Back at it at the Beach


Update from my Pre-Covid 19 post about local hot spots.

Unfortunately, my favorite British pub is now permanently closed. Temperley’s owner has been stuck in London since right before all travel shut down while waiting on his visa. Knowing how difficult it is for a small business owner to stay afloat in normal operating conditions, I can only imagine how heart-breaking this has been for the Temperleys as their thriving business remained shuttered for the past few months with no foreseeable relief. I did read that he has a potential buyer so keeping fingers crossed the concept stays the same. I will miss going in there evenings and seeing Mr. and Mrs. Temperley cooking and pouring beers. They were a great addition to this community, and I fear they won’t be the last closure.

In a bit of good news, we finally found an amazing Indian restaurant, Holi Grill. They have remained open with curbside pickup all the way through, and the owner is often the one who cooks and brings your food to the door. His Instagram showcase not just the delicious food, but also cultural trivia. Glad to support this gem!


Landed back in PCB a few weeks ago and started the rounds of restaurants to check out all the new venues. So far, the scene is very promising! Below are a few, but lots more to come 🙂

Best Sushi imo Shan Kishi: (UPDATE They are still doing curbside pickup and so friendly!)

Just moved back and our first order of business was to go out for a sushi tasting night, we went to four establishments and Shan Kishi was by far the freshest, best variety and friendliest service. In fact it was so good when our kids came for the holidays, we took them all to dinner and they went two more times for lunch!

The fish is very fresh (we eat sashimi so basically just fish) and there were 3 pages of rolls. Granted some of the rolls seemed similar, but the Yankee, Ocean, spicy tuna and spicy salmon were delicious! Best deal is to order the trio of sashimi on entrees- 18 pieces of fish plus soup and salad for $25. The pieces ate enormous! If you go in solo or just a couple people, sit at the sushi bar, it is worth it. This is our go-to for all things sushi here in the panhandle.

Brunch with a View- Pescado:

Pescado hands down has the best seat in Rosemary Beach. Sunday brunch is open seating on the deck with an ala carte menu. We sat at the front rail and tables were roomy with a direct view to the ocean.

My husband ordered the Benedict with Tasso hollandaise. The eggs were perfectly poached, pork was tender and the Tasso ham added just the right spice. He also ordered a side of breakfast potatoes which were also delicious! They were sautéed with caramelized red onion and red pepper. Very tasty side! I indulged in the challah french toast with poached pear and Amaretto mascarpone. It was enormous and ridiculously decadent in a really good way! I also got a side of bacon. Take it from me, do not miss the bacon- thick cut, perfectly cooked and huge portion. All told we ordered too much. The portions are not small, but everything we had was scrumptious!

The only miss for us was the bloody mary. It had good spice and abundant garnish, but it was fairly small and heavy on ice for $15. The food was all a great value with entrees between $12-$18 and sides $2-$5. The view was spectacular and worth difficulty finding a parking spot in Rosemary. Pescado will be on regular Sunday brunch rotation for us.

As an aside, we went as a couple, but there were 3 families with small children (high chairs) dining on the deck. Not sure about children at dinner, but brunch is definitely accommodating.


Best Italian imo- Amici 30A:

Finally found great Italian on the panhandle! We sat at the chef’s counter and it was such a good choice! Chefs were friendly and fun to watch. It was maybe one of the cleanest operations I have ever seen dining or working in kitchens. Ingredients were fresh and portions were ample.

We split the Caprese to start which was made completely with heirloom tomatoes and had some bright lemon zest over top for added zing. We then ordered the spaghetti and meatballs and the mushroom ravioli with caper browned butter sauce. We could have split one entree, but choosing would be hard. Their “gravy” which is what they call their tomato sauce had lots of depth and the meatballs were moist and well-seasoned. The caper browned butter sauce was rich and briny in all the right places. The bread was rustic and served with herbed olive oil. It was all delicious!

We finished with the tiramisu just because of presentation. We were so full, but when we saw the mason jars, we were all in!

