Toast to New Experiences at 45 Central in Seaside

January 16, 2018 by Amanda Lawson

45 Central in Seaside offers more than just an opportunity for a fantastic happy hour and an excellent dinner, it offers a chance for new experiences with an extensive wines-by-the-glass menu.

Chef Jim Shirley opened 45 Central in 2015 with 45 premium wines by the glass and another 65+ by the bottle, all hand selected by wine curator Richard Liveakos.

Liveakos, who serves as wine curator for all of Shirley’s restaurants, says the format allows people to try and experiment and taste things they would never have the wherewithal to taste anywhere else.

That could mean a zinfandel from California, a Rioja from Spain, or a Montepulciano from Italy. Patrons can also purchase wines by the bottle, including house favorites like Cheval Des Andes, an Argentinean Bordeaux blend that typically goes for around $95 a bottle.

In addition to having access to wines you can’t find elsewhere on the Emerald Coast, there are other perks to purchasing by the bottle at 45 Central – specifically what they’ve dubbed the “reverse corkage” fee. Pick out a bottle to take with you uncorked and you’ll get $10 off. That even applies to the special reserve menu for wine lovers looking for that extra special bottle of vino.

No matter what your preference, 45 Central prides itself on healthy pours (6-7 ounces versus the 3-5 ounces you’ll find at other restaurants) and a satiating menu that pairs well with just about any variety you choose.

Over the past three years, the restaurant has refined its offerings based on demand and, perhaps most importantly, what small plates and other delights the dedicated team has determined pair best with its wines.

On Saturdays and Sundays, brunch is served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., complete with $2 mimosas. Choose from waffles rubbed with sugar nibs (yes, sugar nibs) and injected with chocolate filling, and favorites like the Monte Cristo Sandwich or Croque Monsieur.

Dinner and sushi are served from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m daily. From the petite kitchen in the back, chefs roll out unmatched charcuterie boards loaded with your choice of cheeses and cured meats, creative greens like the miso-balsamic Caesar and roasted Brussels sprouts, and small plates that feature local sea fare like the smoked fish dip and West Indies crab salad.

And don’t forget the sushi. The popular Kelli Roll incorporates ginger panko fried shrimp and spicy tuna, cream cheese and avocado wrapped in soy wrapper and drizzled with spicy mayo, eel sauce and sesame. There’s also the Afterburner Roll, a super spicy tuna creation rolled in seaweed; and the Enforcer Roll that combines spicy krab salad, cream cheese, cucumber and green onion topped with Sriracha and eel sauce.

The menu also offers traditional favorites like California and Spicy Tuna rolls, along with fresh sashimi and nigiri.

If all of that isn’t enough to get you through the door, Joyce Russell, the self-proclaimed paella queen, also cooks up the European favorite on the patio every Wednesday and Friday evening. For $18 a plate you can have a taste of Portugal that incorporates 3-4 meats and all the spices.

And if you’re just coming for the wine you can get that every day until midnight, either on the patio or in the restaurant. Like Shirley’s other restaurants – Great Southern Café in Seaside, The Meltdown on 30a, The Bay on Highway 331 in Santa Rosa Beach, and Baytowne Provisions in Baytowne Wharf – 45 Central brings something new and different to everyone.

Nowhere else can you get the intimate setting, the wide range of wines by the glass and the delicious food pairings that complement them both. For more information, including events, visit


Amanda Lawson's picture

Amanda has been a storyteller for as long as she can remember, and she's earned a living at it since around the turn of the century. A native of Columbus, Ga., she has been all over the world with her U.S. Navy husband, Brent. They are happiest taking family walks with their new daughter, Ruby, and two pups, Turbo and Maddie. Amanda loves a good meal (especially if it finishes with a crème brulee), thrifting, red wine and reading. She holds a journalism degree from Auburn University. 

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