Sandestin steakhouse debuts winter menu
By Michelle Farnham
SANDESTIN – As a AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse, Seagar’s Prime Prime Steaks and Seafood is certainly known for its beef, but Executive Chef Fleetwood Covington III and his crew debut new creations four times a year to capitalize on each season’s freshest ingredients.
At a special winter menu preview Jan. 25, Covington unveiled a crab cake that took full advantage of the re-opening of the Alaskan king crab market. Featuring a velvety smooth velouté and edible flowers, this crab cake is topped with the most perfectly crisp confit leeks, sliced impossibly thin.
Also from the first course menu, Chef’s pork belly is served atop a 13-layer potato mille-feuille that is simultaneously buttery and crisp – hitting all the highlights of what a potato can be. In addition to an apple puree, sweet creme fraiche, and blood orange demi glace reduction, Covington takes it to that Seagar’s status by adding gold leaf.
“We went with the Japanese Kurobuta pork belly,” Covington explained. “The fat-to-protein content – it’s like Wagyu – it’s evenly distributed so you’re not biting into really big fat pockets, making it too hard to chew.”
Moving onto entrees, Chef wanted to hint at spring with his seared Gulf grouper dish, using light, bright citrus flavors in the artfully marbled basil and white wine beurre blanc, alongside roasted winter vegetables.
“I’ve been wanting to do this marbled beurre blanc for two or three menus now,” he said. “We do a basil puree but to keep it from oxidizing and turning brown, we use a lemon juice base laced with dehydrated lemon powder.” Dots of the puree are carefully dragged with a needle through the beurre blanc to create the marble effect.
Seagar’s has been setting the bar for its diver scallops for years, but Covington brought out their natural sweetness pairing them with confit sweet potato and carrot ribbons. The plate includes house-pressed linguini, finished with tarragon and brown butter emulsion and king crab velouté – and a bit of sleight-of-hand.
“We like to hide the vegetables. We pick vegetables that are the same color so you can’t tell which is which. You’ve got confited sweet potatoes and carrots, and I can look at that plate and even I can’t tell which is which. That’s kind of what I want: to hide some of the supporting ingredients,” he admitted with a smile.
Aiming to take the gaminess out of game, the red stag venison entree is served with a black currant demi glace reduction, and takes the word “tender” to a whole new level.
“Venison I’ve tried for years to get in the restaurant, and if I was going to bring it in, I was going to get it from New Zealand,” Covington said. “Red stag is the less gamier option, in my opinion. This is the leg filet, so it will probably eat like Prime filet.”
The meal was finished on a sweet note with a bruleed apple spice cake with buttercream – a nod to Covington’s mom’s carrot cake. A quenelle of house-made bourbon and Madagascar vanilla bean gelato completes the dessert.
Seagar’s beverage program was on full display as well, as mixologist Angelina served up a trio of cocktails, capitalizing on the warming flavors of winter. A gin drink, Fit For A Queen, is topped with champagne and includes an edible hibiscus blossom floated in the coupes glass. For those who enjoy a little heat in their drink, the Explosion of Flavors starts with a smoky Mezcal tequila, chipotle pineapple, lime, and a rim of Tajin. Perhaps the most wintery of sips though was the Under the Mistletoe, a snifter of ginger beer, organic apple vodka, pomegranate liquor and lime, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
Seagar’s Prime Seafood & Steakhouse is located at 4000 Sandestin Blvd. South, within the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Visit them online at seagars.com for more information, including reservation details.
Photos by Michelle Farnham