YAO Atlanta

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 10/6/21

The moment you step into Yao, you’re met with a long, ornate bar and lounge area that’s dressed to the nines. Beyond the beautiful entry, the dining room is stunning, dotted with blue, cool chairs and a vaulted, soaring ceiling that houses a large wood wall. What Yao does so well is marry the stunning ambiance with the delectable food and sippable cocktails seamlessly. They do everything with beauty and grace, like the stunning Yao’s Ice Cream, gorgeous Salt and Pepper Whole Fish, plump Pork Belly, divine Duck Salad, as well as the amazing cocktails! Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Sitting and gazing into the dining room, we started with two amazing cocktails, the Mr. Yao and the Cherish. The favorite of the two is the Mr. Yao cocktail that starts out sweet, then morphs into a tangy, earthy, sour sip. It’s complex from start to finish with a distinct wine flavor that gives it a defined earthiness! The gorgeous The Cherish is easy on the eyes and the tongue. The cocktail is one part tangy and the other foamy with an almost floral and earthy end. It’s dynamic and sippable.

Moving into the small plates and appetizers, we were thrilled with the little watermelon bite they brought us prior to our meal. It is the cutest little dish in a small spoon with a huge Yao flag sticking out the top. The bite itself is sweet, salty, and an earthy light crunch. It is such a good little bite! Of the appetizers and small plates, we have to state up front, we’re huge pork belly fiends. If it’s on the menu, we get it. If you get one appetizer or small plate at Yao, please get the Pork Belly. It’s a perfectly cooked, tender piece of meat with a rich and buttery first bite finished with a hearty soy back. Plus, the addition of the dried fish gives it extra saltiness to complete the flavor complexity! Some of the best pork belly we’ve ever had, and we’ve had a lot.  Another one of our favorites is the Duck Salad. Absolutely eye-catching and heaping, the skin-on duck itself is rich and crunchy, while the sauce is slightly sweet with tangy pomegranate and earthy pine nuts. The greens brighten this dish, and it’s stellar, never had anything like it.

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On to the entrée, we settled on the Salt and Pepper Fish and we’re so glad we did. Beyond the STUNNING presentation, the fish is flaky inside surrounded by a light crunch and brightened by the tangy scallions and garlic below the fish. Then, we paired it with the Sichuan Green Beans that were a good balance of spice, savory, and crunch. The best part is down in the bottom where the sauce pools. One of the best things you can do here is to mix and match the flavors of the fish and the green beans. It’s divine.

Whatever you do, stay for dessert and the Yao’s Ice Cream is an experience all it’s own. Surrounded by dry ice a served SMOKING, not only is it beautiful and the presentation flawless, but the flavor is creamy and smooth!  The addition of the salted egg yoke provides for a change in flavor profile and texture! Then, you have to eat to the back for a gelatinous surprise! The perfect way to end this fantastic meal.

Are you ready to go Yao? What would you try?

Good Word Brewing: Brunch Edition

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 8/30/21

Crossing over a pair of tracks into a quaint, charming downtown, is an area where local bars, retail, and restaurants dot the shady, tree-lined street. On the corner, Good Word Brewing is a downtown Duluth local gem that prides themselves on unforgettable frosty brews, delectable brunch, and a stellar all-day menu, all in a beautiful OTP downtown. It’s definite, the word is out that Good Word Brewing has a fantastic brunch that should go on your brunch list! With items like this spicy number, gooey cinnamon roll, sensational sausage platter, amazing avocado toast, stellar seasonal hash, beer, brunch cocktails, and even slushies, we were in brunch heaven. Let’s dig in.

Something Good Word is definitely known for is their brews, so we tried a flight with 4 great options. We got Hollow Moon Stout, Are You Living in a Computer Simulation Helles Lager, The Quantum Immortality English Porter, and Face for Radio Pale.  The Hollow Moon Stout that’s roasty and toasty yet mellows on the back was Liz’s favorite, while Are You Living In a Computer Simulation is a Helles Lager that’s smooth and drinkable, great for patio sips and the second favorite. The Quantum Immortality English Porter was malty but light and refreshing with a hint of bitterness. John’s favorite was the Face for Radio that he said was well balanced hops and refreshing. Beyond the brews, they have fun brunch cocktails and slushies! They were out of the slushie, but we tried the South 75. It is botanical gin mixed with bright lemon that starts out tart and almost has a grapefruit end, finished with a splash of bubbly. Who doesn’t love a little bubbly with brunch?

