By Pam Windsor
July 7, 2022
ROSEMARY BEACH – Restaurant Paradis has a warmth and elegance that welcomes guests as soon as they walk through the door. This fine-dining restaurant, led by Executive Chef Mark Eichin and his talented culinary team, is a local favorite for its unique approach to coastal cuisine, as well as its popular wine and dinner pairings.
Everything on the menu is fresh and new, with locally sourced ingredients.
“I like to try to buy local as much as possible because it supports mom and pop shops, as well as the local economy,” Chef Eichin said. “And also, why do I need to get tomatoes from California if I’ve got them growing right here and they taste even better? We also make everything in-house, like all of our stocks. When we’re in our busy season, I re-prep the entire menu from scratch every single day.”
The menu often changes depending on what’s in-season, but there are some mainstays that are usually available. Those include dishes like diver scallops, tuna tartare, beef & blues cheese tortellini, and Chef Eichin’s award-winning cast-iron filet seared in duck fat with lobster tail tempura.
Eichin, who has been with Restaurant Paradis since the beginning, credits an attention to detail for the success of most dishes. But he also has a vast and interesting food background that tends to influence many of his creations. As a military brat (both his parents served in the Air Force), Eichin grew up living all around the world where he got to sample many different types of cuisine.
“I was actually born in England, my oldest brother was born in Germany, and my little brother was born in Texas,” he said. “Then, when we came back to the states, we went from Texas to Georgia to East Tennessee. My dad was always a foodie from living in Europe, so we were exposed to quite a bit of different types of food.”
His mother grew up on a farm in Minnesota, made a lot of home-cooked meals and taught him the value of using fresh ingredients.
“I used to always love being in the kitchen and cooking with my mom. My philosophy is that cooking is like the wheel: everything’s already been done. So, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel, just take aspects of it, along with influences from a little bit of German or English or finding a dish I like and recreating my own way of making it better.”
He also values the creative input of others on his kitchen staff in trying new things for some of the specials on the menu.
Eichin enjoys collaborating when creating specific dishes to pair with different types of wine available.
“Our wine program is really, really, really incredible and I wish I could take a little bit of credit for that, but I can’t,” he said. “That comes from Michael Wood, our general manager. I’ll sit down and figure out what our main wines are by the glass, then I’ll start building things off a round to accommodate them. You always want one thing to complement another.”
It’s made Restaurant Paradis a popular stop for wine enthusiasts.
Chef Eichin is proud to be part of the amazing group that’s so dedicated to creating a one-of-a-kind experience that keeps guests coming back again and again.
“The one thing I’ve always loved about this industry is, it’s kind of an instant gratification type of deal. You don’t need anything to be said, you just walk around and see the smiles and people enjoying it and it makes the work you put in during the day all worth it.”
Restaurant Paradis is located at 82 S. Barrett Square, Rosemary Beach. The restaurant is open for dinner-only seven nights a week from 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 850-534-0400. For more information, visit www.restaurantparadis.com