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Café Thirty-A is the Heart of Seagrove Beach

March 15, 2018 by Audrey Johnson

Café Thirty-A has played host to anniversary dinners, engagement parties, milestone birthdays and date nights.

The beloved restaurant, with its white tablecloth service, is known for accommodating those special memory-making moments that call for breaking bread together in style. But did you know that Café Thirty-A is also a happening spot for cocktails, good wine, small plates and dinner specials?

Owner Harriet Crommelin and staff have been creating a welcoming atmosphere for going on 23 years, and they're always finding ways to engage people who walk through the doors. For early birds, doors open at 5 p.m. and entrees are buy-one-get-one free until 6 p.m. You'd do well to make a reservation for this popular special.

Whether you take yours shaken or stirred, Tini Tuesdays and Thursdays in the bar are always a hit. With sixteen cocktails to choose from and garnishes the likes of Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives, the $5 price tag makes Café Thirty-A the place to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Let’s face it. Five-dollar martinis are fabulous, but it’s all about the snacks! The Bar Menu at Café Thirty-A features five go-to’s perfect for snacking. Sirloin Sliders are melt in your mouth tender and served alongside homemade potato salad. Fried green tomatoes and fried oysters make a lovely pair and are drizzled with remoulade. Shephard's Pie with veggies, mashed potatoes and lamb jus adds a homey touch.

Harriet’s life’s work is full of special touches. She truly considers the dining experience for each guest, at each table. She closed in the porch after throwing in the white towel (tablecloth?) to a determined population of yellow flies. Now, with its wall to wall windows, intimate seating and twinkling lights, it’s the perfect spot for a lovely date night.

Another time, Harriet built a wall to reduce noise at a drink station situated beside three tables (three!). A miniscule number, it seems, for a construction project…until you’re the one who gets seated there. Now it’s a quiet little nook, perfect for family dinners. But as far as projects go, the wood fired brick oven certainly stands out.

“The pizza oven was put in almost before the building because they had to build around it,” says Harriet.

Brick oven pizzas can make even the most devoted break a diet. Rest assured, healthy and delicious options are made in brick ovens, too. Fish filets are blackened in cast iron skillets over wood fired flames that reach temps of 800 degrees. See, healthy and delicious. 

Just as she develops her restaurant, Harriet also develops her staff. Chef Derek Nowell took over the kitchen about a year ago and started as Sous Chef before working his way up to the top spot. Sous Chef Josh Rockhill is now the right-hand man in the kitchen.

Café Thirty A hosts special wine dinners throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled. And the restaurant’s annual Christmas party for Caring and Sharing, an organization that provides food and financial assistance to area families and individuals in need, is a great way to give back. Because if you’ve had the experience of dining at Café Thirty A, you’re fortunate indeed.

Café Thirty-A is open daily for dinner in Seagrove Beach. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 850-231-2166. Valet parking is available every night during “the season.” For menus and information, please visit www.cafethirtya.com. Like Café Thirty-A on Facebook for the latest info on special events and vintner’s dinners.

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Audrey Johnson's picture

Upon realizing that life is too short not to follow her dreams, Audrey moved to the beach and became a writer. SoWal’s pristine beaches inspire her to explore further, look deeper, and do better.

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