By Natalie Haddock
This week I took an adventure along 30A to seek out a few hidden gems. I found a few old favorites and discovered new loves. This installment of 3 for 30A shares with you these little mysterious pieces of paradise that may be a bit off the beaten path, but find a way right into your heart.
Friday, July 31st – The Caliza Restaurant in Alys Beach seemed like an obvious first choice in my quest to find the lesser-known pearls of 30A. Their Facebook page reads “We believe that every great meal is a journey. Our menu is an opportunity to explore places that you’ve never been – or perhaps return to a favorite spot.” I stopped in to sample one of their happy hour cocktails, the Indian Summer, made with Don Q rum, coconut milk, chai tea, and a hint of lemon, and to take in the setting next to a peaceful infinity pool. Dinner reservations are required but come hungry. Guests can choose from a four-course tasting, or simply order from their enticing fine dining menu that lists several pasta dishes, seafood options, and assorted meat selections like duck, lamb, and brisket.
Saturday, August 1st – La Crema isn’t exactly a hidden gem, with its beautiful location near the beaches and shopping in Rosemary beach, but for me it is a place not often visited and sometimes overlooked. Yes, there is an amazing menu consisting of chocolate desserts, fondue, and coffees but don’t fail to check out their varied list of delicious tapas. The Brussel sprouts are crisp and buttery, and the Spanish eggplant bites are made sweet with a drizzle of molasses. Try a little seafood, a little steak chimichurri, a little jerk pork, and forget the guilt. Its tapas – you can have a little of everything! And when you find your eyes are bigger than your stomach, take a little home with you. I’ve got some chocolate dipped bacon waiting in my fridge. (Yum!)
Sunday, August 2nd – For a place that is really off the beaten path, enjoy brunch this Sunday hidden away in the Backyard of Love. The Hibiscus House in Grayton Beach is inviting visitors once again to their shady paradise for good vibes, live music, waffles, and mimosas from 10am – 2pm. A portion of the proceeds (20%) is given to a local charity each week and such charities include Caring & Sharing, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, H.E.A.R.T. Animal Rescue, Food for Thought, and Walton County Animal Shelter. Feast on fresh fruit and waffles, French toast, biscuits and gravy, or organic old fashioned oatmeal with brown sugar while Drew Tillman takes the stage for a morning of relaxed delight.