MadFish Restaurant – Going Mad for Land & Sea in St. Pete Beach

MadFish Restaurant – Going Mad for Land & Sea in St. Pete Beach

When I first moved to St. Pete, I was convinced that I would frequent the beach for the sunshine and good food… but sometimes, life gets away from you and it doesn’t always work out the way you think. Last weekend, after nearly a year of living in St. Pete, I finally decided to try out one of the many great restaurants in St. Pete Beach, MadFish Restaurant.

MadFish Restaurant appears to be a retro diner from the outside, but once inside you’re instantly transported to what almost feels like the interior hull of a ship, from dark wood booths, tables, and the beautiful wine bar.

Before arriving at MadFish, after only viewing the menu online, I was set on ordering seafood for my appetizers and entrée. We asked our server, Matt, to make some recommendations from the menu and one of the first things he said was, “even though our name is MadFish, don’t sleep on the steak.” Instantly my mind was changed from ordering a seafood entrée to ordering a steak. But first, appetizers!

Since all our minds were now set on land for entrées, we decided to swim in the sea for our appetizers. We started with the Drunken Island Shrimp and the Scallop Special. The Drunken Island Shrimp is served in a delicious, creamy garlic sauce with a side of Cuban bread to sop up the remaining sauce.

MadFish Drunken Shrimp with Cuban Bread
Drunken Shrimp with Cuban Bread


The Scallop special had four perfectly pan seared scallops accompanied by chorizo, beets, feta, and pickled vegetables. All the elements of the dish were separated on the plate, so we were able to have a little fun with it and create our own unique bite each time. The perfect bite for me was scallop, a little chorizo, and a bit of the pickled veggies (sweet, spicy, tangy).

MadFish Scallops with Chorizo, Beets, Feta, and Pickled Veggies
Scallops with Chorizo, Beets, Feta, and Pickled Veggies

It is very rare for me to order a steak when I’m out to eat, but Matt convinced me it was the right choice. He informed us that their steaks are cut and seasoned in house. On the menu they have a variety of cuts from Filet, T-bone, Angus Ribeye, New York Strip, or The Chateaubriand Experience for Two (30oz of Finest Quality Tenderloin Cooked Medium-Rare).

As tempting as it was for me to order the Chateaubriand for Two, I decided to go with the Angus Ribeye (for one) accompanied by their peppercorn steak sauce. The steak had a salt and pepper crust and was cooked perfectly medium-rare with the fatty edges melting in my mouth. My guests ordered the T-bone and The Pork Tenderloin, we shared bites of each others dishes and agreed that all three dishes were equally appetizing.

MadFish Pork Tenderloin
Pork Tenderloin

We finished off our meals with dessert. Matt let us know that all the desserts are made in-house, outside of the Banana’s Foster Cheesecake (provided by Mike’s Pies). I can never resist a Key Lime Pie, so that was the obvious choice for me, and we also ordered the Crème Brule, and Banana’s Foster Cheesecake. Each dessert was as delectable as the next.

If you’re out and about in St. Pete Beach – run, don’t walk to MadFish Restaurant. This may have been my first visit, but it will not be my last.

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Fun Fact: In addition to serving at MadFish, Matt is also the wine curator. The wine list has a great variety of options, so we decided to have wine pairings with each course.

MadFish Restaurant
  • Readers Rating
  • Rated 4.2 stars
    4.2 / 5 (42 )
  • Your Rating

  • MadFish Restaurant
  • (727) 390-9200
  • Seafood, Steak, Beach Food
    • Sun - Sat 4:00pm - 10:00pm
  • View menu
  • Take Reservations: Yes!
  • 5200 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach, Florida 33703,

Seafood and Steak in a Diner Atmosphere in St. Pete Beach

DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, Haley, Lindsey & Mahika do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner. We do not include any large national or regional chains in our ratings and reviews. We focus on independent locally owned eateries exclusively.

PLEASE NOTE: Reviews reflect a certain moment in time. Some restaurants stay extremely consistent over many years, and some change for the better or worse. Some things that may change are: chefs, recipes, food suppliers, ingredients, philosophies, ownership, etc. We always hope that you have the same good, or great experience we had.

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7 Responses

  • My husband and I are are frequent visitors to St Pete’s Beach (moving there soon) and a few years ago we ate there and there was nothing we liked about it. The ambiance was dark, crowded and noisy, the service was slow and indifferent and the entree I ordered was nearly inedible, it really was awful. Now when we drive by Madfish, we’re always surprised it’s still open…. maybe lots of first time visitors that never return?

    • Hi Donna, Thank you for your comment. The restaurant is dark, but many are. The sound level was fine for us, but we did dine on a slower Sunday Evening. Our service was great from the start (I did not mention I was writing this article until the server was already comfortable with our table). It’s noted that you went years ago.. It was my first visit, but everything was amazing and I definitely plan on going back. I recommend you give it a second chance.

    • Donna, I’m sorry you had that experience, but it was definitely an anomaly. Lori and I went a few years ago and loved it back then. Also, when we posted the link to this on FB, we got TONS of rave reviews and people saying that it is one of their favorites.

    • I think you went before Chef Oliver purchased it. I did as well and I would agree with this review if it was not under new ownership now. You need to give it another try and you will be amazed. Food is awesome, just make sure you make reservations if in season, place is small and it gets busy. Mad Fish is one of our favorite places to eat on the beach now that it is run by a top notch chef.

  • Mad Fish on SPB changed hands a few years back and it is now run by Chef Oliver. The place is not the same as what that reviewer describes above. It’s cleaner, servers love what they do, they have a nice out side seating area, and the food is phenomenal. We have been to Mad Fish several times and through all phases, and I can honestly say, it is a top notch establishment now.

    “Patrons are raving about the food prepared by Chef Oliver, who trained for ten years under a Michelin Star Chef in the U.K. Perfectly cooked steaks, seafood and chef’s specialty items all seem to be prepared with equal skill and attention to detail. His signature dish, Beef Wellington is a popular special at Madfish.”

  • We love Madfish! Such a treasure, and one of the few beach side good restaurants. Their steaks are incredible and the inside is so cute and romantic. We have also brought our 4 year old and haven’t felt out of place. It’s nice to have a delicious steak with a fancy but somehow still casual vibe.

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