WATERCOLOR – The FOOW Supper Club will present its second annual Mardi Gras dinner Thursday, Feb. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. Enjoy French-inspired cocktails and an authentic New Orleans dinner with FOOW’s prix-fixe Mardi Gras menu. Reservations are required; limited seating available. $95 per person; service charge and sales tax not included.
FOOW is located at 34 Goldenrod Circle, Santa Rosa Beach.
Pizza. Piiiiiiizzzzzzzaaaa. It is as craved and adored as foods go. Interestingly, it wasn’t until after WWII, when Americans really started their love affair with this cheesy, sublime treat. While occupying Italian territories, many American soldiers tasted pizza for the first time. And since then, pizza has become so beloved, that pizzerias represent 17 percent of all U.S. restaurants and 93% of Americans eat pizza at least once a month!
In 1987, October became recognized as national pizza month. It is no secret that October is a favorite time of year on 30A for locals and visitors alike. So it seems only fitting to recognize this favorite food during this favorite month here on 30A. The two 30A pizzerias we are highlighting are as treasured as their pies themselves.
Approaching their 25th anniversary this March, Bruno’s Pizza opened in 1990 as 30A’s first pizzeria. Self-described as “classic and old school”; every day they make their own dough and sauce, shred and blend their cheeses, and each pie ordered is hand-tossed. Owner Jeff Goodman shared the effort they put into the smoked meats for their Barbeque pizzas: “We smoke butts and brisket every day in house.” Ingredients-focused and proud of it, Bruno’s uses local vendors to source produce whenever possible. Their daily pizza buffet is a jackpot too – including a variety of their specialty pies.
After over 23 years in Seagrove, Bruno’s Pizza moved to WaterSound in December of 2013. When asked about the move, it has been the “second best” decision Jeff Goodman ever made. (Second only to coming to live in Florida in the first place!) “We have nearly 100 seats now and a shaded deck where we can serve many more guests and offer live music. It’s awesome” he replied.
Bruno’s Pizza is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. They are located at the front gate of WaterSound Beach, 6652 East County Highway 30A. Phone: (850) 231.1452.
The newer kid on the block, Pizza by the Sea, is a family-friendly favorite of our 30A community. Their casual, fun locations are the perfect place to bring your little people. Pizza by the Sea regularly supports local charities like Food for Thought (http://foodforthoughtfl.org/) and Children’s Volunteer Health Network (http://www.cvhnkids.org/main/) as well as sponsoring area schools and local youth sports teams. I asked owner Kristi Beer if this sums up their business’s philosophy. She replied yes. “We like that we’re super kid-friendly at our restaurants and also kid-focused with the organizations we help.”
While Pizza by the Sea’s pledge to give back complements the 30A community perfectly, so does their multiple options for the health-conscious lifestyle. With more and more people eliminating gluten from their diets, Kristi has seen the popularity of their delicious gluten-free crust “sky-rocket”, as have their Yum Bowls – all those much-craved pizza toppings served in bowls without the carbs of the dough. Through word of mouth, these menu items have become some of their top sellers.
Pizza by the Sea has two locations: right next to the Watercolor Publix on Hwy 395 and at Gulf Place on Hwy 393 and 30A. Phone: (850) 231.3030 (Watercolor) and (850) 267.2202 (Gulf Place). Open Sunday- Wednesday 11 am-8 pm and Thursday-Saturday 11 am -9pm.
They say fish is brain food, which is just what Chef Christopher Holbrook of Signature Catering of 30-A anticipates our new Gulf to Table events will ultimately serve up. When asked what these dinners will bring to 30A, he was quick to answer: “Education for the consumer. Our menus will highlight lesser-known fish; providing a platform for helping both local fishermen and our area’s ecosystem.”
Chef Christopher is excited for these private meals to provide one-on-one dialogues on fishing practices in our area. He is well-versed on the many factors driving the popularity of specific fish, and is ready to bring his knowledge to his diners’ culinary repertoires.
His Gulf to Table menus will emphasize a balanced progression; keeping it fresh and straightforward. “To me, the fish is the star and so that will always be my first focus” promises the chef. While his career’s spanned decades and time zones, most recently he notes his role in encouraging healthy lifestyle choices. His clients are health conscious but also food-savvy. He strives to push his food’s creativity, while also keeping them fit.
