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?