Fresh perspectives on the menu at Seagar’s

Classic steakhouse names new chef, beverage manager

By Michelle Farnham
Feb. 25, 2022

SANDESTIN – Since opening in 1998, Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood has maintained its classic New York steakhouse vibe. Each chef passing through the kitchen has left their mark on the cuisine, incorporating new technique and flavors, but diners should expect a little something extra this spring. The fine dining eatery has welcomed both a new chef de cuisine, Fleetwood Covington, and a new beverage director, Catherine Lien.

Smokin' Mango Symphony
Smokin’ Mango Symphony

Distinctive drinks

Shaking things up behind the bar, Lien comes to Seagar’s after 20 years at Las Vegas’s Delminco Steakhouse.

“I was ready for a change,” Lien admitted. “That’s the desert, where everything is flown in from California. I’m looking forward to working with a lot more local, fresh products.”

Catherine Lien
Catherine Lien

When creating her new cocktail lineup, she took many things into consideration, including the season, the location and the restaurant theme.

“I also like to use new kinds of spirits that may not be well known out here,” she said, pointing to her Smokin’ Mango Symphony, which features Mezcal, tamarind syrup, mango puree and lime juice in a Tajin-rimmed glass.

As we approach the summer season, she’s inspired by fruits like in her Sparkling Berries (berry-infused vodka, Créme de Cassis, lemon, syrup and sparkling wine) or the Citrus Paradisi (grapefruit-infused vodka, lime, pink grapefruit soda). Fall may see a shift into apples, maple, cranberries, and the like.

She’s also careful to remember the steakhouse theme, like her spin on a classic Manhattan called the Evening Joe: bourbon, coffee-infused vermouth, and cherry bark vanilla bitters.

Dessert drinks are not forgotten, either, with Lien’s 21st Century Grasshopper, and the Bluegrass Ending: bourbon, bourbon cream, coffee liqueur, cold brew, and chocolate bitters.

Pasta
Chef Fleetwood Covington prepares the basil-laminated linguini.

Contemporary cuisine

Situated in the chef’s kitchen, Covington has been with Seagar’s for six years, working his way up from the kid who just wanted to learn to roll pasta one summer, to chef de cuisine.

In his inaugural menu tasting, he started with a crab cake featuring smooth étouffée and a white wine butter-poached spot prawn.

Crab cake
Crab Cake with poached spot prawn

“The spot prawns are a little sweeter than your gulf prawn, and I needed something to balance out the super savory étouffée,” Covington said.

The chef was very pleased to unveil his new wagyu beef product, working with the Japanese farm twice ranked best wagyu in the world. His Miyazaki Wagyu Tartare comes from the 4- and 6-ounce portions on the new menu, and is plated with herb cream, morel duxelles, confit gaufrette potato and capers.

Rounding out his first course options, Covington served a Tuna Tartare with bluefin toro, citrus, pineapple mignonette, and avocado mousse.

Moving on to entrees, he offered Pan-Roasted Diver Scallops with blistered heirloom tomatoes, and spring vegetables.

The Gulf Grouper is plated atop a textured heirloom tomato bisque – heavy on the smoke – with braised rainbow Swiss chard and crispy leeks.

Covington drew inspiration from his predecessor, Chef Lee Guidry, and his love for Asian flavors in putting together the new Red Snapper entree.

“I wanted to take all the flavors I remembered from our time in the restaurant and replicate them in one dish,” he explained. “This is my homage to my mentor who gave me most of my culinary technique.”

Here he served the protein with chanterelle mushrooms, jumbo lump crab salad and herb beurre blanc, alongside a purple cabbage, carrot and ginger puree.

Red Snapper
Red snapper with crab salad, chanterelles and carrot-ginger puree

The new menu debuts in March and dinner is served Tuesday to Saturday. Diners can find Seagar’s at 4000 Sandestin Blvd. South, Miramar Beach. Learn more or make a reservation at www.seagars.com or 850-622-1500.

Photos by Michelle Farnham