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Good Eats in Destin. Florida Area

I will be staying at Baytowne Village in late August. I am looking for a great spot to celebrate my birthday. Don't mind driving. As far as price goes I am looking for $20-$30 entrees. Please give your recomendations.

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  1. The Marina Cafe on the waterfront in Destin is outstanding open for dinner only with nice views. Cafe Tango and Cafe 30 A are both excellent. Restaurant Fire is a very nice place to celebrate.

    Marina Cafe @ 404 Harbor Boulevard, Destin, FL 850 - 837 - 7960.
    Cafe 30 A @ 3899 East County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 850 - 231 - 2166.
    Cafe Tango @ 14 Vicki St., Santa Rosa Beach, FL 850 - 267 - 0054.
    Restaurant Fire @ 55 Clayton Lane, Grayton Beach, FL 850 231 - 9020.

    1. I'm not an expert on Destin, but I REALLY enjoyed Cuvee Bistro when I visted over Memorial Day weekend. Everything I tried was exceptional. Nice ambience, too...smallish, cozy and not touristy.


      188 E Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176

      4 Replies
      1. re: sweet_polly

        Cuvee is outstanding. Chef Tim Creehan has been in Destin quite a while. This may be his second restaurant. I think he still owns Beach Walk in Destin. He's a great chef.


        188 E Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176

        Beach Walk Cafe
        2996 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL 32541

        1. re: Littleman

          Beach Walk closed a few years back, leaving a whole bunch of unhappy creditors behind. He also had an unsuccessful financial run with that steakhouse out by the outlet mall.

          Seems like Cuvee is a good fit for him- he's back in the kitchen doing by all accounts a good job, and someone else is in charge of keeping the books and making sure vendors are paid.

          If you like sushi, I'll throw in a recommendation for Sushimoto in the strip mall where Meltin Pot is. Pretty minimalist atmosphere, but I'll put the sushi itself a little ahead of previous leader Osaka.

          188 E Granada Blvd, Ormond Beach, FL 32176

          Beach Walk Cafe
          2996 Scenic Highway 98, Destin, FL 32541

          1. re: beachmouse

            Agree with all three! Don't know if I'd celebrate at Sushimoto with a 20-30 entree. But Beach Walk Henderson with Chef John Sallaman, And Cuvee Bistro with Creehan and Baltazahar are reason to celebrate!! - 30AEATS

          2. re: Littleman

            Creehan is great. Does not own Beach Walk at Henderdon any longer.

        2. Commander's Palace near the bridge on W side of Destin has great food and the view is outstanding. I would not hesitate going there.

          Commander's Palace @ 34 Harbor Boulevard #230, Destin, FL 850 - 337 - 8555.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Littleman

            Commander's closed October '10. According to the obit in the Destin Log the recession was to blame.

            1. I would drive out to Grayton Beach to the Red Bar for dinner. Go early as it is packed by 6. Great food (limited options...they generally have 5 or 6 entrees on the menu to choose from) but the prices and service are fabulous and the area is beautiful. For a weekend breakfast, skip the crowds at the Donut Hole on 98 and take the 30-A exit off of 98 and stop at the Liar's Club Cafe (adjacent to Stinky's Fish Camp) in Santa Rosa Beach. They accommodated our party of 13 with a smile, and our breakfast was fantastic. The service was great and the vibe old Florida. If you happen to be close to Blue Mountain Beach on an evening when Redd is performing at Sally's Backside, don't miss it. It was one of the highlights of our trip. Have a great trip and Happy Birthday. The weather and beaches were beautiful for us last week!

              Stinky's Fish Camp
              5960 W County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

              1 Reply
              1. re: advisor59

                Red Bar and Stinky's AND Louis Louis are fun, delicious but different than the others I suggested. Depends on if you are looking for more of quiet fine dining, or louder eclectic crowd!

              2. Thanks for the suggestions.

                1. I would go to Marlin Grill at Baytowne then you can take the golf cart back to your room. Happy birthday. Good luck.

                  Marlin Grill @ 9100 Baytowne Wharf Blvd., Destin, FL 850 - 351 - 1990.

                  Marlin Grill
                  9100 Baytowne Wharf Blvd, Destin, FL 32550

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Littleman

                    Also a good idea! Great Steaks and Martinis! Chef did cook at Commanders Palace NOLA, as did Chef Cunningham of V Seagrove NOLA and DESTIN. Both excellent Chefs.
                    Commander's in Destin is closed. Cunningham was the Executive Chef their, now at V Seagrove!

