Smiling, upbeat Terry Upton, the lodge manager, had greeted Stokes and me at the airport when we arrived the previous afternoon. Once at the lodge, stepping into the Great Room made us immediately feel at home. There's a fully stocked self-serve bar, a big-screen TV surrounded by comfortable couches, a coffee table covered with magazines, tarpon and bull redfish mounts and fish photos gracing the walls. The huge windows showcase a view of Redfish Bay, which guests can also enjoy from the porch that lines most of the back side of the lodge.
Shoal Grass' full-time chef, Tom Robertson, already had appetizers waiting. We were warned not to eat too much since dinner is quite a production around here, but somehow that didn't prepare us for the full spread Robertson laid out on the dining table. Starting with a fresh salad and ending with his homemade desserts, each dinner at the lodge is an offering from Robertson that's based on what's available that day and what strikes his fancy. From spicy Southwestern fare to fresh blackened seafood and choice beef, I can honestly say that not one bad morsel came out of the kitchen.