Of the sharable brunch dishes, we opted for the Cinnamon Roll, Sausage Board, and Avocado Toast. Up first is the Cinnamon Roll that’s warm, gooey, sticky sweet and rich! After the sweet hits you, the spiciness of the cinnamon comes in and balances this roll out. The best part is the sticky, sweet middle on the bottom, so start there and work your way up and out. You’ll thank us! Moving from sweet to savory, the sausage board is out of this world! We were most impressed by the presentation and flavors of this board!  Starting with the homemade sausage that’s on one hand spicy, the Marita, and then the other hand bright, Ginger Basil, both pop with flavor. Pair either with pickled vegetables, toast, or mustard, you can’t go wrong. Don’t sleep on the deli sliced sausage with pistachios either; it will melt in your mouth! Finally, we simply had to try the essential Avocado Toast.  It’s creamy and light with the richness of soft-boiled eggs, tangy onion and micro greens. The sesame seasoning and toast give it a crunch and a good dusting of flavor, but not too overpowering. It’s a great overall complete dish with creamy, rich, tangy, and earthy.

Spicy and hearty are two good words to describe our main entrees, Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit and the Seasonal Hash. Our favorite dish of the day, the Nashville Hot Chicken Biscuit, has it all! This spicy bite starts crunchy, tender, and sweet then the kick on the back of the throat is JUST RIGHT. It’s the perfect flavor combination from the warm and sweet honey to the crispy and hearty biscuit, then the crunchy and spicy chicken. The best bite is as you let the biscuit sit in the honey, it becomes a little soft and sucks in all the flavors: spicy, sweet, sassy! Divine. On the other hand, the Seasonal Hash is a staple dish for a hearty appetite. Bright sauce topped with tender, crisp fingerling potatoes that pop in your mouth. Then, tangy onions, peppers round out the hash and topped with a rich, hearty, runny egg. Let the egg run out and mix with the mixture below, that’s the ticket!

After our brunch, we strolled through the rest of the downtown area, with green space, and shops that we thoroughly enjoyed as well. What do you want to try at Good Word Brewing?

Chido & Padre

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/31/21

The multi-colored, vibrant tile juxtaposes to the white, teal, warm wood, and greenery of the updated Chido & Padre double decker patio. This spot has been a staple in the Buckhead community for a while and with a new menu and top to bottom stunning renovation, this spot is simply gorgeous. Whether you want to lounge on the plush couches, swing in one of the swings, or sit at a shady booth, you’ll feel like you’re in Mexico City enjoying a vacation! While you are there, we would recommend sipping on the earthy El Bad Bunny or sparkly Lambrusco Sangria, and tasting the refreshing Seasonal Crudo, Smoked Octopus Tostada, street corn, rich Pollo Con Mole or Carnitas, and dynamite Duck Sope. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Every good tasting is paired with a good cocktail, wine or beer. We got several cocktail pairings and these were our favorite two! The Lambrusco Sangria was one of the most refreshing wine-forward drinks we’ve had in a while with a tangy, tart and sweet mixed together with a bold grapefruit on the back of the sip. Another great cocktail is the El Bad Bunny, which is a balance between smoky mezcal and smooth and sweet carrot. This one paired perfectly with the carrot dish! I’ll take another. Which sounds good to you?

We’re in love with Chido and Padres new menu! It’s authentic, unique and almost every dish we had top notch! Starting with some traditional items and sharable plates like the Street Corn and Queso Fundito. The Street Corn is some of the best in the city with a crunchy, warm, spicy, complex flavor. Plus, the seasoning and avocado really elevate the bite. In love.  Or if you’re in the mood for cheese or queso dip, look no further than the Queso Fundito, which is a great mix of creamy and sharp cheese with an array of toppings all paired with crunchy chips. Perfect for a cheese pull! 

