By Lauren Sage Reinlie
Oct. 9, 2021
SANDESTIN – One of the newest dining options on the 30A scene is Ovide, the signature restaurant at the new Hotel Effie at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
Ovide opened in February with a menu created in collaboration with celebrity chef and James Beard Award-winner Hugh Acheson. Ovide focuses on clean, fresh and simple food featuring flavors from around the world, alongside more familiar Southern cuisine.
“We are trying hard to keep it really clean with simple food, nothing super elaborate,” said Hotel Effie’s executive chef Lulu Dangerfield, who oversees the day-to-day operations at Ovide and the hotel’s other restaurants. “Nothing is deep-fried, none of our dishes are really heavy. It is not the kind of food that is going to make you want to go take a nap after you eat it. It’s very clean food, but also very full of flavor.”
This approach is on full display in their red snapper dish. The fish is pan-fried to a perfect crisp then served with Southern pigeon peas and rice, charred baby bok choy and a Thai chili sauce.
Dangerfield likes to keep the menu as fresh as the food. She updates the menu regularly, responding to what people are loving and what they might be looking for more of.
“Every time you come, I want you to have something different and it be delicious.”
– Lulu Dangerfield, executive chef
“For me, it’s important that if someone likes the restaurant and the atmosphere and appreciates the service that we provide, I want to make sure they can come once a week and not get bored,” she said. “Every time you come, I want you to have something different and it be delicious.”
New ingredients, new experiences
Dangerfield also likes to use ingredients that people may not be as familiar with and show them how fresh and simple preparation can create delicious food.
Take, for example, Ovide’s fairy tale eggplant, which is roasted on the grill and then served with a smear of light and fresh pesto made from spinach, basil, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. It’s garnished with lemon aioli and microgreens and served over a bed of farro.
“A lot of people don’t like eggplant,” Dangerfield said. “The weird thing is a lot of people actually love eggplant if it’s cooked properly. We want to surprise people, so they can say ‘Wow, I actually love this.’”
Originally from Ottawa, Canada, Acheson became famous for his restaurants in Athens, Ga. He went on to win a James Beard Award in 2012 and be a competitor and then judge on the television show Top Chef.
Dangerfield said Acheson has mastered using Southern ingredients in new ways, as he does in his farm egg with crispy rice dish, one of the signatures at his restaurants in Georgia. For this dish, which is now also served at Ovide, a poached egg is served over very crisp rice. When the egg is broken open it becomes the sauce for the dish. It’s served with a Korean-style kimchi made with collard green stems.
Another popular offering at Ovide is their grilled filet mignon served alongside mashed potatoes with a highly flavorful shiitake mushroom and red wine beef jus.
Flavors of the world
Dangerfield said one of the favorite parts of her job is working with all the chefs who are involved in the project. They all have different backgrounds: she was born and raised in Mexico, Acheson is from Canada and then Georgia, and the other chefs came from Louisiana, New Mexico and Philadelphia.
“We all have this different approach to food and we bring different ingredients,” she said. “I enjoy a lot when we make specials and we all bring different backgrounds and different stories to the table and then it all comes together in one plate. It’s something you couldn’t have gotten to by yourself.”
Ovide is located at Hotel Effie at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort near Baytowne Wharf. The address is 1 Grand Sandestin Boulevard in Miramar Beach. The restaurant’s staff can be reached at 850-351-3030 during business hours. They are open seven days a week for breakfast and brunch from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Reservations are recommended and can be made online or by phone. Find more information at hoteleffie.com/dining/ovide.