Editors' pick

Gilligan's Pier

$$$$ ($15-$24)

Editorial Review

Palm trees, a wide sandy beach and a volleyball net signal that this is not just a waterside restaurant -- it's a destination, great for families during the day, enveloped by the bar crowd in the evening.

Whatever time you go, wade out to one of several high picnic tables perched on the water. While it's beverages-only there, your feet get to be the harbingers of incoming or outgoing tides.

When you're hungry, head to the covered deck. Appetizers such as seafood nachos are designed for sharing: The portions are huge. The menu's text is a hoot, including the guarantee that "If you're not served in 10 minutes, then you'll be served within twenty, thirty, forty or fifty." In other words, relax.

Rock bands perform Wednesday nights and weekends and may have folks dancing on the beach.

Notable: In a European touch, you swipe your credit card tableside. It never leaves your hand.

Small boats pull up to the beach. Others tie up at the free dock or hail the free water taxi. Overnighting is okay.

--Ann Cameron Siegal, June 2010