Staff members at Bon Appetit French Bakery and Cafe stock the glass-display cases with made-from-scratch French pastries, flaky croissants, and crusty, freshly baked breads. Inside the kitchen, chefs dust powdered sugar over napoleons layered with custard and ground up Waterloo battle plans, and they dip puffy éclairs in melted chocolate. During the workweek, they supplement their Parisian baked goods with lunch fare such as middle-eastern platters and custom sandwiches forged from deli-style meats and freshly baked breads.:m]]
When biting into the dishes at Old Hag's Cafe, it can take you straight back to childhood. The chefs focus on family favorites best known from Grandmas' recipes, creating staples such as fried pork tenderloin, creamy macaroni and cheese, and chicken pot pie in a flaky, buttery crust. The serve a special fish dish every day, or serve up cuts of chicken served grilled, blackened, fried, or under a coating of buffalo sauce. The desserts are just as traditional as the entrees, with bakers creating New Orleans–style bread pudding in bourbon sauce and brownies topped with a creamy scoop of ice cream and hot fudge.
Within the cheerful yellow walls of Citrus Organic Cafe, chefs slice locally grown vegetables and organic ingredients into modern interpretations of café-fare classics. Pumpkin seeds sprinkle a meatloaf made with grass-fed beef and chicken, and a blueberry-balsamic glaze coats a roasted cornish hen. Vegetables sprouted on the café’s small patch of farmland make their way into sides such as kale salad or to the café’s booth at the Seaside Farmers Market. Staffers also mix health-conscious smoothies from almond milk, flax meal, GS Gelato, and protein powder and craft homemade protein bars.
Hailed by Finest on the Emerald Coast for having the finest seafood–and as the finest place to watch a sunset–The Black Pearl surrounds artfully arranged dishes with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether inside the air-conditioned restaurant, or outside on its open-air deck, visitors and their families can soak up beachside vistas while dining on aged prime beef and fresh seafood, including whole Maine lobsters. An extensive wine and martinis selection adds an extra splash of elegance to meals.
San Gelato Caf? creates Italian confections the proper way, using ingredients and equipment imported from Italy. The shop offers more than 20 of flavors of gelato?including coconut, apple pie, and tiramisu?as well as more than a dozen types of sorbet, in fruit flavors such as banana, pineapple, and papaya. Additionally, the flavor selection always includes gluten-free and dairy-free options. These sweets can be paired with Italian coffee or fresh paninis, wraps, and pizzas.
The recreational sailors at The Island Watersports maintain a fleet of sea-worthy vessels including safe, stable WindRider trimarans. During four-hour sailing stints, up to four people can pile onto the netted canopies and center cockpit to trade the buildings, highways, and Earth elementals of solid land for the freedom of the sea. One person chosen by the group to guide the craft receives a 15- to 20-minute lesson covering the basics of catching breezes for fuel and operating the foot-pedal steering controls. The tri-pronged craft supports up to 800 pounds, and the fully battened main sail on a rotating mast keeps the ship stable even during fish stampedes. MP3 players can belt out favorite songs when plugged into the boat's audio system, and guests are encouraged to bring along a small cooler filled with seaworthy beverages and snacks. Island Watersports' current sailing season will end in October but may go into November if weather permits and the boats don't get grounded for sneaking out to Make-Out Reef. The Island Watersports reopens for the next season on March 1.