Neighborhood Joints

The Setai, Carrabba's, Cabana Beach Club: Boardwalk Dining for Locals

An afternoon walk on the boardwalk that stretches between 21st and 46th streets on the Beach can be tourist hell in winter.

But as the scorching heat slows things down, so does the poolside activity. Great time for a walk and a bite, right? Surprisingly, only three resorts actively welcome non-hotel guests.

1. The Setai: Walking north from the walk's beginning, you'll fnd the Setai. A wooden bar and tables covered by umbrellas are a nice refuge from the summer heat. But be prepared to pay up. The Pool and Beach Bar has an extensive menu with appetizers like ceviche ($22) and a charcuterie plate ($18/$36) , followed by a selection of salads and sandwiches including a lump crab meat salad ($18), lobster salad ($35) and a BLT with roasted chicken and tarragon mayonnaise ($18). Cocktails too are price,y but considering rooms start at $800 per night, a decadent lunch is a good way to play "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" for an afternoon.

2. Carrabba's Italian Grill: Ten blocks north the family-friendly Courtyard Marriott beckons diners with their Carrabbas Surfside Tiki Bar. Here you can enjoy daily frozen drink specials ($10) and traditional Carrabbas dishes like calamari ($9), Mediterranean salad ($10), fish tacos ($12) and chicken salad wrap ($11). On the weekends a live band adds a Caribbean flavor and even locals can feel like they're on vacation without breaking the bank.

3. Cabana Beach Club: Right before the boardwalk ends, the Eden Roc's Cabana Beach Club entices with relaxed oceanfront seating. It is the only one where you can actually see the water from your table. A large menu with hotel prices offers something for every taste ranging from coconut shrimp ($14) and fried grouper tacos ($14) to flat iron steak ($27) and sugarcane skewered ahi tuna ($25). Not as pricey as the Setai, but more upscale than Carrabba's, Cabana Beach Club is a good place for that weekend splurge when a beach chair and bottle of water from the Boucher Brothers just doesn't cut it.

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Christina Staalstrom