And, what is fine dining without exquisite wine? All of the signature event meals will offer unique pairings personally fashioned by 30afoodandwine.com’s partner, Chan’s Wine World. Guests should expect the unexpected and be ready to find some new favorites.
Informing diners, supporting local fishermen, improving our ecosystem, eating healthily…all while enjoying mouthwatering dishes and wine? Sounds like a pretty smart move!
Gulf to Table Signature Events with Chef Christopher at the helm can be reserved through 30afoodandwine.com. The inaugural meal will be held Saturday November 8th. For tickets please call 850.687.3776 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Southern coastal approach to food Fish Out of Water gets revamped as FOOW
Locals and tourists who frequent the WaterColor area might be scratching their heads when seeking out the beach town’s former fine dining standard, Fish Out of Water. In its place now stands FOOW, a more hip and fun eatery that better jives with the WaterColor Inn’s “WaterColor casual” state of mind.
You’ll find coastal hues and casual touches, like a fish scale pattern on the silverware, a streamlined open-air kitchen, and clever quotes on the menus including Julia Child’s famous quip, "The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."
What’s up with that unique name? you might be wondering.
“We wanted people to understand the correlation that FOOW is still owned and operated by the same company, but that it’s completely new, improved, and different,” said Andrew Czarnecki, managing director of resort operations for St. Joe Club & Resorts.
South meets coast
Chef de Cuisine Christopher Mayhue and Executive Sous Chef Preetam Pardeshi used a “Southern coastal approach” to craft FOOW’s new summer menu. Mayhue’s Southern heritage was called upon to craft approachable dishes, including the Pork Grilled Bun, with braised pork carnitas, mustard glaze, pickled cucumber and red onion. The FOOWly Loaded BLT combines Cajun-rubbed smoked turkey breast, avocado spread, garlic aioli, bacon, heirloom tomato, and farm greens.
The chefs are debuting their new FOOW Toasts – each served on house-made sourdough. Choose from the Heirloom Tomato (Sweet Grass Lil’ Moo Cheese, basil, balsamic and honey), the Carolina Pimento Cheese (candied pepper bacon, pickled red onions, and arugula) or the Gulf Shrimp Toast (avocado lime spread, radish and benne seed).
FOOW Buckets make their debut – with proteins like fried Gulf oysters or fried farm- raised catfish – and are accompanied by fries.
While the menu is served all day, there are a few dinner-only entrée selections, including Sweet Tea Chicken Breast, swordfish, and beef filet that come with the diner’s choice of side, hushpuppies and local vegetables.
No self-respecting Southern restaurant can get away without its own take on Key lime pie, and chef’s Keys to the South pie incorporates local fruits, toasted meringue and scorched lime.
Keeping the party rolling
While the restaurant is open for lunch and then again for dinner daily, the FOOWbar keeps the fun going from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. During Happy Hour (3 to 6 p.m.) select bottled beers are $4, draft beers $6, wines by the glass $8, and specialty cocktails are on special for $9.
Cocktails include classics like the Mai Tai, Sazerac and the Singapore Sling, but you’ll find an additional list of signature drinks including the Beach Hair Don’t Care (Cruzan Coconut Rum, banana, fresh citrus), Song of The South (Jim Beam Bourbon, sweet tea, lemon juice, peach puree) and the Pretty Sun-Burnt (Hornitos Reposado Tequila, lime juice, scorched grapefruit, ginger ale).
Room with a view
Part of the 2018 remodeling process was to increase the restaurant’s sweeping views of the Gulf of Mexico, including the expanded Gulf-view bar that wraps from the interior outside. The outdoor patio space can accommodate 82 patrons, while the expansive dining room holds 206.
“FOOW offers Gulf views from every seat in the house, a variety of table options including booths, communal, and the patio/deck to accommodate parties of all sizes,” Czarnecki said.
The FOOWroom is a private dining area surrounded by an impressive wine cellar that holds up to 36 guests. FOOWwest is a semi-private section of the main dining room on a raised level that can accommodate 38 guests. FOOW plays host to everything from business gatherings to special occasion celebrations.
The FOOWshoppe, located on the first floor, rounds out the complex, offering FOOW spices and sauces, as well as apparel complete with light-hearted phrases that match the restaurant’s new approach.
“FOOW is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Located within the WaterColor Inn at 34 Goldenrod Circle, they operate on a walk-in basis only. Find more information online at www.foow30a.com