The instructors at Destin Pilates Center incorporate both Pilates and yoga principles into their workouts. In addition to offering reformer classes, the instructors also lead aerial silks classes where students learn how to climb and pose with two pieces of fabric hanging from the ceiling. Destin Pilates Center is a Pilates Method Alliance certification studio in the area for Balanced Body University, which is one of the largest manufacturers of Pilates equipment.
Kilwin's crafts 32 flavors of its own ice cream, 13 varieties of fudge, and a cornucopia of other sweet treats made from scratch and in store when possible. Crowns of New Orleans praline pecan and fudgie brownie ice cream regally adorn cake or sugar cones ($3.75 for single) as well as store-made waffle cones ($4.25 for single). Sixteen-pound batches of 200-degree fudge spill onto a marble table where chocolate tamers paddle the molten beasts to a creamy consistency ready for sampling or purchasing ($14.95 for 1 lb.). Decadent caramel apples employ a caramel made from scratch to glaze crisp apples made from apple seeds ($4.50 each) as popcorn overflows Kilwin's copper pots and dons a coat of cinnamon ($6.50 for 1 lb.) or peanuts and caramel ($8.50 for 1.25 lbs.).
The Boathouse Oyster Bar has shucked local Apalachicola oysters and ladled specialty gumbo at their harbor-side restaurant for a quarter-century. With gulf winds gently blowing through the open-air dining area carrying breezy live tunes, customers can slurp raw oysters ($5.95 half-dozen, $7.95 dozen) or polish off prepared pearl-maker varieties including the Baked Action oysters, doused in butter and flavored with onions, bacon bits, and melted mozzarella ($13.95 dozen). In addition to rib-sticking bowls of gumbo ($7.95), The Boathouse Oyster Bar's chefs prepare savory fruits of the sea such as grilled or fried mahi-mahi ($15.95) and a one-pound-plus stack of Alaskan snow-crab legs, which can be placed on fingers to span large intervals on the piano ($18.95). Landlubbing appetites can be sated with juicy burgers ($8.95+) and sandwiches such as grilled chicken ($8.95) or Black Angus prime rib ($12.95).
Only a short walk from Miramar Beach, Fajitas Grill whips up authentic Mexican family recipes with a menu of sizzling fajitas, seafood, and specialty dishes. Heaping foothills of beef or chicken nachos ($6.99 for half order; $8.99 for full order) solicit tortilla excavations beneath a steaming layer of melted cheese. Waiters sidle up to tables, arms meticulously stacked with tacos, enchiladas, or sirloin-steak fajitas ($15.99 each), still sizzling beside sautéed gardens of grilled bell peppers and tomatoes. As diners head-bob to the sweet notes of mole poblano ($13.99), a Seven Seas soup ($18.99) offers a peek into a dolphin’s sombrero with a steaming crock of shrimp, clams, and seasonal fish. Modern hanging lights and a rolling yellow ceiling canopy encircle the eatery’s fully stocked bar, where patrons can sip house-made sangria or bob for limes in a 60-ounce margarita pitcher.
Only a thin strip of beach and windswept landscaping stand between the glassy waters of the Gulf and Rick’s Crab Trap, where a trio of chefs steams, grills, and fries freshly harvested fruits of the sea. The culinary team handcrafts crab cakes daily and cooks whatever catch fishermen bring in, whether it’s yellowfin tuna or a net full of flounder. They also take creative liberty with their tropical mixed drinks, which carry such ocean-themed titles as the Crab Apple cocktail and the Pink Docksider––a lemonade named after boats that get sunburned after being moored in one place for too long.
Collaged nautical paraphernalia hangs from the eatery's white walls, and fishing nets tangled with colorful, fake lobsters drape over its windows. Al fresco diners taste the sea air while gazing at clownfish playing hooky from school across the gently undulating horizon.
Before plying his trade in Christiano's kitchen, owner and chef Chris Chirum worked as a chef for three decades, and his expertise shows in the menu's bounty of simple yet elegant meals. Several steps above workaday plates of pasta and meatballs, the dishes at Christiano's exude a handmade, pastoral aesthetic, with plates decorated with locally caught, whole-baked fish, racks of lamb in rosemary sauce, and four-cheese tortellini dumplings simmering in garlic butter sauce. A live pianist occasionally serenades diners as they feast on flaky Emerald Coast grouper or tomato-basil-topped linguine, making nights only slightly less sophisticated than an emperor penguin in a top hat.