As far as the sharable plates go, we had some great options that were unique takes on traditional dishes, like the Seasonal Crudo starts with a mild seasonal fish (Hamachi this time) paired with creamy avocado and tart pickled strawberry. The sauce makes this dish a combination of salty, fresh, crisp, and tart. Plus, when you order this ask for an off-menu cocktail. It mixes tequila with as much if the sauce you can get in the glass for an amazingly unique concoction! Our server came up with it and it’s so good. On the other hand, the Carnitas are a rich and tender pork shoulder that melts in your mouth! The sweet smoked meat is surrounded by a sweet avocado tomatillo and creamy and sharp sour cream. The entire dish is a good balance between meat and sauce. Roll it up into a tortilla. OMG.

Traditional not your thing and you want to spice it up? Don’t worry they have a laundry list of menu items just for that, the Smoked Octopus Tostada, is one of them. It is one of the favorite bites of the entire meal with its complexity. We were floored by the smoky, tender, and rich octopus dish with creamy avocado, crunchy tostada, while a good kick in the end. Add a little spicy arugula, mint and voila, you have one amazing bite, so get all the ingredients together! Plus, who doesn’t love a duck dish? The Duck Sope is a fun take on a classic meat with a generous amount of pulled duck that packs a punch, corn mesa cakes, and white peas. We recommend you eat all together for a spicy, rich, meaty bite. We cannot get over the mix of flavors and textures this dish puts on the plate.

If you’re looking for vegetarian, we’d recommend the Heirloom Carrots! They are perfectly cooked carrots that each had a different dynamic flavor profile paired with a cashew tahini that comes off like peanut butter! This is a wonderful mix between nutty, creamy, and earthy. One of the most unique dishes we’ve ever had!! Dynamite!  

Saving the best overall dish for last, we seriously cant’t get over the Pollo Con Mole which was our favorite bite! Succulent chicken that’s perfectly seasoned and slathered in a rich mole. Below the chicken is some of the best root vegetable hash ever filled with bacon and onions that’s earthy and tangy. The entire dish is sweet and smoky, tender and juicy, creamy, earthy, and slightly peanuty. Plus, the mole really ties all of it together, sauce, chicken, and hash.  We’re going back to get this one again!

Feeling stuffed, we couldn’t fathom trying desserts. But it was worth the pain to try this duo of desserts. GET THE CHESS PIE! It is warm caramel flavor followed by chocolate and the crunch of the crust. Then, the ice cream is icing in the cake. Divine. The donuts are also good and sweet potato based for more flavor. They are warm and salty balance! Elevate the flavor when you dip it in the chocolate sauce or take a sip of the Bailey’s Shot that accompanies it. Pro tip: we added the shot to the chocolate and that was a great way to enjoy both at the same time!

 

Are you ready to visit Chido & Padre? What sounds good to you?

 

Tucker Brewing Company

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/21/21

As you walk into the sprawling beer garden, the light wind blows through the boxes of flowers and greenery that dot the grounds. All around large umbrellas shade the large and long picnic tables where customers sip on flight of beer and a large pretzel hangs in the middle. One of Tucker Brewing’s biggest draws is its beautiful beer garden where you can watch live music on the large stage or just hang out with your friends. Beyond the beer garden, German-inspired eats like crunchy crispy sauerkraut bites, giant hot pretzel, gooey baked goat cheese and jam, fantastic dopple angus cheeseburger, and a classic, crunchy Pork Schnitzel, as well as perfectly paired lagers, pilsners, and more. Let’s check that out.

Starting out as a brewery, Tucker has a ton of tasty beer options, so we began with a flight to taste several of them! We got the TKR Pilsner, Georgia Red Lager, The Irishman, and the Roaring Twenties Radler. Always a favorite, the Radler was the favorite with its refreshing lemon forward and tart taste that mellows on the back. Of the others, the TKR Pilsner is a good balance of hops and crispness. The Georgia Red is heartily malted up front with a slightly hop on the back of the taste for balance. Finally, The Irishman is a good dry stout with a toasty, smokiness in the same breath. All of them are super drinkable and good! Beyond the flight, we also tried The Export, a stronger Pilsner with the same elements as the TKR Pilsner, but with a little deeper color and flavor, as well as Tucker Lager, which was John’s favorite that was light and drinkable.

