Dining Profile: Palm Valley Fish Camp
Owners Ben and Liza Groshell opened the newest iteration of the Palm Valley Fish Camp in 2009 as a supplement to their main restaurant, Marker 32.
They took the name (with permission) of the old Palm Valley Fish Camp – which closed several years ago – that sat under the Ponte Vedra Bridge. This, a bright, homey, southern take on a fish camp, sits right on the Intracoastal off N. Roscoe Blvd.
If you include the small bar, about 80 can sit inside what feels like a brightly colored living room, complete with fish-camp decor and driftwood. Outside, an Intracoastal-side patio decorated with loquat trees seats about 25.
The relaxed, decorated fish camp-like seafood restaurant has several beer and wine options, including locally-brewed selections at lunch and dinner six days a week. They are only open for dinner on Mondays.
Visitors can enjoy classic seafood and fish-camp dishes, including favorites from Cape Cod, but with a Florida twist. There is also a kids menu.
How would you describe the restaurant’s atmosphere?
There’s lots of sunlight, driftwood on the walls, bright colors with a tin roof. It’s Florida cracker meets fish camp. It’s designed to look like a little house. It’s got hardwood floors, some nice pictures on the walls and windows surrounding the whole dining room.
What is your food philosophy?
We deliver simplicity and do it well. We serve basic stuff, keep it consistent and done well. It’s approachable for all, rich and poor, foodie or not. We’re approachable.
What type of cuisine do you specialize in?
It’s Southern seafood with a heavy Florida influence. We do serve some classic fish-camp dishes as well, like cod and clam belly. We are southern seafood.
What is your signature dish?
We are known for our blackened mahi over collards with a heavy gravy. We also have a fresh local catch daily, that depends on what’s in season. We source local as much as possible, like Mayport or St. Augustine shrimp, and local fish for our catch of the day.
What would you recommend for a first timer?
Shrimp and grits. Fried green tomatoes. For a full experience. Our shrimp and grits are a little different than they do them in Charleston. There’s no sausage or bacon. We do our garlic thyme grits topped with shrimp and our mixed confetti veggies served on top.