Save the cooking to the pros with South Walton dining options
By Michelle Farnham
November 1st, 2017
When it comes to Thanksgiving, would you rather be stuffing your face than stuffing the business end of a turkey? Many of the chefs of South Walton understand this, and offer their talents as a solution.
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa is hosting its annual Thanksgiving buffet in the Emerald Ballroom, put together by Chef Dan Vargo. Served from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., adults can dine for $45.95 and children ages 6 to 12 for $16.95 (5 and under are free). Reservations can be made to enjoy an assortment of salads, starters, chef-carved meats, entrees, sides, desserts, and kid’s options. Look for highlights such as the bourbon pecan bars, turkey breast with giblet gravy, bronzed grouper over corn chowder, peel-and-eat shrimp, and the creamy five-onion soup.
Café Thirty-A in Seagrove Beach is taking reservations for a 4-course, noon to 4 p.m. early dinner. Those with a reservation will be treated to their choice of soup, salad, meat course and dessert. For the third course, choose from deep-fried brined turkey, roasted salmon, seared snapper or a filet. Cost is $60 per person, and a $20 children’s menu is available. If dining at home is more your speed, a complete takeout dinner for six is offered for $210, with additional sides and pies a la carte. Takeout orders must be placed by 5 p.m. Nov. 19.
Over in Baytowne Wharf, Marlin Grill will serve dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. on the holiday. Diners may order off the regular menu, or choose a traditional Thanksgiving dinner – with a reservation.
Vue on 30a in Santa Rosa Beach will be dishing up “tradition with a dash of coastal cuisine” at the annual Thanksgiving Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu includes expected Thanksgiving staples like fried turkey and stuffing, but branches out to clam chowder, mahi mahi with feta olives, shrimp, raw oysters, and standard brunch fare. Meals are $49.95 for adults, $15.95 for kids ages 6 to 12, and under 5 is complimentary. Diners are asked to RSVP to this event that typically sells out.
The Ocean Club in Miramar Beach will open its doors from noon to 8 p.m. on the holiday, offering a special menu with traditional choices and some of their most popular seafood entrees. The turkey lovers can choose to have their birds oven-roasted or Cajun-fried, and served alongside traditional dressing and cranberry relish. Reservations are highly recommended.
Two dining options are available at The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach: a brunch and a lunch/dinner. Reservations are required for both, priced at $60 per adult and $30 per child 12 and under. The full buffet brunch – with seatings at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the ballroom – include Thanksgiving favorites alongside Cajun prime rib, roasted Black Forrest ham with apple chutney, a gulf seafood display, chocolate pot de crème with cranberry compote, and more. The lunch/dinner – served in Havana Beach Bar & Grill – runs from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and comes with a complimentary hot beverage, choice of a special menu item and dessert buffet.
Three of Chef Jim Shirley’s restaurants will be cooking on the holiday. Both The Bay in Santa Rosa Beach and Great Southern Café in Seaside will serve a Thanksgiving Day buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations will be taken beginning Nov. 1. 45 Central, also in Seaside, has a breakfast buffet from 8 to 11 a.m.
Get it to go
Over in Inlet Beach, Shades Bar & Grill is offering pre-sale only pickup on Thanksgiving morning. Hand over cooking duties and they’ll prepare a 12- to 14-pound fried turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, and tasso cornbread stuffing to feed six. A fried turkey is offered for $60, and additional 32-ounce sides are $20.
Jon Seeling, owner of 98 Bar-B-Que is keeping the smoker, roaster and fryer going up until the last minute. His team is taking meal orders through Nov. 17, and meals must be picked up by 5 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving. Their 21- to 25-pound Tom turkeys are offered smoked or roasted for $79.95; 10- to 12-pound henn turkeys can be fried, smoked, or roasted for $39.95; or an 8-pound smoked spiral ham is $39.95. The turkeys come with turkey gravy, and an assortment of sides and desserts are also available.