Tucker’s German-inspired beer pairs so perfectly with their bites. We opted for the Crispy Sauerkraut Bites, Giant Hot Pretzel Pretzel, and the Baked Goat Cheese and Jam. Starting with John’s favorite, the Giant Hot Pretzel. Perfectly presented hanging with a cauldron of tart and creamy beer cheese on the side, this one is unbelievably soft with a buttery and salty crust. Dip away in the mentioned beer cheese that adds creaminess and sharpness to the soft bread. Salty, buttery, sharp makes a great pretzel that is one of the customer favorites.

Speaking of cheese, we cannot speak highly enough about the Baked Goat Cheese and Jam. It is warm and gooey stuffed with tart and tangy strawberry rhubarb jam that is paired with earthy, rich, and creamy goat cheese. Being tart, sweet, rich, tangy, and creamy, pile it up on the bread around it for best bite.  With how good that appetizer was, Liz’s favorite was still the Crispy Sauerkraut Bites. Noticeably crunchy outside gives way to a rich creaminess that explodes in your mouth with the tart and crunch of sauerkraut and saltiness and heartiness of the ham. It’s a smorgasbord of flavors that are made even better when you dip it in the tangy, horseradish-forward sauce! Get your own set, you won’t want to share.

Staying in the German-themed food vein, we had to try the Pork Schnitzel. This fun take on a classic is crunchy with a myriad of seasoning and flavor on the outside, while tender and juicy inside. It is atop an authentic German potato salad that’s full of tender red potatoes and tender cooked cabbage. This German treat is earthy, crunchy, and hearty just perfection! Then, came that cheeseburger. Floored. That’s the word I used to describe what I thought of the Dopple Angus Cheeseburger. Recommended by our wonderful server, she was spot on in recommending this thing of beauty. It’s smoky and meaty and a total hot mess, JUST like we like it. It’s one-part gooey egg and bright, tangy sauce that just may run down your arm with a smothering of cheese, perfectly seasoned and juicy burger, then on the other hand oh-so crunchy with pickles and bacon. How can you say no to that? The French fries that accompany it are hearty and salty. This burger is just perfect, it doesn’t need any condiments or anything else!

Stuffed and happy is how we left Tucker Brewing. The atmosphere was just so great, and it’s been rewarded a they’re #4 in USA Today’s Top Beer Gardens, so go for a beer, a bite, and to watch live music!

Apron and Ladle

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 7/3/21

Nestled in a spot in Sandy Springs near the hustle and bustle of Roswell Road, Apron and Ladle is a brunch gem! From the Spicy Fried Chicken Benedict to the flavorful Avocado, Bacon and Fried Green Tomato Biscuit to the sweet Biscuit French Toast and even the Thick Chicken and Waffles, they have a stout brunch line-up. Let’s brunch.

Starting with the biscuits, they’re made from scratch daily and it shows. Deliciously flaky, fluffy, buttery, and with a light crunch on the outside and soft on the inside, you could eat one plain! But Apron and Ladle take this basic biscuit and spice it up with several ways to enjoy it in tandem with unique and fun flavors! One of our favorites is the Avocado, Bacon, Fried Green Tomato Biscuit. It has that flaky, fluffy, crumbly and buttery biscuit to start! They nailed this combo as it’s THE flavor combo with creamy avocado, crunchy and tart tomato, and savory, salty bacon. The gamut of flavors will welcome you to Flavortown.

Moving on to the Fried Chicken Benedict, which is a large portion of spicy chicken that’s tender inside and crunchy outside. It is surrounded by a poached egg, bacon, hollandaise all atop a fluffy, crunchy biscuit. All the ingredients mix together for a savory, salty, creamy, spicy, crunch bite! On the flip side of spicy is sweet and if you get anything, the Biscuit French Toast is a must try. It was brought as a surprise by our server, and we cannot thank her enough! It starts out sweet with heavy cinnamon notes, then bright and tangy fruit on top of the ooey, gooey goodness. It is the hands down favorite by John and I both.

