Linger with Art, Friends, and Food at La Crema
January 3, 2019 by Audrey Johnson
La Crema in Rosemary Beach is a chic place to eat your way through Spain without ever leaving South Walton. It’s also a place to linger with friends new and old while celebrating this thing called life.
The SoWal Staff caught up with owner Christy Spell Terry – fresh from her honeymoon in Jamaica - and Jill Tanner of Clutch Media Works to enjoy good food and great company in the inviting space that now features the work of SoWal.com founder/photographer, Kurt Lischka.
Kurt has spent decades photographing South Walton’s people, architecture, and nature. But there’s something special about the group of photos adorning the walls in the newly expanded space at La Crema. His photos capture a kaleidoscope of summer memories, namely the excitement and wonder of childhood, in black and white images that have the power to make even the most well-adjusted adult long for simpler times.
These photos, and tapas like Serrano Wrapped Figs, teach us to appreciate the simple things. There’s something familiar and homey about marinated figs stuffed with honey goat cheese and wrapped in thin sliced pork. The combination of red wine, figs, and honey could be from any time, and any place, yet in South Walton you find it only at La Crema.
We also learned that the restaurant has shaken things up a bit since our last staff visit, appointing Chef Eric Bartholomew from their sister restaurant La Cocina as their first ever consulting chef. Chef’s background is reflected in specials like the fish tacos that are fast becoming staff favorites. New creations are tested as chalkboard specials in hopes that they will get enough love to be added to the regular menu.
Cheese Fondue is a regular go to. Manchego, cheddar, and Monterey jack cheese are melted together with white wine and served with lightly toasted croutons. Skewers are provided for dipping the bread into the cheese, and a little tealight keeps the cheese from getting cold…and creates a fun, unexpected twist.
Honey Goat Cheese Stuffed Piquillos come in pairs, with two mild piquillo peppers stuffed with honey goat cheese and served chilled. They offer up a flavor that is tangy and textured, yet sweet and creamy all in one bite.
Brussels Sprouts are having a moment, and La Crema’s are roasted until crispy and tossed in a sesame honey drizzle for flavor. They go well with Enfuego Chicken, fried spicy chicken served with a cool caper cream sauce.
Grande Tapas like Seafood Paella are sharable and come with lobster tails, shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams and chorizo, as well as veggies like tomato, red onion, and piquillo peppers simmered in saffron rice.
Wine pairings are made easy with an extensive menu of reds, whites, and cava to choose from, by the bottle or glass.
For dessert, Hot Chocolate Molten Cake with peanut butter and ice cream is a decadent treat. Molten dark fudge cake that’s crisp on top with hot lava chocolate and peanut butter below, served in a mug alongside vanilla ice cream. Finish off with a cappuccino for good measure.
La Crema is located on a cobblestone sidewalk on Main St. in Rosemary Beach. They’re open daily for lunch, dinner, drinks, and lazy afternoons. Visit them online to read the La Crema story and to see menus at lacrematapas.com. See photos, reviews and more on Facebook.
Spell Restaurant Group is a family owned collection of restaurants featuring Great Food and Great Fun. The group includes La Cocina Mexican Grill & Bar, George's at Alys Beach, La Crema Tapas and Chocolate, Grits & Grind, Edward's Fine Food and Wine, Saltwater Grill, and Brookhaven Pub & Grill in Memphis, TN. Visit www.spellrestaurantgroup.com to learn more.