ROSEMARY BEACH – The Courtyard at Pescado is hosting a September Chef’s Table series with Chef John Engle. Dinners will take place every Wednesday in September at 6:30 p.m. and are by reservation only. Seats are $150 per person plus 7% tax and 22% gratuity.
The first of the four dinners, on Sept. 6, will start with Kampachi “Tataki” with spaghetti squash, Izak, bluegrass soy sauce and fermented yuzu, followed by squid ink (cavatelli) pasta with Alabama crab, basil, pecorino. The third course will be scallops and barnacles with piperade, harissa, and burnt onion. The fourth course will feature pheasant with Kings Table farm grits, eggplant, and perigord. The last of the dinner courses will feature beef coulotte with sweet potato “terrine,” lobster mushroom, vidalia and bordelaise. Finally, the dessert course will be pumpkin cake with brown butter and pecans.
The next three menus will be released soon; reservations can be made now here.
ALYS BEACH – Mardi Gras rolled through town last week, but there was still plenty of celebration at the Carnival-themed 30A Wine Festival Grand Tasting, held Feb. 25 along South Charles Street.
Vibrant Brazilian decor stood out among the stark white architecture synonymous with Alys Beach. Complete with traditional music and dancers, many of the restaurants presented dishes in keeping with the evening’s theme.
George’s at Alys Beach served mini pork belly tostadas.
The Depot served Baja tuna tartare sushi bowls and Gulf seafood paella.
Black Bear Bread Co. delighted with lemon curd king cake.
Yellowfin tuna dumplings were plated by Pescado.
The Alys Beach Culinary Team, for example, served Brazilian seafood stew and picanha skewers, which Executive Chef Drew Dzejak was grilling and carving on-site.
“We got the steak picante, done on the traditional skewers, as well as some lovely beef fat roasted potatoes to go with it,” Dzejak said, adding he thought the venue was looking particularly colorful and festive.
Neighboring George’s at Alys Beach was also in attendance at the sold-out event, including a pork belly tostada and a vegan lettuce wrap.
“We toss mushrooms in a teriyaki-style sauce with bourbon in it, and garnish it with toasted cashews, crispy shallots and pickled red cabbage,” explained Executive Chef Camille Withall, while refilling plates. “I love this festival, bringing people together. It shows the community and it’s a good time.”
In addition to other local vendors like Black Bear Bread Co., The Salty Butcher, Pescado and 2 Birds Café, festival organizers brought in talent from outside the state. Chef Scott Simpson of The Depot out of Auburn, Ala., was serving Baja tuna tartare sushi bowls and Gulf seafood paella. Hailing from Cleveland Heights in the Buckeye state, Farmer’s Feast served a rillette of Ohio chicken with crisp rice; and sausage, pickled cabbage and potato crisp on a baguette.
Of course it wouldn’t be a wine festival without the wine, and ticket-holders could sample vintages from the likes of Soter Vineyards, La Grande Sieste, Thompson 31Fifty Wines, La Fete Wine Co., and Finca Ambrosia, to name a few.
The stroll down Charles Street concluded with a cocktail station, pouring mixed drinks using Leyenda de México tequila, Campesino Rum, Vulanica Vodka, and Wonderland Distilling Gin.
The Grand Tasting was held Feb. 25.
The Carnival theme brought a lot of color to South Charles Street!
Even the guests got in on the sartorial fun!
Wine vendors came from near and far to offer their bottles.
Wine vendors came from near and far to offer their bottles.
The 30A Wine Festival ran Feb. 22 to 26.
In addition to wine, guests enjoyed a cocktail station.
Beautiful Alys Beach afternoons call for beautiful Alys Beach sunsets.
First-time attendee Joanna Thomas was in awe of the festivities.
“This is just tremendous; we’re having such a wonderful time!” she said, gesturing around. “The wine is exquisite, the food is delicious, I love the Brazilian dancers, and of course the venue here in Alys Beach is unmatched.”
The Grand Tasting is part of the five-day 30A Wine Festival extravaganza, including speciality dinners and seminars; Bourbon, Beer & Butts; the Gospel Brunch; and the Rose & Croquet tournament. The weekend benefits the Children’s Volunteer Health Network, providing affordable healthcare to children in need throughout Okaloosa and Walton counties.
