Sept. 10, 2021
By Pam Windsor
SANDESTIN – Tommy Bahama is known for its “welcome to the islands” vibe, a feeling that starts at the door with the lush, tropical decor and continues throughout an expansive menu, offering a variety of dishes all made from scratch.
“Our food is extremely consistent and made from high quality ingredients,” said General Manager Pratt Shirley. “There are very few companies that care as much as this one does about every aspect of the quality ingredients. So, there is a real excitement every day to seeing and smelling the different spices and ingredients, and watching the creation of every dish in the back.”
Some of the dishes that have put Tommy Bahama on the map include the World Famous Coconut Shrimp, the Thai Shrimp & Scallops, and the extremely popular Macadamia Nut Crusted Snapper.
“We take a fresh piece of red snapper and we coat it in a macadamia nut crust,” Shirley explained. “We sear it on a flat top hot grill, then add our Wasabi Soy Beurre Blanc sauce, and serve it with our famous coconut almond rice and fresh grilled asparagus.
Another customer favorite is the Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos.
“Our fish tacos are made with mahi-mahi that’s been marinated in our own secret blackening sauce, then cooked perfectly on the grill. That’s set on a soft, blended flour tortilla with our signature slaw, topped with our tomato relish made fresh every day, and a chipotle aioli sauce. They’re fabulous!”
The Sandestin location is one of a group of Tommy Bahama restaurants across the country. And while all share the same menu, Shirley said each restaurant has its own individual flare thanks to fresh, locally sourced ingredients and the opportunity to showcase some of every chef’s individual talents.
“We have a main menu that is run throughout the company, but we also have the ability to put out fresh sheets every day which show off our chef and our teams.”
Sip, sip hooray!
The cocktails, just like the food, are also made with fresh ingredients.
“All of the mixes like the sour mix, the sangria, the mojitos, and all of that, they’re all made from scratch,” Shirley said. “We have a Coconut Cloud Martini that can’t be touched by anybody, it is absolutely excellent! And a Key Lime Martini that’s really special, also.”
Their Island Time Happy Hour offers a great opportunity to sample some of those drinks.
In the evenings, live music is featured, usually with a solo guitarist or perhaps a duo. And when the weather permits, the music is often moved out onto the patio.
“We have a beautiful patio that seats around 160 people and overlooks fountains. It’s an atmosphere, sitting under the stars in Destin, Fla., like you’ll never see anywhere else.”
Offering a memorable experience unlike any other is a top priority for Tommy Bahama.
“We want to take you to the Caribbean Islands,” said Shirley. “When you come into our restaurant, we want to make sure you forget about everything else for the two hours you’re here. And I think that’s extremely special about us.”
Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tommy Bahama is located at 525 Grand Boulevard in Sandestin. Reservations are highly recommended, especially between March 1 to mid-August. Call 850-654 -1743 or visit www.tommybahama.com/restaurants/sandestin