When the owners of the Ravenous Pig announced, in October, that they would be moving the popular restaurant up the road, the original space was immediately snatched up by Fred Thimm for a new concept, Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar. That restaurant opened in February.
Thimm, former vice president and chief operating officer of Hard Rock International, said when we spoke in October that he had always been in love with coastal cuisine and that his intention was to create a coastal kitchen in an inland setting.
The idea was to create “a contemporary version of a classic fish camp,” which, the restaurant’s website explains, were simple, rustic eateries established during the Depression to provide workers and families “fuss-free fresh fish” (a phrase I will not attempt to utter when this review airs on WMFE-90.7).
Who knew Lakeland could have such a wonderful restaurant?
Not to demean Lakeland, but I’ve never thought of it as a dining destination, rather a place one passes through on the interstate on the way to the coast to check out a new restaurant in Tampa or St. Pete or somewhere down the coast. Lakeland, I’d surmised, was the sort of place you’d find Harry’s, the Florida chainlet “seafood bar and grille” that indeed sits on a corner across from downtown’s Munn Park.
But just around the corner, in the middle of a block on Main Street, you’ll find Posto 9, a destination-worthy restaurant with charm, atmosphere and very good food.