ROSEMARY BEACH – The Courtyard at Pescado, located on the ground floor of the Orleans Building in Rosemary Beach, is set to host a Mardi Gras Wine Dinner Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023, at 6:30 p.m.
The coursed menu, created by Chef Preston Trott, will consist of four carefully crafted courses paired with French wines from Breakthru Beverage. Guests will be welcomed to start the evening with a refreshing Nola 75 cocktail. Tickets for the event are $165 + 7% tax and 22% gratuity. Purchase tickets at rooftop30a.com/happenings/mardigras2023
ROSEMARY BEACH – Spanish for fish, Pescado is a name befitting of the restaurant whose location at the uppermost point of the Orleans building in Rosemary Beach affords sweeping views of the Gulf. Views that change with every hour of the day and every turn of the tide, with sunsets that keep it incredibly in demand. Featuring a menu of seasonally-driven featured dishes, small plates, and shareable entrees that pair with a wine list that also changes with the seasons. The underlying theme of this beautifully designed venue is to create food worthy of that view, food with spectacular flavor and presentation that showcases the Gulf. Whether guests choose to dine indoors or venture out onto the rooftop patio and bar area, that famously jewel-hued water is always in view, the fresh sea air like seasoning to every single bite in Pescado’s exquisitely created food.
Since opening in early spring of 2018, the menu created by Executive Chef Ken Duenas is respective of freshness in every aspect, from the house made sauces drizzled colorfully on the plates to the local seafood, freshly caught fish, and premium proteins used as the focal point of the dish. Each is a work of art, a carefully executed display of what results from focusing creativity, passion, talent, and technique together in cohesion.
A 30-plus-year veteran of the kitchen and former executive chef at Cafe Thirty-A, Marina Café, and Destin Chops, Duenas is a self-taught chef, building a career from a passion that was instilled in him by his grandmother in Guam. Along with partners Joseph Freer, John Freer, Greg Wakeham, and Steven Sapp, Duenas is part of the Last Call Restaurant Group, a partnership that has proven quite successful in creating a concept that will not only bring people in, but also bring them back. “We’re booked out six months in advance,” said Duenas. “People love to come here because of the view, the food, and the drinks.”
The perfect blend of farm-to-table and tide-to-table, there is a dedication to using the best, most fresh ingredients available in season. Guest favorites include Steak Tartare, Filet Mignon, the Seafood Salad, and the Cantonese Whole Lobster. Interestingly, the menu wanders the globe, taking inspiration from France, the Mediterranean, Asia, and – of course – Duenas’s childhood in Guam. In each of his dishes, Duenas takes particular pride that he is creating an experience for his guests. “I love making people happy as they’re having a meal,” he said. “When you walk outside and someone pulls you over to tell you that they’ve just had one of the best meals of their lives, that’s really satisfying. Hearing that from them, it’s better than any kind of fame.”
Still, fame is lavished on the dishes created at Pescado, as well as the drinks created by their mixologists. Served up with a twist of creativity, each drink shows that the minds behind the mixing know their flavor profiles as well as what makes the perfect sip. “We have an incredible team here that makes amazing drinks,” noted Duenas.
A restaurant that certainly achieves the vision of what Duenas and his partners had in mind when they opened, Pescado is “casual fine dining that has the best views in the area, with food, drinks, and service to match.”
Pescado Seafood Grill & Rooftop Bar is located at 74 Town Hall Road, Suite 4B, Rosemary Beach. The restaurant is open Monday to Tuesday 4 to 10 p.m.; Wednesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday 9:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. Reservations accepted. For more information, call 850-213-4600 or visit www.rooftop30a.com.
ALYS BEACH – One of the premier events of the 30A Wine Festival, Friday night’s Bourbon Beer & Butts smoked up the coast Feb. 25!
The crowd came together for a good cause, as proceeds benefit the Children’s Volunteer Health Network, providing health services to over 1,000 underinsured children annually in Walton and Okaloosa counties. Kelley Mossburg, executive director of the charity, welcomed the crowd and offered his thanks.
“Many of the children we see each year – between kindergarten and fifth grade – have never seen the inside of a dentist’s office,” Mossburg explained. “We’re able to provide that care free of cost through your generosity and the generosity of The Alys Foundation and many other supporters. Thank you for being here tonight, and I don’t have to tell you to have a good time!”
Auburn’s Bow & Arrow was back for its sixth year, with Chef David Bancroft serving his TV-worthy ribs.
