By Michelle Farnham
Managing editor, 30A Food and Wine
Oct. 16, 2020
SANDESTIN – If ever there were a year we could all use a little comfort, it’s this year, and Chef Lee Guidry is delivering it in spades with his new fall menu, which debuted this week. The executive chef at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood has called upon classic autumnal flavors like butternut squash, farm-fresh apples, cannellini beans and rich pork belly to satisfy diners.
In addition to the new lineup, Guidry is excited to be working with a new co-op out of Louisiana.
“A lot of our food is locally sourced – Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida. We want to promote small farmers and get the best product that we can,” Chef said.
Guidry offers a selection of East and West Coast oysters, topped with spicy aji amarillo, champagne vinegar and a cucumber mignonette that adds both texture and flavor to the seafood experience.
Next he presented his Raines Farm Wagyu Beef Tataki, a Japanese-style charred beef served over a salad of cucumber, carrots, cilantro and green onion. The dish is plated with a soy reduction, foie gras emulsion and fried garlic chip.
For a heartier first course, look for the Berkwood’s Farm Pork Belly Cassoulet En Croute, a crock of cannellini beans, tomato, fine herbs, pork jus, mirepoix and puff pastry.
A crisp bobwhite quail dish is served alongside a house-made butternut squash and foie gras ravioli, with brown butter and sage, and is the definition of rich.
“This might remind you of a take on Thanksgiving,” Guidry added.
Guidry has taken his lump blue crab cake to the next level with the addition of crab mornay, pork belly and an andouille rillette, finished with a camembert croquet.
His spin on an apple salad on this day included a mix of honeycrisp and Granny Smith apples. He incorporates a zing of acid from apple cider vinaigrette, and tops this impressive tower with almond, shaved fennel, arugula, red onion, dried cranberry with a creamy chevre cheese.
“These apples are great because they’ve never seen a refrigerator. They go straight from the tree to a box to me. You can definitely taste the difference,” Guidry said.
Chef is well known for his scallops and his fondness for mushrooms, and diners get to enjoy both in his Pan-Roasted Diver Scallops entree. The protein comes express-shipped from Maine, and is served over a rock shrimp dumpling – very similar to a gyoza – and plated with beech mushroom, French black truffle, cipollini onion, asparagus and champagne.
For something a little different, the Crisp Potato-Wrapped Gulf Shrimp has the kitchen painstakingly winding Yukon gold potato threads around each shrimp, flash-fried, and served over an artichoke fondue.
To finish off the meal and satisfy the sweet tooth, the new milk chocolate mousse is made with a hazelnut mirror glaze, served with a dulce de leche macaron, coffee cake crumble, and praline with vanilla bean gelato.
New this season
Seagar’s has debuted a new charcuterie and cheese board, where the chef has made both the food and the board it is served upon.
“Everything on the board – even the board – is made in-house. I’ve been playing around with resin and epoxy,” Guidry explained of the handcrafted wood server, accented with sparkling blue resin. “Right now I’m running a house-made paté with duck confit, cured duck breast, and a variety of cheeses, and we make our own mustard, pickles and crackers.”
In addition to the dinner offering, Seagar’s has debuted an exclusive wine dinner the first Monday of the month, by reservation only. This experience is limited to 10 guests and includes multiple courses specially selected by Guidry, all paired with wine from Seagar’s award-winning cellar.
Getting back to comfort, digital marketing manager Katie O’Connor said Seagar’s is following and exceeding all COVID-19 protocols, giving diners peace of mind when they visit the dining room.
“Our servers are all wearing masks and gloves, and we have eliminated some of the seating,” explained O’Connor. “Even though we are at a different occupancy, we are abiding by social distancing standards.”
Seagar’s is located at 4000 S. Sandestin Blvd., Miramar Beach, within the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Visit them online at seagars.com or call 850-622-1500.