Switching gears, Apron and Ladle have much more than biscuit centric dishes like sandwiches, egg dishes, and salads, but they also have a stellar Chicken and Waffles. These are thick, sweet yet crunchy waffles with a warm and sweet syrup! It is paired with tender and crunchy dark meat chicken that goes so well with the sweetness of the waffle. Yum.

Now that we’ve shared our experience. We’d like to know what you would try at Apron and Ladle?

Yebo Beach Haus: Island Oasis in Buckhead

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/25/21

 

The lavish patio is dotted with black, white and hints of color, while large lush palms overhang to create an island oasis you don’t have to travel to the beach to experience. This is Yebo Beach Haus! In the middle of the courtyard, a trickling water feature lulls you into the beauty of the space and invites you to stay for just one more cocktail. What ultimately matches the patio so well is Yebo’s tropical, South African, and beachy cuisine. Entrees and shareable plates like a whole branzino, tuna tataki, chicken paillard, ostrich sliders, seafood risotto, and tasty cocktails round out the amazing Yebo menu. Let’s take a tour.

 

While relaxing next to the sound of trickling water, we sipped on the BB Cooler and the Rosemary Vesper Martini. One of the most refreshing cocktails was the BB Cooler that is a bright patio drink with hints of fruit, tartness throughout the sip. It’s easily drinkable for an afternoon with the girlfriends, on the other hand is the boozy Rosemary Vesper Martini!  This one would be one Bond would approve of with boozy and earthy notes up front while the cool and crispness of the lemon comes through on the end. Pinkies up!

 

Yebo also prides itself on a myriad of sharable plates you can dip and snack on prior to your entrée. We delved into the Yebo Popcorn, Tuna Tataki, and Ostrich Sliders. We haven’t seen ostrich on a menu in forever, so we had to try it. The meat was perfectly cooked and seasoned and then paired with spicy arugula, cool, creamy mayo and a tomato dollop for a balancing tang. The entire thing came off mellow with no gaminess and was like a burger slider with just a lighter, leaner meat.

 

The favorite bite of the three was the Tuna Tataki. It was a delicate, light mild tuna with a crusty, well-seasoned edge all enveloped in creamy avocado and jalapeno for spice. Then, pour on the amount of savory and rich ponzu that you like, and you get even more flavor. The entire thing is on rice paper, so if you’re feeling rebellious, you could wrap the whole thing in it and eat it rolled up. Finally, if you’re looking for a nice, light snack, to enjoy while sipping a cocktail, the Yebo Popcorn is right up your alley. With the one-two punch of peri-peri seasoning and Parmesan, it’s a good all-around flavor and a great shareable treat.

 

Fish is the quintessential go-to entrée when you’re near the beach, right? Enter the Whole Branzino that is flaky, mild and tender, yet the skin is crispy and crunchy.  Plus, the addition of the jalapeño cilantro sauce that starts spicy and ends tangy, a good addition to the fish while the earthy asparagus and bright lemon drizzle is just icing on the cake for this dish. One of the best dishes of the entire experience. Hold on to that, because even though this was amazing, the Chicken Paillard was the overall favorite bite!  The meat is tender and juicy while bursting with a gamut of flavors and ending with a bold spiciness. The arugula, sauce, and accompanying vegetables are the perfect pair to add earthiness and a hint brightness. The best bite is to get all the elements together for a spicy, savory, earthy, tangy bite that doesn’t stop. We could have this every day.

 

When you go to the beach, what’s your go-to food?

Bonsai Pensacola Beach

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/6/21

Bonsai Pensacola Beach

Luxurious delicacies from the sea are on beautiful display at Bonsai Pensacola Beach! Located in the Hilton Pensacola Beach, we were treated to their amazing Omakase experience with wine and sake pairings. This waiter guided 6-course experience was top notch and you could go at your own pace. The best part is the food is just as delicious as it is looks! Get ready for the Omakase Experience.