“This is a dish I did on Iron Chef America: Battle Ribs,” Bancroft said as he sprinkled the dish with pecans. “It has honey hot sauce and fried chicken skin streusel.”
Saw’s BBQ of Birmingham was on hand, not only dishing up Pork ‘n’ Greens (pulled smoked pork, cheese grits, turnip greens and fried onions) but handing out complimentary bottles of their sauce.
To wash down all that amazing BBQ, guests had their choice of bourbon or beer – or both – with everything from local favorites Idyll Hounds and Grayton Beer Co., to Wilderness Trail Distillery of Danville, Ky.
The team from Treaty Oak Distilling drove in all the way from the Austin, Texas, area to pour several options.
“We have our Treaty Oak Day Drinker Texas Bourbon, which is a little lower on the ABV side, it’s a little more for easy sipping and cocktails,” said rep Lee Fenner, while also pointing out their very popular Hill Country Dreaming cocktail, combining the Day Drinker with black tea, lemon, and mint simple syrup.
“We’ve been here every year, and this is probably the best event; we look forward to it every year,” Fenner added.
To entertain the crowd, The Cleverlys took the stage with a promise of twangy, old-timey music, but threw a curve ball when they cranked out more mainstream tunes such as Blackstreet’s “I Like the Way You Work It,” 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?” and “Gangnam Style” between deadpan quips and hilariously misleading anecdotes.
The Courtyard at Pescado will host a Walk into Fall Wine Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. The dinner will be led by Maxwell Rowe of Breakthru Beverage, featuring a menu by Chef Brendan Wakeham. This is a private event with limited tickets available. Tickets are $155 plus 7% tax and 22% gratuity. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
Presented by Master Sommelier Craig Collins and Breakthru Beverage
Special to 30A Food & Wine Aug. 23, 2021
ROSEMARY BEACH – The Courtyard at Pescado will be hosting a four-course Chef’s Table Wine Dinner presented by Master Sommelier Craig Collins and Breakthru Beverage on Thursday, Aug. 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The menu, created by Chef Ken Duenas, will feature four courses paired with each wine. Live music provided by Jamah Terry. This is a private event with limited tickets available for $150 plus 7% tax and 22% gratuity. Email email@example.com to purchase.
After graduating from Texas A&M University and working for Glazers Fine Wine Division, Collins was introduced to the Court of Master Sommeliers and refined the professional skills and industry knowledge that would shape his career.
The Courtyard at Pescado, a garden courtyard and lounge, is located at 74 Town Hall Road in Rosemary Beach.
ROSEMARY BEACH – The Courtyard at Pescado is hosting a fabulous Chateau d’Esclans Wine Tasting Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Dress to impress in rose, blush, and cream while enjoying live music by David Seering, wine such as Whispering Angel Rosé, appetizers, and more.A full bar will be available for purchase. This is a private event with limited tickets available. Tickets are $75 plus 7% tax and 22% gratuity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase.
The Courtyard at Pescado is located at 74 Town Hall Road in Rosemary Beach. Reach them by phone at 850-213-4600 or online at rooftop30a.com/the-courtyard
ROSEMARY BEACH – Pescado Rooftop Bar & Seafood Grill is offering an Easter Brunch on Easter Day, Sunday, April 4. All ages are welcome and guests over 21 years old will enjoy a welcome mimosa.
A buffet will be prepared by Chef Ken Duenas featuring items such as Gulf shrimp and Alaskan snow crab, bourbon glaze bone-in ham, rosemary and garlic-crusted prime rib, challah French toast and a duck confit hash – to name a few. The cost is $70 per person and $30 for children 12 years old and younger. A 7% tax and 20% gratuity will be added to each bill.
Pescado will have two seatings available, one at 10 a.m. and one at 12:30 p.m. Call 850-213-4600 to make your reservation. Space is very limited and will sell out very quickly.
Pescado’s lunch menu features thoughtfully prepared dishes by Chef Ken Duenas. Guests can enjoy items such as an Italian Duck Breast Cobb Salad, Maryland Crabcake, Chef’s Duck and Oyster Gumbo, a Lobster Roll and much more.
Take in the sweeping rooftop views of the Gulf of Mexico while sipping on Pescado’s famed craft cocktails from the bar. Reservations are strongly encouraged and may be made by calling 850-213-4600. Walk-ins will be accepted based on availability. Menu and additional info at Rooftop30A.com.