Seagar’s: Steakhouse standards, seasonal surprises!
By Lauren Sage Reinlie
Aug. 3, 2022
SANDESTIN – Diners who step into Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood know immediately they are in for something special for the Northwest Florida area. The dark wood floors and candlelit tables. The live pianist and the sharply dressed and exceptionally attentive staff. The mouth-watering aromas wafting out of the open-air kitchen.
But beyond that, Seagar’s seeks to really set itself apart, offering their award-winning steakhouse experience with some extra surprises inspired by some of the best restaurants in the world. The staff regularly hears diner feedback comparing their experience at Seagar’s to cuisine trendsetters in major cities across the country.
“That shows me what we are doing is being received very well,” Chef de Cuisine Fleetwood Covington said recently. “I’m always focused on: how can we push Seagar’s forward? How can we continue to separate our restaurant from what everyone else is doing?”
Seagar’s opened in Hilton Sandestin in 1998. The AAA 4-Diamond steakhouse has been stacking up awards ever since.
Every steak from the New York strip to the filet to the cowboy rib-eye is prime-cut and hand-selected by the chefs. Grouper, snapper, and oversized shrimp are all sourced locally from the Gulf of Mexico.
The foie gras special changes each week. Popular menu items include the seafood tower and shareable classic sides like mashed potatoes and a decadent macaroni and cheese.
Their Dover sole was featured on the Food Network’s show “The Best Thing I Ever Ate!” The fish is filleted table-side in a delicate dance that removes all the bones without breaking the meat of the fish at all. Then it is sautéed in butter, capers, and lemon.
Other table-side favorites include the Caesar salad and the bananas foster.
The restaurant offers over 600 labels of wine and recently earned a two-glass award from Wine Spectator magazine. A revisioned cocktail menu is in the works, as well.
Alongside these high-quality steakhouse staples, Covington aims to bring some surprises to seasonal menu options, desserts, and especially presentation.
“Because we have such a good and long standing reputation, I really have the freedom to create unbridled,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of restrictions on what I can and can not do.”
One dessert that is currently in production is one inspired by some of the trends in high-end dining at restaurants like Alinea in Chicago. Vibrant sauces are presented straight onto the table, using liquid nitrogen. The splattered effect looks something like a Jackson Pollock painting.
“You do come to Seagar’s and expect the mashed potatoes and the prime steaks, so it’s a very easy space for me to try to shock people as well,” he said. “That experience of helping people discover something new, it’s fun and very rewarding.”
Covington came to Seagar’s in 2017. He had trained as a concert pianist all his childhood, practicing eight to 10 hours a day. After high school, he went to the South of France to perform. He planned to stay one week and ended up staying for years, touring all around Europe, performing, as well as eating delicious, new foods.
One morning, he woke up and knew he was burning out. He came home to Fairhope, Ala., looking for something new and found a role at Seagar’s as a part-time pantry cook. He quickly realized he loved the art of cooking and devoted himself to the craft as passionately as he had piano. He studied under chefs with Michelin-Star and 5-diamond experience, giving him a high-caliber education without leaving the restaurant. Now he regularly researches new techniques being used at the highest rated restaurants in the world.
“I love figuring out how to provide an experience people can’t get anywhere else or nowhere close to here at least,” he said. “The whole thing has become an obsession.”
Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., and is located at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa at 4000 Sandestin Boulevard South, Miramar Beach. The restaurant can be reached at 850-622-1500. Reservations are required. Learn more at seagars.com.