Goatfeathers Restaurant Is Dedicated to Delicious
February 17, 2016 by Sarah Robertson
What does a novelist born in the 19th century and a beloved seafood joint have in common? The answer is a funny word: Goatfeathers! Author Ellis Parker Butler said, "Goatfeathers are the distractions, side lines, and deflections that take a man's attention from his own business and keep him from getting ahead.”
Perfect words for laid back locals that love seafood and love to fish. You see, Pat and Eleanor Miller purchased the popular Santa Rosa Beach space back in 1988. At the time the restaurant was named “Over the Market” but the Millers changed it to reference this quote they’d heard while traveling. Thus accounting for the unusual name of the Santa Rosa Beach mainstay and underscoring what this family business always avoids: distractions from providing SoWal great food…aka Goatfeathers!
According to Pat, back in 1988, there were less than ten restaurants on Scenic 30A, Watercolor didn’t yet exist, and Seaside was just beginning to get its sea legs. Eleanor has always loved to cook and Pat loves to fish, so as this SoWal mainstay caught on it became evident that a family-focused seafood restaurant was what our area needed. The fish market downstairs has also served as an important local amenity as has their sister market in Seagrove.
In the very beginning, the restaurant’s seafood menu exclusively offered fried options. Then guests started asking for more healthful preparations and the Goatfeathers’ crew began pan frying, grilling, and sautéing the gulf-side gems and many longtime favorite dishes were born.
Their extensive lunch menu truly has something for everyone with fresh seafood of course being the star of the show. The Blackened Grouper sandwich is a standout – executed their own way with house blend spices, super-hot cast iron pan and lots of butter and love. The result is a tender, flavorful gulf-fresh fish sandwich that can’t be beat. Goatfeathers also assembles generous 10 inch Po’boys brimming with fried shrimp, oysters or the fish of the day and serves them up with golden, crispy fries.
While brilliant and casual lunch options are plentiful, Goatfeathers has perfected the art of refined yet approachable dinner entrees. Their pan-broiled Red Snapper is a blue ribbon winner – the fish is served under a decadent white wine cream sauce with bay scallops and shrimp. It is excellent. The Shrimp and Grits are also amazing – Andouille sausage and a deft hand with the punchy creole seasoning make this popular dish sing.
Lest we forget – be sure to always start off your meal with an appetizer. Goatfeathers has a large selection including raw, steamed, or baked oysters. Their homemade smoked tuna dip is another popular starter and is served with freshly cut and buttery toasty crostini. (Insider tip: they sell this same dip downstairs in the market, so be sure to grab a container on your way out!)
One of the bonuses to patroning Goatfeathers is they provide a good value to their customers. Whether it is through a fair price on the fresh seafood at their markets, or by dining on weekly lunch specials or early bird dinners, any time of day you can get quality, fresh seafood affordably at Goatfeathers.
Of course Goatfeathers always encourages bringing the whole family and their Kids Menu offers lots of variety too: boiled or popcorn shrimp, chicken strips, cheeseburgers, pasta or pizza are just a few choices for your choosy munchkins.
Saving room for dessert (or simply ordering it to-go!) is another must at Goatfeathers. Their New Orleans-style bread pudding is cloaked in the yummiest rum sauce around and many visitors stop by mid-afternoon for a portion to enjoy with coffee.
The Goatfeathers' staff is a tight-knit family atmosphere with a foundation of longevity and loyalty. In January of this year they also welcomed Chef Adam Mitchell into the fold and he brought with him his Boston background and recipes for Clam Chowder and Crab Bisque.
“This area attracts great people – be it staff, visitors and full-time residents – I have truly enjoyed getting to know so many folks over the years,” owner Pat Miller says.
Visit Goatfeathers Restaurant daily for lunch or dinner and enjoy the warmth of their staff and the incredible talent of their kitchen. And stop by either of their two markets for a fresh catch, to pick up a pound or two of gulf shrimp (they’ll steam them for you too!), or scallops, bushels of oysters, and a large variety of prepared items and sundries. You’ll see for yourself they never distract from their goal: sharing delicious seafood to SoWal.
Goatfeathers Restaurant is located just east of Gulf Place on Scenic Hwy. 30A in Santa Rosa Beach and is open daily for lunch and dinner. For menus and info, please visit www.goatfeathersseafood.com or call 850.267.3342. Follow Goatfeathers Restaruant and Seafood Markets on Facebook for specials and updates.