Seagar’s: Sneaking a peek at fall
Food and beverage offerings turn to warmer seasonal flavors
By Michelle Farnham
Sept. 22, 2022
SANDESTIN – While the weather might not suggest a change of seasons yet, fall is indeed here, and so is the new seasonal menu at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood.
The staff rolled out their newest offerings at a special tasting event, with Chef de Cuisine Fleetwood Covington aiming to dazzle diners with not just flavor, but also technique, presentation and quality.
“Moving into the fall, I really wanted to hone in on the best possible ingredients,” Covington said, including center-cut A5 Wagyu beef fresh from Japan and the latest shipment of $5,000 a pound Alba truffles from Italy. “That’s something I’ve not seen at another steakhouse.”
A savory start
Covington began the meal with a seared Chesapeake diver scallop over saffron risotto, served in a scallop shell. Garnishing the plate is a shard of carrot glass, a morsel made by twisting the root vegetable until it is transparent and easily shattered with your fork.
Childhood memories of quail hunting in South Carolina inspired Chef’s seared Argentinian duck breast starter, plated atop a “nest” of confit leeks, with roasted butternut squash and beets.
“As our restaurant has been hitting on all cylinders, it gives the culinary staff the confidence to become a little more vulnerable with what we make,” he explained. “Spring and summer were very well received, and we’re continuing with that philosophy.”
Also on the first course menu is that holy grail of beef, the A5 Wagyu, this time served tartare-style. In addition to the 4-ounce portion, Covington has done a molecular play on pommes gaufrette with flash-fried rice paper.
The main event
Moving onto entrees, Chef’s Southern roots show in his devotion to gumbo perfection. He serves his seared snapper atop a smooth gumbo, which he blends and strains, then adds more fall vegetables to preserve the freshness.
Seagar’s new lobster pasta is presented tail-on, poached in white wine and champagne, and topped with house-made pasta, lobster velouté, and onion blossom.
“Every garnish we use, whether it’s onion blossom, garlic flower, it serves a purpose for the actual dish,” Covington said. “We’re really conscious that the garnish lends itself to the flavor and adds depth, rather than just looks pretty.”
Chef took a stroll down memory lane with two desserts made with nostalgic flavors but high-end technique. His Night at the Fair treat incorporates pumpkin pie served with smoked cotton candy, kissed with edible luster dust.
When crafting his play on s’mores, Covington reached not for that familiar brown-wrappered candy bar, but Tanzanian chocolate mousse, butterscotch and armagnac graham cracker crumble, Swiss meringue, edible 24 carat gold leaf, and a special autumnal table-side surprise.
Sips to savor
In harmony with the food offerings, Seagar’s Beverage Director Catherine Lien has shaken up a dozen new cocktails for the cooler months, and presented a trio for consideration.
A crowd favorite, Apples For My Mule is a mix of apple-infused vodka, apple spice, allspice dram, lemon and ginger beer. Winter Paradise combines dark rum, allspice dram, apple cider and lemon, finished with star anise; while A Study of Taste takes Blanco Tequila in a more autumnal direction with help from pomegranate syrup and habañero tincture.
“I’m using more fall-inspired flavors, darker spirits. I totally believe in using seasonal ingredients,” Lien explained as she pointed toward the mule, which is garnished with a house-dehydrated apple slice and mint sprig. “We’re using an organic apple-infused vodka out of Texas and there’s cloves, nutmeg, and the ginger as well.”
Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood is located at 4000 Sandestin Blvd. South in Miramar Beach,, within the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Dinner is served Tuesday to Sunday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., staying open until 10 on Friday and Saturday. Visit them online at www.seagars.com for more information or to make a reservation.
Photos by Michelle Farnham