Panhandle - anything new near Destin?
- Niki in Dayton Jan 22, 2009 06:18 AM
We'll be in the Destin area in a few weeks and are wondering if there are any new chow-worthy places to try. We're willing to drive a bit and like all types of food. We've been to Harbor Docks and to some places near Santa Rosa on previous trips. All suggestions, for all types of food (seafood, ethnic, etc.) from hole-in-the-wall to upscale are welcome!
Thanks in advance!
Niki - check out this board: http://www.sowal.com. Lots of great info from the locals.
Three of our favorites from past years have closed: Blue Orleans, Locanda Ristorante and Beachwalk Cafe.
We are told that great food is now part of the scene at Chan's Wine & Cheese.
Our "short list" for this year is shaping up like this:
Nick's Seafood on Highway 20 L, D
Café Tango D
Fabrice B,L, D
Gravel Road L, D
Bloom's Café D (Th-Sat), BR (Sun)
D&K’s Beach Cafe and Oyster Bar L, D (T-Sat
)Stinky’s Fish Camp, D, BR (Sat/Sun only)
Camille's at Crystal Beach B, L, D
Dewey Destin's L
Harbor Docks B, L, D
Vin Tij, L, D
Smiling Fish Café, L, D
Seagrove Market L, D
Since you love wine, you'd probably love Vin Tij, which is on 98, and which features lots of wine (and flights available with or without meals for a more extensive tasting experience).
We'd also love some updates from you Hounds in the know; we'll be going there soon also. How is D&K doing? That ties with Cafe Tango as our favorite FWB eats.
Biggest happy surprise of the trip was the new Commander's Palace in Destin. Delicious food, really nice people, happy drinks. Second best newcomer was Senor Mojitos at the food of the 331 Bridge - we enjoyed some snackies and an awesome Flaming Pineapple cocktail there. Honorable mentions to La Botana (way east on 30A) and Nick's (Rt. 20 in NIceville).
Thanks to Nancy for recommending Nicks and Stinky's. We hit Nick 's on the way into town. The first time we drove by the closed sign was up...by the time we looped around and came back by they were open. As they're closed on Mondays, not everything was available -- they couldn't make fried tomatoes and only had 2 kinds of fish (mullett -- which my husbands thinks tastes like bait and catfish). Anyhow, we had the best fried oysters here and the best fried shrimp as well. We ordered one sandwich with oysters and one with shrimp, and one side of fries and one with cole slaw. We split them both.The oysters were sweet, plump and tender. Really fresh tasting. And the shrimp was quite good as well. Especially liked the very light batter. Pretty good homemade cole slaw too. Glad we came here for lunch, as it's a bit out of the way and would have been lost here at night. But certainly would stop here again -- no frills, nice view of the water and the roosters -- and a friendly waitress. Oh, yeah --skip the gumbo, though. It's not worth the price and fairly bland with mainly leftover shredded fish and a few pieces of okra. We tried Stinky's for dinner. My husband had oyster shooters -- six of them -- and said they were tender and sweet with a little kick (he added hot sauce). Gave them an A rating. To start, I had the fried green tomatoes appetizer which were topped with crawfish etoufee. The fried tomatoes were 3 firm thick slices (would have been good on their own, too) topped with creamy crawfish. Nice chucks of seafood in a tasty sauce -- needed a touch of salt (and hot sauce for the hubby). My husband's dinner of fried oysters was okay, but not nearly as good as the fried ones at Nicks. The batter just didn't match up. I tried another appetizer for my entree -- the baked oysters. Got 3 and 3 -- the bienville were a bit bland -- not like I expected. Tasted like canned tomato sauce and cream mixed together. Although the oyster underneath was fine. The other sauce -- the one with the horseradish and bacon was MUCH better. The menu at Stinky's is pretty extensive plus there are lots of specials and a wide variety of fish choices along with a larger wine selection than you'd expect to find. And their homemade blackberry pie (sans ice cream) was a perfect counterpart after all those creamy oysters.
Dewey Destin's has opened up their second operation on 98 Near AJ's and it has the usual suspects ,but it serves cocktails and has a great deck.I still prepfer the old one though.Zampieris is doing lunch now and they do a good job. Commander's Palace is awesome and has 25 cent Martini's for lunch! Great new coffe shop in Emerald Green on the level overlooking the harbor. Sorry I forget the name. If you've never had a Top's burger, they're great. 86 the fries and stick w/ the tater tots(east of the Commons). The Red Bar in Graton Beach is a very cool old school beach joint with good food. Good Luck have fun in Destin
Hi Nancy, Dewey's "original" is a down and dirty seafood(primarily)right on the harbor off of Calhoun St. Follow their sign, or dock your boat, and you'll swear that there can't be anything down there. It's basically a dock with tables and chairs, the kitchen is a trailer that in bad weather can be towed to higher ground, There is no service per se. You stand in line (usually for a while!) and order, get your own beverages, and the servers come out and yell your name when the food is ready.No booze, just beer and wine. Shrimp Basket is great. Prepared in the usual manner around here i.e. lightly breaded w/ a zatarains type seafood coating and fried. Dress casual.