The Moon Under Water Restaurant and British Tavern in St. Petersburg, FL
While in the downtown St. Petersburg area you have to try a great restaurant that makes you feel like you are in an authentic English Pub with a Key West feel. The Moon Under Water features Traditional Colonial English pub food as well as Indian Curry dishes in a laid back and fun atmosphere.
The Moon Under Water is a quirky name but has a great story behind it. Back in the 18th century British Recruiting Sergeants would have quotas of new recruits to fill and would eventually resort to trickery. The only requirement for acceptance by the new recruits would be by them taking a Queen’s Shilling. Recruiters would sometimes find a drunk and, without them knowing, drop the Shilling in their pint. Automatic acceptance was accomplished when their mouth hit the ale. To counteract this, the pubs created a glass bottom pewter tankard so that if there were ever any suspicion of foul play, you could see the bottom before you drank—hence the term “The Moon Under Water.”
Upon entering The Moon Under Water you will first notice the distinct uniqueness of it in comparison to the other establishments lining Beach Drive and the Museum of Fine Arts district. From the street the building is white washed with mahogany stained wood and an authentic looking pub sign that makes anyone entering feel like they have something different and almost compels you to go in. When entering the interior, you will be amazed at how authentic everything from the floors to the bar and even the advertisements really make you feel like you are in a pub in England. The atmosphere is not the only reason to go there, if you hadn’t forgotten they have food!
First and foremost they are known for their Fish & Chips as well as their Curry dishes. The Curries, a Moon Signature Dish, comes either Mild, Medium, or Hot and is served with a basmati rice and poppadum. You have the option of getting Chicken, Beef Tenderloin Tips, Shrimp, or Tofu and Vegetable. Their Traditional Fish & Chips are a 10 oz cold water cod served with fries, peas, and tartar sauce and their Moon Fish Fry Basket features cod, clam strips, coleslaw and fries. Their pastry dishes look amazing and will probably be ordered next time. They include the English Pastry as well as the Potato Onion & Cheese Pastry but what traditional English Pub wouldn’t be complete without British Bangers & Mash?
One of their lunchtime customer favorites would be the Guinness Burger that is an 8 oz ground beef patty blended with caramelized onions topped with Swiss cheese that was great and the perfect pick-me-up lunch item that would be even better with a tap ale. They also offer Veggie Burgers, a Cuban, Gyro, Jerk Chicken, as well as a Coronation Chicken Sandwich that has lightly curried chicken salad. They offer Feta, Chicken, Lamb, and Shrimp Taboule all served in a Tortilla Shell with hummus and pita bread as well as a Moon Cobb Salad with curried chicken, a Coronation Chicken Salad, Thai Chicken Salad with roasted garlic chicken, and a Caesar Salad. Their Macaroni Cheese Bites are definitely a Must Try if into fried appetizers but they also have Cheese & Potato Pirogues, Shrimp Spring Rolls, and a Thai Crab Curry Soup.
Anytime you are in the downtown Museum of Fine Art district, you need to make a stop in at The Moon Under Water British Colonial Tavern, have a pint or two and order up some seriously remarkable food. If you are looking for peace and quiet while eating, avoid Friday and Saturday nights—you’ll end up singing with everyone around you!