vie magazine subscribe button

A New Look for and Old Favorite

Dining Out at Seagar’s

By Rick Bennett |  Photography courtesy of Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort

If Extreme Makeover had a restaurant edition, Seagar’s would be a shoo-in for the best in the series. For its fifteenth birthday, the fine dining icon inside the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa gave customers one heck of a gift: a $1 million renovation that transformed both its decor and its menu. With a new emphasis on seafood and a fresh aesthetic, Seagar’s is ready to “wow” diners all over again.

Since its launch in 1998, the restaurant has cultivated a sophisticated, throwback-era vibe embodied by the selection of more than a hundred fine cigars, which it once offered before state regulations prohibited smoking in restaurants. Along with a superb wine list and prime meats, Seagar’s take on a refined New York steak house has always been spot on. And like any good steak house, it all starts with the beef. Hilton Sandestin General Manager Gary Brielmayer confirms that every steak—from rib eye to filet to New York strip—is prime, the only real choice for a restaurant with a “best of the best” approach to menu creation. “The food is inspired by a collection of the top steak houses in the United States,” Brielmayer explains.

Customers who didn’t think there was room for improvement at Seagar’s will be pleasantly surprised by the new focus on seafood. The menu, which still emphasizes spectacular steaks, now includes entrées like pan-roasted halibut, broiled rock lobster, herb-coated tuna with Alaskan king crab, and South African cold-water lobster tails. And forget about working for your dinner at Seagar’s. They do all the peeling and de-shelling (while maintaining the visual appeal, of course) so you can get to the good stuff faster. VIE Magazine Seagar's Restaurant Makeover

 

Much of the credit for the revamped menu goes to Executive Chef Dan Vargo, a talented up-and-comer whom Brielmayer praises as a breath of fresh air. “He’s creative, passionate about food, and just a pleasure to be around.”

One menu element Vargo didn’t touch was the phenomenal array of wines—six hundred different labels at last count. The method of selection, however, has gone twenty-first century. The impressive wine list, including vintages from South Africa, Australia, Europe, America, and other regions, is now available tableside via iPad. The innovative system allows guests to browse bottles more organically, viewing wine by color and description before choosing the perfect pairing.

Perhaps inspired by this new era in wine selection, Seagar’s will soon begin hosting vintner dinners. During these small, reservation-only events, winery owners will share their library wines—bottles kept on reserve for VIPs—which will be paired with a custom dinner menu. Winery owners will also discuss their featured wine and why it’s special, as well as the latest industry trends. VIE Magazine Seagar's Restaurant Makeover Food

VIE Magazine Seagar's Restaurant Makeover Food  

Along with fresh additions to its menu and event schedule, Seagar’s is unveiling completely updated interiors. This isn’t the first time it has invested in updating; in fact, the restaurant closes for a week every year to address regular maintenance issues. But a $1 million face-lift required shutting down for the entire month of January. Although the downtime may have irritated frequent guests, the results speak for themselves. The face-lift started just outside the restaurant’s entry doors with two water features and a cozy fire display that offer a grand sense of arrival. Pass through the opulent doors to find new carpet, fresh paint, updated light fixtures, and the extension of mahogany wood flooring. Next up were major renovations, like adding a semiprivate dining room with an exterior glass wall that doubles as a wine rack. And, no longer just a place to sit and wait for a table, the lounge was refitted with plush sofas and tables for comfort, transforming it into a genuine oasis of stylish relaxation. VIE Magazine Seagar's Restaurant Makeover Food Shrimp

 

Of course, in an area like the Emerald Coast, which boasts more than its fair share of exceptional food and gracious interiors, restaurants need to have another draw. Seagar’s staff members, some of whom have been there since the day it opened, fit the bill nicely. Diners are treated to multiple staffers who are familiar with the lost art of unobtrusive service—service that’s anticipatory rather than reactive. “There’s no ‘How is everything? Do you need more bread?’” says Brielmayer. “You don’t have to ask for things; they’re just brought to you.”

Soon after Seagar’s reopened to the public, I decided to put the new menu and decor—as well as the trademark service—to the test. My dinner companion and I enjoyed jumbo lump blue crab cakes for the first course and slow-cooked pork belly served over stone-ground grits for the second. The main course consisted of the rack of spring lamb with a side of sautéed mushrooms and a custom-cut, ten-ounce filet mignon with a side of truffle fries. After two hours and three courses, all we could do was rave.

It’s a reaction Seagar’s should get used to. This extreme makeover is extremely satisfying.

 

— V —


Seagar’s is located at 4000 Sandestin Boulevard S. on the resort property of the Hilton Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Miramar Beach, Florida. The restaurant’s main dining room is open from 6 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday; the lounge is open from 6 to 11 p.m. The restaurant will reopen on Sundays and Mondays beginning Memorial Day weekend. Seagar’s accepts walk-ins, but reservations are highly recommended. For more information, please visit seagarsdestin.com or call (850) 622-1500.



Read Responsibly

VIE Magazine - The Voyager Issue - June 2017
VIE magazine 2017 March-April Cover South Walton Fashion Week
VIE Magazine - January/February 2017 - The Health & Beauty Issue
VIE Magazine - Nov/Dec 2016 The Sophisticate Issue
christian siriano vie magazine september october 2016 vie magazine
the modern minimalist issue
Summertime!
the culinary and couture issue march april 2016 vie magazine
the voyager issue alys beach vie magazine january february 2016
cultural issue vie magazine november december 2015
home and garden issue vie magazine september october 2015
the art and style issue vie magazine july august 2015
the wedding issue 2015 May June vie magazine
the food and fashion issue vie magazine march april 2015
the travel issue vie magazine january february 2015
the music issue vie magazine 2014 november december
The Animal Issue vie magazine september october 2014
the home and garden issue vie magazine july august 2014
the wedding issue vie magazine may june 2014
emeril lagasse food and fashion vie magazine
the men's issue january february 2014
the music issue november december 2013 vie magazine
the home and garden issue 2013 october september
the wedding issue vie magazine july august 2013
the artist issue may june 2013 vie magazine
the food and fashion issue march april 2013
the men's issue january february 2013 vie magazine
The Holiday Issue
slider-vie-magazine-cover-sep-12
the love issue july august 2012
the all american summer may june 2012
the entertainment issue march april 2012
the fashion issue vie magazine winter 2011
the home and garden issue vie magazine fall 2011
the anniversary edition vie magazine summer 2011
the wedding issue vie magazine spring 2011
vie magazine the holiday issue 2010 Dec
vintage swimsuits vie magazine 2010 Fall
judith march designer vie magazine summer 2010
wedding giveaway vie magazine spring 2010
holiday gift guide vie magazine winter 2009
emarketing explosion vie magazine fall 2009
tribute to mother's day vie magazine summer 2009
james and robert redford vie magazine spring 2009
zz top vie magazine fall winter 2008
project dreams vie magazine new york fashion week
Sign-up for VIEmail

Sign up for VIEmail

X

A LIFESTYLE