HOME > Chowhound > Florida >
What are you cooking today? Get great advice
TELL US

One night out in Destin/30A area

jboeke Aug 18, 2011 06:10 PM

We rented in Vizcaya just east of Destin for a week...me, hubby, toddler + grandparents. My wonderful in-laws have offered to babysit one night so DH and I can have a date night. I'm looking for a really nice dining experience in the area and will drive up to 10miles. Considering Paradis, though the seafood selections were minimal on the online menu. Also Fire and Cafe Tango. Wish i coild find a menu online for Tango! We are mid 30's and looking for romantic spot with great seafood and a decent atmosphere. Pleas comment or add other ideas. Thanks for the help!

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

  1. askdrtodd Oct 9, 2011 06:14 PM

    So just finished our trip, Cafe Thirty-A was way overpriced, not creative, the food was pretty pedestrian, and the server was a dick. Tango Cafe was pricey but good. Stinky's Fish Camp was an excellent lunch, decent beer selection and the food was really tasty. Restaurant V was by far my favorite restaurant in this area to date, and we've had a condo up here for about 7 years now. Beautiful decor, good service, excellent menu, decent (high-ish but given the area pretty reasonable) prices, solid wine list, and acceptable beer choices. Vintij was OK, also kinda pricy, but pretty decent. Had small plates at Chan's Wine World too, near the bridge. Food was above average, good beer/wine selection, but the server was comically bad. Would recommend sitting at the bar and having a couple apps and a glass or three of vino. Not really a dinner spot.

    -----
    Cafe Thirty-A
    3899 E County Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: askdrtodd
      askdrtodd Oct 9, 2011 06:21 PM

      Oh yeah and Fire was pretty good too, but again pretty pricey. Had lunch there, dip trio and brisket tacos. Both were above average but damn man, 50 bucks for lunch (with a beer and glass of wine) is on the high side.

    2. jboeke Sep 4, 2011 10:09 AM

      Thought I'd give a follow up report. We did end up at Cafe Tango for our date night and had a lovely dinner. A bit too much sauch on everything, but the ingredients were wonderful and the fish cooked perfectly. The scallop appetizer was our favorite, with a bit of a sweet, sticky sauce on it and seared beautifully. I would recommend it for the quiet, homey ambiance.
      Other restaurants we tried were as follows:
      Stinky's Fish Camp - as reported on this board, fantastic food. The best grouper sandwich by far, which seems to be the official dish of the beaches along 30A. Shrimp po boy was also good - we loved the homemade smoked tomato tarter sauce. I would highly reccommend!
      Harbor Docks in Destin - chosen by my in-laws to show my toddler the boats nearby. Terrible food, to be frank. Everything was smothered in thick, sticky sauces, crab cake tasted like it had been frozen without a bit of lump meat, and even the salad was swimming in some terrible bottled Italian dressing.
      Shorty's in Grayton Beach - same basic menu as everywhere else, with a few unique choices like fish tacos and softshell crab BLTs. But general sentiment was that Stinky's was 10-times better. But the view of the beach was a nice change Decent overall, but nothing to write home about. Our favorite dish was the heaping order of onion rings, and the french fries were deliscious, so maybe deep fried is the way to go here.
      Amore Pizzeria - ordered this for the kids one night and was a nice change. Toppings weren't great, but the cheese pizza was surprisingly good. Thin, crispy crust. Good, easy choice.
      Goatfeathers - one dinner here, but nothing special. Stick with fried shrimp or similar options - I tried red snapper with the "mueniere" sauce, which just meant it was drowning in a pool of butter. However, the market downstairs was a great option. We bought shrimp and their homemade cocktail sauce and had a really nice shrimp boil at home one day. I just thres some old bay in the water and made a corn/red bell pepper/edamame succotash on the side.

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

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: jboeke
        wekick Sep 7, 2011 01:25 PM

        Harbor docks used to be good but it is off our list for the last 4 years or so. Dewey Destin's is much better and the hushpuppies kill! I do like Goatfeather market(the one in Seagrove) but not the restaurant so much. We like Stinky's too more for lunch than dinner because you can get the entree salads for lunch.

      2. NancyH Aug 27, 2011 10:27 AM

        Cafe Tango was sold last year, and I haven't been back since, though it was my favorite. I'm hearing mostly good reports about the new owners, who've kept the same menu and kitchen help.

        Right next door to Tango is Basmati's, and we've had two nice lunches there.

        Haven't been to Fire since it moved, but it is very reliable.

        Haven't had any experience with Paradis.

        We really enjoyed the Smiling Fish Cafe on our last visit, as well as Marie's, which is more casual but the food is fantastic! Best shrimp and fish on the trip.

        Nick's on 30A is getting great reviews, though we haven't been yet.

        Finally, I'd also recommend Louis Louis on 98 (no reservations taken, no credit cards, checks accepted and ATM on premises) for funky decor, exquisite food (save room for dessert) and a fun time. It can get a little loud on the bar side.

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

        Smiling Fish Cafe
        37 Town Center Loop Unit C8, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: NancyH
          wekick Sep 7, 2011 01:30 PM

          Louis, Louis is owned by the same guy that owns the Red Bar and the the 331(Blue Bar), now closed. We like Nick's on 20 so we will give the one closer a try.

          1. re: wekick
            NancyH Sep 9, 2011 11:47 AM

            Actually, Red Bar is owned by Oli Petitte. 331 was, and Louis Louis is, owned by Oli's brother Philippe. There are a lot of similarities between the two places, but also definite differences. We enjoy them both, but have always had a slight preference for 331/Louis Louis.

            Wekick - please report on the new Nick's when you have a chance!

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

        Show Hidden Posts