Aug. 31, 2020
By Meredith Houston Carr
SANDESTIN – When you hear “Tommy Bahama,” visions of fun-loving Hawaiian shirts may hula their way through your head. A creative menu of eclectic, island-inspired fare may not be the first thing that comes to mind – but at Tommy Bahama Restaurant, that’s exactly what you’ll find. Here, the essence of island living the brand is known for makes its way to your plate.
At home in scenic South Walton for well over a decade, Tommy Bahama is an ideal choice for anyone looking to experience the island lifestyle, according to General Manager Pratt Shirley.
“If I was going to best describe our restaurant, it looks like a rum plantation placed in the middle of a suburban setting,” he explained.
Whether you’re looking to unwind over lunch, enjoy an intimate dinner for two, or celebrate a special occasion with a crowd, Tommy Bahama’s top-notch service has you covered.
“We really know how to go over the top for special occasions. We go out of our way to make your celebration special.”
– Pratt Shirley, general manager
“You can eat with us every day, and we do have a lot of regulars, or we can host your special occasion, because we really know how to go over the top for special occasions. We go out of our way to make your celebration special,” said Pratt.
Location, location, location
Whatever the reason, at Tommy Bahama you’re sure to enjoy an experience that’s marked by relaxation and fun. Located at the entrance of the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, Tommy Bahama has its finger on the pulse of all the excitement that Grand Boulevard has to offer.
“The restaurant itself is snuggled right in the middle of Grand Boulevard, where our patio overlooks the fountains and green space that hosts many events throughout the year,” said Pratt. “The wine fest in the spring is probably the single biggest event, and we have a front row seat.”
In addition to entertaining seasonal activities offered on the green, Tommy Bahama hosts a daily happy hour, offering signature island-inspired cocktails and a wide array of beer and wine, from 3 to 6 p.m. Adding to the enjoyable island vibe, live music is offered Monday through Saturday, from 5 to 9 p.m.
Island fare without the plane ride
The location and environment may soothe your soul, but the menu will fill your belly. According to Pratt, one key element setting Tommy Bahama apart is the from-scratch kitchen and its creations offered by Executive Chef Andre Dobbs.
“Everything is made from scratch. Every item in the building is made from scratch,” he noted.
While the menu changes slightly with seasons, the restaurant’s signature dishes – like Thai shrimp and scallops, Macadamia nut-crusted snapper, and blackened Mahi Mahi tacos – are so popular, Pratt says revolt would ensue should those dishes ever be removed.
If your inner carnivore needs a fix, the Kona coffee-crusted ribeye or filet with blue cheese topping are “out of this world.” Just be sure to save room for dessert, all of which are made in house.
“We’re extremely famous for our desserts,” boasted Pratt, and it’s not hard to see why. The signature Pina Colada cake has been a hit since the restaurant’s inception. And crème brulée served up in a fresh pineapple bowl is sure to satisfy, too.
Whatever the occasion, Tommy Bahama serves up a slice of island living with a welcoming side of warmth.
“We’re extremely friendly,” Pratt said with satisfaction. “We pay attention to all the special details.”
Tommy Bahama is located at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin, 525 Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach. Open daily for lunch and dinner starting at 11 a.m., with happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Live music Monday through Saturday from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Reservations recommended and accepted online or by phone. For more information, call 850-654-1743 or visit www.tommybahama.com/restaurants/sandestin.