June 26, 2020
By Michelle Farnham
SANDESTIN – Fishing aficionados might be aware that “slick lips” is a nickname for the amberjack fish, but for those landlubbers out there, know that this mild protein is often compared to swordfish. You’ll find it on Chef Jay Ammons’ menu at Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster Bar, wrapped in applewood smoked bacon with a creole meuniére sauce and sweet potato hash.
The restaurant’s pursuit of the freshest seafood comes from co-owners Bryce and Capt. Gary Jarvis, who have decades of fishing in their family.
“We want to offer the best: fresh, sustainable, Gulf-to-table fish and seafood!” Ammons said. “It’s our goal to support our local fishing fleets.”
As for other tastes of the sea, there’s a yellowfin ahi tuna burger, oysters on the half shell two ways, a key lime snapper and a pecan crusted grouper, to name a few. If your tastebuds are still celebrating Mardi Gras, you might look to Cajun favorites like the crawfish étouffée, red beans n’ rice or Ammon’s award-winning gumbo.
Speaking of that gumbo – which Chef crafts with crawfish, smoked sausage, scallops, crab, shrimp and his secret: a little amber beer – it hasn’t won just one award. Since the restaurant opened in March of 2018, Slicks Lips has been lauded at the Sandestin Gumbo Festival, won the Community Broadcasters Award, and earned Best Gumbo (and Best Oysters) by both Best of the Emerald Coast and Best in Destin.
Ammons – who brings a lifetime of cooking and more than 25 years of food service industry experience to the kitchen – likes to change things up on occasion, using seasonal ingredients and feedback from his customers. You’ll see this creativity shine in specials throughout the year, but he is particularly excited about the restaurant’s new Crows Nest area upstairs.
“What better way to highlight fresh Gulf fish than sushi!” – Chef Jay Ammons
“What better way to highlight fresh Gulf fish than sushi!” Ammons said. “This year we are playing with a few rolls to offer upstairs and small plate apps along with the best oysters on the coast.”
Also look for Ammons’ new stuffed avocado, which comes deep fried and stuffed with crab salad and dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.
If all that eating has you thirsty, Slick Lips serves an array of craft cocktails.
“We handcraft all of our drinks from scratch,” Ammons explained. “To name a few, there’s the Peach and Strawberry Moonshine Mojito, Old Fashioned, Cucumber Collinsworth, Gamechanger, 50 Shades of Rosé, and quite a few other choices.”
Enjoy happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. everyday, which includes all beer and house wine.
You’ll see Slick Lips at several community events throughout the year, like The Market Shop’s Bloody Mary Festival, Shunk Gulley 30A Oyster Fest and, of course, the Sandestin Wine Festival and Sandestin Gumbo Fest, right on their front doorstep.
Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster Bar, located at 140 Fishermans Cove in Baytowne Wharf at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, can be found online at www.slicklipsseafood.com. Ammons and his crew are serving from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Reach them by phone at 850-347-5060.