Gibby's serves some very good food, but in a very loud atmosphere. Not loud wallpaper or loud carpeting. Loud as in din. A din more fitting to a wind-down-after-work bar than to a restaurant where the kitchen seems to have its act very together.
We arrived when the bar was full and thought that was the source of the din. We later realized, after the bar area had pretty well emptied, that it was our fellow diners and the harsh acoustics that were creating so much noise.
In other words, this isn't a place to cure a headache or to engage in intimate conversation, unless it's intimate conversation shouted to be heard over lots of other people shouting to be heard over. . .
What Gibby's is, if you accept the din, is a place for seriously good food in a casual atmosphere.
Gibby's offers a large selection of fresh seafood that can be broiled or fried. There is an interesting list of House Specialties, // including filet of Flounder Florentine and orange roughy with fresh tomatoes, onions and melted cheese. While innovative seafood preparations dominate the menu, steamed crabs and a small selection of poultry and red-meat dishes are also available.
My husband and I began with spiced, steamed shrimp. It turned out to be the best either of us has ever had. Both large and jumbo shrimp are available by the half-pound or the whole pound. We had half a pound of the jumbo -- nine huge shrimp -- for $8.95.
It would easily have made a lunch for one person and, as an appetizer, was enough for the two of us. Enough, except that it was so good, so perfectly spicy -- redolent of Old Bay without burning the tongue -- and so perfectly cooked that we yearned for more. With the shrimp came excellent cocktail sauce.
I wished I had just ordered a pound as dinner. Fortunately, however, the rest of the meal was nearly as good.
After the shrimp, my husband had a salad, which was all one can hope for in a salad included in the price of the entree -- crisp, colorful, tasty.
ZTC For an entree, I had the Swordfish Steak ($15.95). It was grilled and served with a light lemon-butter sauce that let the flavor and tenderness of the swordfish shine. It was served with a baked potato and an unusually delicious blend of cucumbers and tomato wedges in vinaigrette.
My husband picked one of the nightly specials, Grouper Cortez ($16.95). It proved to be a beautiful treatment:
The grouper, with light Mexican seasoning, rested on a large bed of red beans and rice and was garnished with a few pepper rings. The fish, like the shrimp, was perfectly cooked, and was nicely complemented by the other ingredients.
The grouper came with buttered new potatoes that were -- surprise -- very good.
Our bill, including two drinks, a carafe of wine, two coffees and one dessert (not homemade) was $57.07.
Our only significant complaint was with the loaf of bread placed on our table. Althoughh it looked appetizing, it was oddly sweet and inappropriate for the beginning of a meal.
Despite the noise, we were able to hhear our friendly, conscientious waitress, who told us shhe was new, and thanked us for not being in a hhurry. The service, like thhe food, was surprising given our first impression of the place.
Gibby's Seafood Restaurant
22 W. Padonia Road
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday.
Reservations: For parties of five or more only.
Credit cards: Major credit cards accepted.
Handicapped access: Accessible.
Smoking: Separate areas designated