Certified "green" by the Green Restaurant Association, Caffe Bella Italia uses fresh local produce and hormone-free meats to create a menu of traditional Northern Italian cuisine. Tantalize taste buds with an appetizer such as the bruschetta Bella Italia, a sampler offering four different toppings—garlic and fresh chopped tomatoes, roasted bell pepper, parma prosciutto, and smoked salmon and butter ($10). Main courses include the vitello alla parmigiana, incorrectly translated as "delicious plate of meat" and featuring savory veal medallions layered with eggplant, fresh tomato sauce, and provolone cheese, and satisfyingly sautéed in white wine ($21). Seafood lovers and landlocked mermaidens can sup on the zuppa di cozze e vongole, a spicy chopped tomato broth teeming with tasty islands of fresh clams and mussels ($16), while omnivores can delight in the menu's many handmade pasta offerings, including traditional favorite farfalle al pesto Genovese ($15), dressing fashionably flavorful bow ties in a fresh pesto robe. An array of wood-fired pizzas ($14–$17) is also available.
Mama Clemenza’s brunch menu calms morning and midday appetites with a mélange of classic European breakfast items. Pairs of patrons can let their palates marinate in eggy entrees including homemade eggs benedict––featuring prosciutto and hollandaise sauce draped over a yorkshire-pudding muffin––and a Mediterranean omelet, with a colorful medley of fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, and spinach, lounging alongside an authentic Grecian croissant. Dieting diners can opt for a lighter entree with a chilled mascarpone-custard cup filled with fresh seasonal fruit, and larger appetites will discover sweet satisfaction in the oven-baked basin of Baby Huey’s Dutch Boy––an airy, bowl-shaped pancake filled with the fruit of the day. Chewing or chattering whistles can be kept wet by letting tongues bathe in orange juice or mimosas made with self-supplied champagne or wine. Two cups of custom-roasted coffee cap off the morning meal, providing the necessary energy needed to visit one of Florida’s largest flagpoles in Uptown Station and wow the masses with sultry dance moves picked up during your firefighting days.
One of three restaurants located at Fudpucker's on the Island, Fudshucker's specializes in raw, steamed, chargrilled, and baked oysters. The latter comes prepared in one of seven ways, including baked with butter, garlic, and parmesan cheese or melded with crabmeat stuffing, bacon, and cheddar cheese. The kitchen also plumbs the ocean's salty depths for snow crab, shrimp, and clams, which populate the world famous Fud Bucket, a big meal for one person or a regular-size meal for a puny shark.
Fudpucker’s original location in Destin started as a humble addition to the back of a nightclub in 1982, and later moved to a small shack overlooking the beach. Today, the island-inspired eatery features 7,000 square feet of dining and entertainment space and sprawling decks and balconies. Today, the other Destin restaurant has grown to an impressive 32,000 square feet and boasts eight dining rooms with more than 400 seats where guests can sit for a burger or shrimp dish. Kids never lack amusement, as both locations include some of their favorite things, from games and free toys with their meals to primers on astrophysics.
To restock their supply of fresh seafood, the owners of Floyd’s Shrimp House needn’t look far—the restaurant sits directly on the Gulf of Mexico, which supplies the kitchen with a constant stream of grouper, oysters, and gold-filled chests. But Floyd’s main draw is the gulf shrimp, served boiled or fried, grilled or blackened, or in a creamy alfredo sauce over pasta.
Colorful fish mounts, fishing nets, and old dock signs decorate the walls inside the dining room, along with more than 25 flat screen TVs tuned to the game. There’s also a covered, wooden patio where diners can slurp raw or baked oysters while watching games of beach volleyball occurring on Floyd’s backyard courts.
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.