The chefs at TokyoSteak House & Sushi Bart whip up more than 80 sushi rolls and sashimi selections, including 27 specialty rolls. The swiftest way to sample the wealth of offerings is by ordering the Love Boat entree for four mere mortals or one Paul Bunyan. The smorgasbord includes a choice of 18 sushi rolls, 30 pieces of sashimi, and orders of the spider roll, lobster roll, and Tokyo roll. If that's not enough food, you can bolster your meal with gyoza appetizers, seaweed soup, entrees cooked on a hibachi, and a slew of other Japanese dishes.
San Gelato Café 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.
Now in its 25th year, the Sandestin Wine Festival is one of the oldest and grandest gatherings of its kind, showcasing a multitude of events for vino enthusiasts and novices alike in the picturesque Village of Baytowne Wharf. Grape-adoring attendees will be able to sample more than 600 varieties of wine from all over the world during the festival’s Grand Wine Tasting, including sips from the winners' circle. Master vintners from more than 80 national and international vineyards will present their wares while educating observers about the intricate wine-brewing process, which includes selecting perfectly ripened grapes and assembling corks out of old monster-truck tires. Hungry oenophiles can head over to the culinary pavilion on the grand lawn, where edible exhibitions such as Food Treasures of Spain will be held. The festival will also include a retail tent, where wine-quaffers may purchase vintages to take home and enjoy with friends or to motivate fledgling backyard grapevines to grow faster.
Scenically perched over the Gulf of Mexico's inviting waters, the seafaring chefs at Harbor Docks whip together tasty treasures crafted from the sea's naturally briny bounty. A parade of ceremonious appetizers opens oceanic feasts with fried crab claws ($10.99+) and fried grouper cheeks ($10.99); stuffed mushrooms are filled with less expressive, but equally delicious lump crab and monterey jack ($11.99). Famished fishermen can sink teeth and hooks into the market-priced catch of the day, culled from Harbor Docks's wholesale market and prepared to your taste, whether you prefer your fish blackened, broiled, sautéed, fried, chargrilled, or converted into a fetching hat. Sushi seekers can take a delectable detour through Harbor Docks's extensive menu of rolls and nigiri, nibbling traditionally prepared bites such as the eel- and avocado-laced Banzai Roll ($8.99). Or rub rice-y elbows with remixed creations such as the Cowboy Roll ($8.99), which corrals hunger using a combination of steak, green onion, and tiny seaweed lassos.
It’s barely an exaggeration to say that Marlin Grill is a cornerstone of the Baytowne Wharf community—it occupies a grand, two-story corner space in the sprawling Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, its curving façade giving out on a patio facing the Events Plaza. As might be expected of a resort restaurant, the menu is broad and accommodating—there’s even a children’s menu with fried lobster and crab cakes among the chicken fingers—but creative preparations add zip to the steakhouse template. Filet mignon (dry-aged certified Angus, like all Marlin’s beef) is wrapped in applewood-smoked bacon and itself grilled over hickory just to show trees who’s boss, and a pair of cold-water lobster tails splash into kiwi-honey mustard sauce and mango chutney. Sides tend toward the impossibly rich, the mashed potatoes mixed with ricotta and the macaroni 'n' cheese studded with Tasso ham.
The drinks program is appropriately ambitious, covering more than 600 wines, a deep list of scotches and their allies, and fruity martinis, including a $10,000 version complete with one-carat diamond. The beer selection is a little more down to earth, centering on regional brews such as Georgia’s Sweet Water 420 Pale Ale and Florida’s Grayton Pale Ale.
When The Melting Pot originally opened in 1975 just outside Orlando, diners had just three options: swiss-cheese fondue, beef fondue, or chocolate fondue. The restaurant first expanded four years later, when an enterprising waiter at the initial location opened up a new outpost in Tallahassee. Today, the company—now owned by that original waiter, Mark Johnston, and his brothers Mike and Bob—reigns as the premier fondue, wine, and drink restaurant, stretching across North America with more than 140 restaurants. The restaurant's menu has also expanded, and patrons can now expect six varieties of hot dipping cheese paired with salads, entrees, and molten chocolate.
On a given night, groups of viscous-dip-loving foodies gather around tables to nosh on cheese-fondue appetizers and various salads while cooking steaks and seafood in a choice of healthy broth or oil. Birthday revelers and romance seekers cap decadent evenings sharing the chocolate desserts that have defined The Melting Pot for decades.