Kicking-off our Omakase Experience was with course 1, the A5 Wagyu Striploin paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon. This was the best piece of meat I (Liz) have ever had with an almost buttery like feel on the tongue that literally melts in your mouth. It is the right amount of meat and fat then the addition of the salt from the Himalayan salt block underneath adds an element of saltiness that elevates the flavor. Would NOT change one thing about this bite.

Moving on to course 2, the Nama paired with Asahi Shuzo Kubota Sparkling Dew. This was my (Liz’s) personal favorite sake with the perfect body and finish for a fish pairing. Plus, course 3 was the Nigiri and Sashimi paired with, Kikusui Shuzo Perfect Snow, an unfiltered sake. All being the same mix of fish, one being without rice and the other with, the fish they provided was all very VERY fresh and tender. We got a sampling including Steelhead trout, tuna, salmon, and Hamachi to name a few. Of the fish a few highlights included the salmon that was actually creamy, while the Hamachi is lighter and paired with the caviar added the right amount of salt. The favorite was the Steelhouse trout, it literally melted in your mouth and had an amazing flavor. Once you pair all of them with a little bit of real wasabi root and rice, you’ve got an amazing bite.

On to Course 4 that was the Pork Ramen perfectly paired with Chardonnay. A ramen lover, this one didn’t disappoint with a flavorful pork broth and tender pork belly. The noodles had the right tenderness, while the tang of the green onion and savory of the egg comes in at the end for a great bite.

One of the best courses was course 5 with the Hickory Smoked Tuna and Florida Citrus roll paired with Kikusui Shuzo Chrysanthemum Water. This was the best experience of the entire dinner as they smoke the salmon and bring it in a dome of hickory smoke. Once at the table, they open the dome and the smoke billows out, while leaving a slight smokiness on the tuna itself. As for taste of the roll, the tuna is light and pairs well with the creamy avocado and savory rice, then on the back you get the smoked flavor. Divine. The Florida Citrus roll is also very light but has tons of fresh fish flavors mixed with lemon. Lemon is really the best pairing with fish!

To end the night, course 6 is the Anmitzu dessert with Optimia Port Wine. The Anmitzu is a hodgepodge of ingredients like ice cream, passion fruit, matcha, gelatin, and other fruits. Each element brings a different flavor and all together is an amazing bite. Paired with the port wine, that is brown sugar forward, yet boozy, you’re in for a treat.

Beyond the meal, some of the authentic touches make this meal one-of-a-kind. One of these is the wasabi. They literally grind the wasabi root at your table and it’s so mild and doesn’t give you that nose feeling that typical wasabi would give you. Did you know that what you get at most restaurants is horseradish? Another of these was the soy sauce in both whiskey barrel aged and mushroom. They were less salty and more earthy than a typical soy sauce. Preferred the whiskey barrel aged as it was even more savory and a little bit boozy on the end. I’d take that home with me and use it on everything. The final touch was the white glove, server guided experience that gave the whole night an intimate feeling.

If you’re on the beach in Pensacola, we’d highly recommend getting to Bonsai for the Omakase Experience. What course speaks to you?

Jackson’s Steakhouse in Pensacola

Not too far from the blue-green ocean at Pensacola Beach, the historic downtown Pensacola vibe is quaint, yet vibrant with breweries, shopping, and delicious dining. On one of those picturesque corners sits Jackson’s, a steakhouse staple where Pensacolans go for a good steak, cocktails, and dessert for any occasion. Everything from the decadent chocolate mousse to the crunchy red snapper, fantastic filet mignon, earthy brussel sprouts, to the tender lamb lollipops, plus the cocktails, everything you get at Jackson’s is a food adventure.

What’s better with a steak dinner than a cocktail? We got the fantastic off-menu blueberry martini, as well as the sweet and sassy BAMA Buck. The martini was recommended by our waitress and turned out magical with the tart and tangy berries up front mixed with the citrus and booze on the back. It was a refreshing yet potent sip! As far as the BAMA Buck, with whiskey on the back and the sweetness of strawberry on the front, this cocktail is sweet and boozy. It was just the right balance between the two. I’ll have another, please!

