Ten years ago Isabel decided the Grandview Fishing Pier was to be no more.
My parents had just moved to Grandview Island, and before their power was even back on, I came to visit from Chicago. That’s when I met Larry Curtis. Two years later I moved here, and I remember having an hour-long conversation with him about the latest John Coltrane release, One Down, One Up. This was probably at the Bayview, a restaurant that fate also had other plans for.
Fast forward to a glorious Sunday in early September, and I’m shaking Larry’s hand and hugging his wife Jackie in their new restaurant, The Grandview Island Grill, located where the Fishing Pier once was. When Jackie says, “See, it’s not too far to drive,” I return quickly:
“For this view, I’d drive to Richmond and back five times a day.”
But don’t think the view is the only reason to hit up GIG. My wife’s brisket was tender and juicy and well-portioned.
The Bayview never had tap beer, but since they were sold out of St. George, I went with a draft of Fat Tire. Their wine and mixed drinks gave me visions of crashing on my parent’s futon and midnight golf cart rides. My grilled cod was a study in simplicity. While I love fish tacos, and adore the experiments of some of my favorite chefs around here, there’s something about a simple fish sandwich that gets me humming every time.
I’ve written often about the unmistakable feeling inside an independently-owned restaurant in its early stages. As Jackie stood by our table, her eyes flashed when she told us they had a twenty-top coming in a little later. While she and Larry were visibly tired, out of the stress and anxiety you could sense a groove beginning to fall in place. I started thinking about that Coltrane album, and how the title track’s twenty-seven minutes rush forward as if propelled by some unknowable force.
My parents had come to say hello to my wife and I, and as we stood by the gazebo and picnic tables watching the beachgoers play in the water, it was hard not to think about the cyclical nature of things. How a bit of tasty grub, a cold beer, and an amazing view could make the stress of the work week seem like a crazy dream from long ago. I know I’ll be back to the Grandview Island Grill. Hope to see you there.