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FOOW - Fish Out Of Water Happy Hour On The Gulf

September 27, 2018 by Audrey Johnson

Four diamond service. Panoramic Gulf views. Casual vibes. Tranquil blues. Fish Out Of Water (FOOW) plays it cool among the happiest of Happy Hour spots in South Walton.  

All views lead to the ocean in FOOW’s updated dining room. Cozy cushions, hardwood floors, an open kitchen (with a tandoor oven!) and the indoor/outdoor FOOWbar leads you to the wide patio with Gulf views. Blue as the eye can see.

Justin Gaffrey paintings line the cool grey walls, popping with blue and turquoise hues mimicking the Gulf view that’s unimpeded from every angle in the restaurant. If you can tear your gaze away from Justin’s art and the lulling ocean views, the menu is where FOOW really gets to have fun.

FOOW Chef de Cuisine Christopher Mayhue and Executive Sous Chef Preetam Pardeshi teamed up to create a menu that is worthy of a Four Diamond resort without being pretentious. The result is a menu featuring Southern cuisine with global touches influenced by Chef Preetam’s southwest Indian heritage and beloved family recipes. (He imports Indian spices grown in his mother’s yard and dried on her rooftop.) The result is outstanding,

Fork tender Mustard Braised Pork Belly with Mediterranean Hot Sauce, Greens, Fig Jam, and Pork Cracklings pays homage to the South.

FOOW Spiced Red Snapper with Tomato Gravy, Trottole Pasta, and Indian Spiced Pico marries locally sourced fish with global influence. Sandwiches come with FOOW Spiced Bubble Chips mimicking the bubbles in the ocean.

Keeping with the Indian influence, FOOW has a tandoor oven at the heart of the open kitchen that heats up between 600-700 degrees. Naan dough is rolled out with Chef Preetam’s mother’s rolling pin, the same one she used to tap his knuckles with if he didn’t get them perfectly round. The naan is then cooked on the side wall of the oven for about a minute and served warm with olive oil and fresh herbs. Life is all about appreciating the simple things.

Put simply, the reason you go to Happy Hour is for the drinks! Happy Hour happens daily from 3PM – 7PM with specials on beer, wines by the glass, liquor, and specialty cocktails.

The FOOWbar features some of the world’s best tequilas and rums. Signature cocktails include the Rio Bravo, Hornitos Reposado Tequila, lime juice, ruby red grapefruit, and ginger ale; and the Punch Line, Cruzan Aged Rum, Aperol, house-made orgeat, lemon, and hopped grapefruit bitters. 

FOOWbar Bites keep the party going with surprising flavors that marry Southern cuisine and Indian inspired flavors. Fried Florida Alligator is served with a tomato-jalepeno jam and seriously tastes like chicken. White gator meat, breaded and fried like a delicious homemade chicken nugget. Not gamey in the least, It’s surprisingly delish.

Duck Fat Fries come topped with Confit Garlic, Duck Cracklings, Caramelized Vidalia Onions, and Parmesan, and are served with Harissa Spiced Ketchup.

There’s a golden hour for family time at FOOW, and it’s from 5-6 pm. Happy Hour is in full swing, FOOW begins serving the dinner menu at 5, and kids eat free from 5-6 pm. Families, sandy toes and the public are all welcome. (Just make sure you throw on a cover up and some flip flops if you’re coming in from the beach.)

The FOOWShoppe features FOOW gear for ladies, gentlemen and children. Pick up quirky t-shirts, rash guards, water bottles and even gourmet oils and spices while you’re there.

FOOW is located at the AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four-Star rated WaterColor Inn. The restaurant is open to the public and features panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Open daily for lunch, happy hour and dinner, FOOW is WaterColor casual at its finest. Visit www.FOOW30a.com to see menus and more. Follow along on Facebook for the latest updates, including seasonal live music.

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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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