Everything was wonderful and we will be back…often!

Hidden Gem- Temperley’s:

Been to Temperley’s a number of times since moving back and it is yummy every time! This time we took our kids who are visiting and they sampled some of the fantastic British fare we raved about.

At the table we had fish and chips(we prefer the cod, but haddock is tasty as well), the bangers and mash and 2 Shepherd’s pies. All were hot and delicious! I have also tried the chicken pot pie pasty, as well as the apple and peach dessert pasty.

They have beer and wine available and everything is ordered at the counter. It is an unpretentious, local fave we go back to over and over!

Cooking in Quarantine: A Few of My Favorite Things

If nothing else, this time in isolation has allowed me to reconnect with some of my favorite products and recipes.

First up: Harissa Paste IMG_5546

There are a number of brands out there, but in my opinion, this is the best. Harissa is a North African paste of blended chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and aromatic spices like cumin and coriander. New York Shuk is not spicy, just super flavorful. My local Fresh Market carries it, but you can also order it here.

It is extremely versatile as a marinade, addition to burger patties, salad dressing ingredient, and pretty much anything 🙂

I made Food and Wine’s Rosy Harissa Chicken the other night using New York Shuk as my base. I mixed it with whole greek yogurt and marinated the chicken overnight…it was a good choice. I did omit the rose petals and just used smoked paprika as the drub seasoning. It was juicy and delicious!

Next Up: Gremolata

It sounds fancy, but really it is some fresh herbs, lemon zest, and olive oil at its base. I really like the one Food and Wine does with its Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder recipe. It adds in apple cider vinegar, grated garlic clove, and crushed red pepper- I think these help make the gremolata the perfect accompaniment for anything from slow-roasted meats to whole fish.  I made the lamb recipe above, but subbed in pork roast since TFM was out of lamb. You could also do this with a chuck roast or whole roasted chicken and it would be equally delicious.


Bringing up the Rear: Whole Roasted Fish

Daunting, right? Not really, if you have a good fish monger. I love Buddy Gandy’s Seafood in Panama City, Florida. They are a short drive across the bridge for me, and worth every minute. The catch is always fresh, and the people that work there know fish. I purchased a beautiful whole red snapper and asked them to clean, and scale it. In less than five minutes I had a perfect fish for roasting.

As you can see, I cut some slits in the flesh and stuffed them with flat leaf parsley, lemon, and garlic. I lined a sheet pan with parchment paper, threw some cherry tomatoes, lemon wheels, and brussels sprouts on and then baked it all at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Easy dinner!

All three of these are very versatile and require little prep. Step out and try something new while we are all #stayinghome!

Stay Safe and Cook On!

Other Posts in the Quarantine Series:

Honest seafood without the Tourist Trap

When I am out of town, at the beach, I am looking for a good seafood restaurant that does not fry everything or charge $30 for a basket of oysters. Not that I am unwilling to dine expensively, if that is what I am in the mood for, but when I come off the dive boat and am ravenous at 3:30 in the afternoon, I want some fresh, honest seafood prepared well. Dee’s Hangout provided that!

We moved away from PCB a number of years ago and come back frequently to visit friends. we are always on the lookout for a new place to try out. We went to Dee’s based on their Urban Spoon rating and we were not disappointed.

Our server, Tim, was friendly and honest about the menu. He steered us to their smoked tuna dip appetizer. It was a huge portion full of smoked tuna. It was dense and not mayonnaisey- just like we like it. We also ordered the cajun platter, the blackened lunch grouper and blackened fish tacos. All were delicious and enormous. Come hungry! We especially liked the blackened grouper with sweet potato fries. The fish was flaky and had a nice crust of blackening spice coating it. The sweet potato fries were obviously fresh and that perfect consistency of crisp outside and soft inside. Everything we tried was tasty though so have at the menu.

I wish we would have known about this place sooner in our trip; we would have gone more than once- it was that good. It is definitely on our list for future trips. The location and interior are not fancy, but it was one of the best meals we had on this trip!