V in Seagrove - A Landmark Rises

March 8, 2011 by Joyce Owen

While it may be too early to make a reservation at Hotel Viridian, on March 11 patrons can enjoy dinner at V, the restaurant destined to be a springboard for rest of the Downtown Seagrove hotel project.

“This project has been in the making for over five years,” says co-owner and veteran restaurateur George Hartley.

“My partners and I consider it a beacon of hope for the community – and a true blessing that we’re able to see our vision realized.”

Hartley says it was a collective decision to open the restaurant first, to provide a showcase of the spirit and ambiance that will be reflected in the boutique-style hotel when it’s completed.

For now, the restaurant will only offer dinner, but Hartley hopes to offer lunch by the end of May.

“We want to be as on top of our game and as ready as we can be during each stage of the opening,” he says.

“We’ve assembled a team of culinary professionals that is unparalleled in the area and we believe the spirit of excellence found here will raise the bar of upscale dining along 30-A,” Hartley says. “I believe if you let a wonderful chef do his thing, it will be evident.”

“I really think that the location and look of the building has drawn a lot of attention. People say, ‘I want to work there.’”

Sean Goss, who opened Seagars in Sandestin, will serve as the restaurant’s general manager. David Cunningham, who worked at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and Destin, is the executive chef. David Carrier of the famed Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry and most recently chef and owner of Avenue Sea in Apalachicola is the consulting chef.

V will offer a relaxed eclectic atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating for up to 120 diners, with a menu focused on fresh seafood and produce that is locally sourced.

“We’re at the beach in Seagrove with its own unique personality and we’re going to cater to our clientele,” added Hartley.

As to the future of Seagrove Village Market, Hartley says he will address that during Phase 2 when the boutique hotel will be built.

With attention to the future, Hartley says three lots on the south side of 30A across from the restaurant, have been purchased to preserve the view. Two homes will be built there with a unique design that will create a “picture frame” to forever provide a beautiful view of the gulf.

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