                  2. If you are willing to spend a little more ($25-35), don't miss Cafe Tango, which offers the most creative and tasty food in a romantic setting. it is my favorite spot in that part of the world.

                    If that is too pricey - consider Red Bar's cousin - Louis Louis, which is closer to where you are staying, and which is a fun, fun place with great food, awesome desserts, and fabulous service. Just remember to bring cash or check or ATM card because they don't accept credit cards (neither does Red Bar).

                    We have not had good luck at either Marina Cafe or Cafe 30A, but a lot of people love them. Both are over your price range unless you go early bird.

                    Fire is another great choice, though again, it is very close to, if not over the top side of your budget.

                    Cafe Tango
                    14 Vicki St, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

                    Louis Louis
                    35 Mussett Bayou Rd, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

                    1. #1 Vintij Wine Botique and Bistro. Chef Jacob just returned from the famed James Beard House with the Pensacola Celebrity Chefs, Been eating at his restaurant since 1999 when doors opened. You will not be disappointed!
                      #2 Fish Out of Water, Watercolor Chef Klang
                      #3 V Seagrove, Seagrove Chef Cunningham
                      #4 Edward's Rosemary Beach, Chef Ed
                      #5 Beach Walk Henderson Beach, Gulf View Sunset on State Park Beach is Amazing, Chef John Sallaman
                      #6 Cuvee Bistro Owner/Ex. Chef Tim Creehan on site in kitchen
                      Fire, La Crema Tapas And Chocolate, Cafe Thirty-A...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: 30AEATS

                        Glad to see this thread is current as we're planning a visit to Grayton Beach in a couple weeks. Culinary highlight of our last visit was tasting menu at V Seagrove, Fish out of water paled a bit in comparison. Looking forward to trying the others on your list!! Any info on which are closed on Sundays and/or Memorial day would be appreciated.

                        1. re: Sam Spade

                          I realize chef's tasting is a different experience than regular dining, that being said, the star of our trip once again was V Seagrove where Chef Alex Naeger totally rocked!! On his rec went to Paradis in Rosemary Beach which was our next favorite, close behind was Fire. Red Bar and Local Catch made for a nice contrast in that they weren't overrun with leathery old retired white folks.

                      2. Ocean Club - just East of the SanDestin gate on the Gulf side. Vintage supper club atmosphere, good food and drinks, not cheap, $28 grouper give or take. Pretty much in line with Louis Louis, a couple miles further east, much louder, younger vibe. I really like Stinky's Fish Camp, great food, but not particularly fancy. $20 - $30 also begs the question, are you thinking plus $12 apps, and $8 salads and $6 starch? This would let Cafe 30-A, Fish Out of Water, Mitchell's Seafood back into the equation, but will be close to $100 pp with cocktail, wine, tax and tip. My other comment is that there isn't much beside grouper and snapper, shrimp, that's really special at any of these restaurants. Outside of Crab cakes at Red Bar/Louis Louis, I cannot think of a compelling entree at any of the above.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: chejfeff

                          Cobia is currently running, Black and Red Grouper. Seasonal Mahi, Pompano, Ask for what came in the back door at Cafe Thirty-A, Fish Out of Water, Stinky's. Go to Vintij, you will have a compelling entree. Good stuff. Mitchells's is a chain.

                          1. re: 30AEATS

                            Sam, Glad you had a great trip. Chef Chris at Fire, Chef Adam at Local Catch, Ex. Chef's David , and Sous Alex at V Seagrove are all spectacular choices. Try Edward's in Rosemary on your return for Dinner, Chef Dave Bishops crab cakes for lunch at Bud and Alley's, Red Bar Bloody Marys on sunday and Stinky's Bloody Mary's too! Stinky's has a great brunch! Also, Chef owner George Barnes of Smiling Fish. Excellent Shrimp Creole and Etouffee! I will be at the V Sunday! Now serving brunch!

                        2. Planning a trip to Destin in Feb., so happy I found this thread. Major foodies so looking for restaurants to try.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: xbones

                            Cuvee Bistro and Seegar's steak house. Seegar's is in the Hilton San Destin. Both of these restaurants are excellent.

                            V Seagrove is lovely as well.