On to the delectable food, we started with the lamb lollipops. The lamb was seriously tender and wonderfully seasoned lamb bites. It was perfectly paired with an earthy, bright shaved brussel and radish salad. These two go so well together with the meatiness of the lamb and the earthy, crunchy of the salad. As far as the entrees, John got the flavorful filet mignon and I got the amazing red snapper, plus we paired it with some delicious brussel sprouts. These brussels are so good the guy next to us said he’s now a brussel sprout believer because of these! We agree, they’re rustic, earthy, tart, tangy, crunchy, and meaty. It’s all the adjectives you want to hear when describing these gems.

For our main entrees, the filet mignon was perfectly cooked medium steak with a tender inside and light grill outside. With the garlic on the top, it ended up being meaty and tangy with the right amount of smoke. But, the best dish of the night was the Red Snapper! Can snapper be decadent? Yes, the very definition of decadent with a ginormous piece of fish that literally melted in your mouth. Topped with a cracker crust that gave it a light crunch, lemon, butter, and herbs, it was simply divine. Crunchy, buttery, flaky.

Even if you don’t have any room, you have to stay for dessert and get the chocolate mousse! It was rich and decadent chocolate base, then a buttery, toffee, crunchy surprise at the bottom. On top an in-house made whipped cream brought it all together. Perfection if you ask me.

What do you want to try at Jackson’s?

Ovide: Best Restaurant in Sandestin

Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 5/23/21

The majestic hotel towers into the baby blue sky and casts a shadow over the parking lot below that’s dotted with high end cars and guests anticipating the inside. Walking into the Hotel Effie, you’re greeted with a beautifully decorated lobby and hotel bar and lounge just to the left. Then, beyond, tucked in the corner is Sandestin’s newest and BEST dining experience, Ovide, by Atlanta’s (and Athens) own High Acheson. Every bite and sip you put in your mouth are vibrant and alive with flavor, like the sensational filet mignon, savory prime beef tartare, uniquely wonderful farm egg, rich blackened mahi mahi, and fantastic cocktails! Let’s dip in.

Ovide’s cocktail menu and program are top notch with two spectacular cocktails, Sun Kissed and Shore Leave. The Sun Kissed is a balanced cocktail that juxtaposes the bitterness of grapefruit and piney alcohol. This reminds us of an afternoon sipper that oh, so refreshing. Our favorite cocktail was Shore Leave. With warm rum, sweet coconut, earthy rose wine, bright lime, cachaca and more, this has a brightness and sass! We enjoyed the flavor complexity of this one!

Starting out with some of the bites, the ones we sampled were the farm egg and prime beef tartare. We seriously loved the uniqueness of the farm egg with so many good flavors in one dish! Savory egg sits on a bed of collard kimchi that adds spice, crispy rice for a good crunch, earthy peas, and tangy onion for one amazing bite. Our tip is to mix the ingredients all together for a savory, spicy, crunchy, and earthy flavor explosion. After this light bite, we opted for something a little heavier. The prime beef tartare is piled high and topped with a savory egg. This tartare is thick, rich, meaty, and has a good amount of creaminess. Once you top this amazing meat dish with the egg, crispy fired onions, and earthy mustard, it’s a tasty bite. Definitely get all the ingredients on the crunchy toast, which puts is up there with one of the best bites of the meal.

For our main course, we made some good decisions trying the blackened mahi mahi and the filet mignon. The flavorful and flaky blackened mahi fish paired so well with the tart pickled cauliflower, crunchy kohlrabi, and divine red pepper sauce that gives it a kick. It ended up sweet, creamy, rich, and slightly earthy when you mix it all together. Yum. The best bite of the night had to be the filet mignon. With pepper encrusted, maître d’hotel butter, and mushroom jus, this steak had a little bit of everything. From the crunchy and slightly charred outside to the succulent inside, it was rich, meaty, buttery, and savory over-the-top good! You won’t want to share.

As the meal winds down, the sun begins to set. We sit just outside the restaurant is what looks like a library speckled with books and library-esque décor. We talk over our meal and agree we will have to come back to Ovide when we come back to Sandestin. What do you want to try?