By Michelle Farnham
July 23, 2023
SANDESTIN – It’s been a quarter century since Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood opened its doors, prompting a look back and a look ahead at Sandestin’s AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse.
First, the name. Pronounced “cigars,” the moniker was a play on words, referencing the classic era of New York-style steakhouses and the restaurant’s former cigar-only smoking policy. In fact, a cigar list was offered as well as an on-site humidor room.
“Seagar’s lounge area was equipped with a special ventilation system to ensure diners could enjoy their dinner without the interference of cigar smoke affecting their palate,” explained Executive Chef Fleetwood Covington. “When the state of Florida banned smoking inside, we turned Seagar’s humidor room into a wine room, and the rest is history.”
That history includes a menu full of Prime USDA beef, the freshest seafood, international imports that spare no expense, an inspired beverage program, and the most exclusive of wine lists.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Seagar’s debuted a “new” logo with a nod to the original branding, which featured a bull.
“We’re beyond thrilled to be celebrating 25 years of service this year,” Covington said. “Seagar’s is proud to be recognized as a staple in the area, having been the Emerald Coast’s only AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse for over 20 years, and we look forward to the next 25 years of serving our loyal customers.”
A look ahead
Covington admits he has lofty goals for that future. The chef approaches food from a multi-sensory, artistic angle, focusing on more than just good taste.
“As we drill down into curating the dining experience, my goal is to take apart the model of how we experience food. From eating it, to the aromas, the textures, and the plating,” he explained.
The summer menu will feature a new seared grouper dish with caviar and champagne beurre blanc, roasted summer succotash, and sorrel.
“It’s not good enough for a plate to taste delicious. At Seagar’s, we want to prioritize the ingredients to create an experience that not only tastes like a four-diamond dish, but also looks like a work of art,” Covington said.
In addition to its classic steak offerings, the kitchen will debut several seasonal dishes to the summer menu – some even tapping into the innovative world of molecular gastronomy.
Chef plans to include a “Table Dessert,” which combines the creative elements of art and culinary, and the ingredients featured will change from time to time.
Past menu highlights have included such avant-garde offerings as house-made floral-laminated pasta, clear key lime pie, and a Jackson Pollock-inspired dessert using liquid nitrogen to paint sauces directly on the table. He brings in truly top-shelf ingredients, like Japanese A5 Wagyu and $5,000 a pound Italian Alba truffles.
Having been part of the Seagar’s team for seven years now, Covington has seen the menu’s creativity take off with the recent expansion of the kitchen staff.
“When I was coming up in the kitchen, we only had four guys; now we have nine. It’s allowed us to make the plates more intricate. It takes four hands, minimum, to do those plates consistently. It makes us better to constantly push,” he admitted.
Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood is located at 4000 Sandestin Blvd. South, Miramar Beach, within the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday, visit them online at www.seagars.com for menu and reservation information, or call 850-622-1500.