowd favorite. Even just the half rack is a full meal and the grilled zucchini served on the side, as well as a generous helping of coleslaw, complete the dish.
The Belgian yeast in Monk in the Trunk gives a typical spicy nose but the amber malt in the beer imparts a toasty and caramel taste. All of these flavors complement the barbecue sauce, with the herbal flavors of the beer pairing with similar flavors in the sauce and the toastiness of the beer going well with the smoke.
Finally, the lobster roll was tried. According to Nelson, Duffy always offers some type of lobster dish but it may vary seasonally. Unlike many lobster rolls, this one is overflowing with Maine lobster meat. In fact, the mayonnaise is much understated with the Old Bay Seasoning and hint of onion prevailing. Served with a side of fries and on a lightly toasted roll, this is a lobster roll not often found in Southwest Florida.
A New England lobster roll is best served with a light New England beer featuring hints of citrus flavors. Harpoon’s UFO White is a light Belgian white beer brewed with orange peel. The citrus in the beer is flavor forward, giving the result of a traditional citrus and seafood pairing.
Duffy’s offers a variety of weekday lunch deals including soup and salads starting at just $5.99 and Home Plate Specials for $8.99. On Thursdays, a half rack of baby back ribs is just $9.95 and on Mondays any entree is just $12.95, including a full rack of ribs. According to Nelson, the parking lot at lunch can often look full because of the number of golfers but the restaurant still often has seating.
If you want to watch a favorite sporting event, think of Duffy’s. With more than 100 televisions throughout the space, you are never more than a few feet away from one. The new outdoor patio also features several roll-out televisions that can be viewed while also watching the golfers on the course.
Right now signage is lacking but Duffy’s is located at the Stoneybrook Golf Course at the corner of Corkscrew Road and Ben Hill Griffin Parkway across from Miromar Outlets and the Grande Oak Shoppes.