Sea How They Roll
On a Sushi Roll
Is a mermaid slippery?” That question served as the inspiration for the name of Karen Hineman’s sushi restaurant, The Slippery Mermaid, which opened its doors in Navarre in 2009. For Hineman, the goal wasn’t simply to start a standard sashimi spot –– she wanted to offer a boutique experience where diners could taste the wonders of well-crafted sushi in a place that was intimate and artsy and as beautiful as the rolls so skillfully created by the chefs behind the counter at the charming little seaside venue.
The menu includes traditional items including the California roll and the dragon roll, but with dishes including the Psycho Mermaid Roll and the Crabby Sailor, The Slippery Mermaid puts its own particular spin on things, packing a punch of colors, textures and flavors that delight the tongue and dazzle the eye.
For those who remain tentative about sushi, the menu offers more than a dozen rolls with cooked proteins such as steak in addition to more traditional seafoods. For some, the combinations of ingredients might seem a bit odd, but the innovative approaches have won rave reviews.
“We concentrate on doing one thing and doing it well,” says Hineman’s daughter, Ricky Duncan, who serves as the restaurant’s hands-on manager, doing everything from designing the menu to training chefs. “This is something my family has built, and something we take pride in. We pay attention to detail, and that’s one of the ways we’ve maintained our success.”
And with food as tasty as theirs, it’s little wonder that The Slippery Mermaid has stayed on a roll.
Neat, a curated bottle shop and tasting room, is now open at Alys Beach on Scenic Highway 30A. Neat offers two distinct experiences under one roof. Alys Beach Food and Beverage Director Michael Cappitelli says the bottle shop is stocked with artisan beverages and bar tools to easily augment guests’ at-home bar. The adjoining tasting room showcases selection of beverages to enhance the shopping experience and educate guests on rare products. Neat is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Osaka Pier Park recently opened in Panama City Beach with the fanfare of a ribbon cutting, food, cocktails, live music and proceeds to benefit Food4Kidz.
Marlin Grill in The Village of Baytowne Wharf recently underwent a total makeover. Now the inside is almost prettier than the Hickory Grilled Filet Mignon.
Jackacuda’s Seafood & Sushi welcomes Destin native Chef Allen Teuton into its kitchen to lead the culinary crew as executive chef.
On the Menu
It’s spring! Time to get cheesy and crusty and, dare we say it, beefy, too. Here are just a few of the amazing dishes we have found on menus along the Emerald Coast.
Asiago, Okaloosa Island
You could say without any pun intended that this little hole in the wall, is well, cheesy. And you’d be right. Located on Okaloosa Island in Fort Walton Beach, Asiago opens daily at midnight and closes at noon. Still, plenty of locals pile in for the hearty breakfast cooked up on black, iron skillets. We tried Asiago’s Shrimp & Grits Skill served with cheesy grits layered over bay shrimp. Let’s just say they kill it when it comes to the skillet. $10.99
Did you eat only the center of your sandwiches as a kid? There is a pizzeria that will surely cure you. Crust in Destin serves up hand-tossed, homemade pizza made nearly any way you can imagine. Margheritas are a favorite, but when it comes to lunch, we like to keep things simple and affordable, and you can’t go wrong with two slices and a refreshing soda for just $10.
Pandora’s, Fort Walton Beach and Grayton Beach
Sometimes you will go the distance for a thick, juicy cut of beef. Named for a Coast Guard cutter that regularly went the distance up until it was laid to rest in the Gulf near the location, Pandora’s has been known for its Famous Prime Rib Au Jus dinner since it opened in 1978. Served with house salad, fresh baked bread and your choice of baked potato, steak fries, home fries or seasoned rice. $27.95