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Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire – Restaurant Grayton Beach

New Orleans loss is South Walton’s gain as Fire Restaurant has transplanted from the Big Easy to Grayton Beach. This outstanding little restaurant excels at both lunch and dinner.

Fire SignThere is a lot of restaurant competition in the little hamlet of Grayton Beach. At last count there are about a dozen restaurants in this tiny commmunity, and many of them are very good. I’m hoping that the people who have homes in Seaside, homes in Watercolor and homes in The Lake Place in Grayton and others will support this unique little restaurant as often as possible.

Fire InsideFire opened in New Orleans a few months before Katrina and then reopened fairly quickly after the storm, but the unsteadiness of the market took its toll.

So the owners, who vacationed here, took nine of their employees and came to Grayton Beach. And boy are we glad they did.

There’s a great little bar area with flat panel televisions for sporting events and enough tables/seats for about 30 or so people. There are several small dining areas if you want things a little more private.

Fire DipsThe upbeat attitude of the waitstaff is a real positive, but the food is the real star of the show. The unique Dip Trio is an excellent starter. You have the choice of six dips in which to choose your trio. On a recent lunch excursion my guest and I were with our clients and friends, Laura Blumberg and Ruth Horn, and we started with the Apricot-Habanero, Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Peanut Cilantro and Sun Dried Tomato dips. The really fresh chips and grilled pita bread are excellent accompinaments. (Click Above ^ to Enlarge Picture).

Fire Chicken Salad

Ruth and Laura went with the delicious chicken salad with cucumbers, avacado and crispy won tons (< Click on Image to Enlarge). My guest had the Eggplant, Heirloom Tomato and Fontina Napoleon – this dish was slightly heavy on the fried side, so be forewarned. I went with the Peppercorn Crusted Tuna, Olive Salad, Crumbled Feta and Herb Vinaigrette Salad – excellent. We finished with the cheesecake with a passion fruit drizzle and four spoons.

Fire biscuitsOn a recent dinner outing with Richard and Dee McNeese, we had another memorable dining experience while mixing in some chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon with our fare. We started with the trio again, but this time went with the Olive, Roasted Garlic-Feta Hummus and Caramelized Onion as our three choices. The other star appetizer of that night was the Cheesy Biscuits – Phyllo Wrapped Gorgonzola and Fig Gastrique. I know they don’t look like biscuits (Click Above to Enlarge), but boy were they good.

Fire ScallopsThe star of the main course was Vicki’s dish – the Pan Seared Diver Scallops, Crispy Eggplant, Marscapone-Aragula Risotto, with Roasted Red Pepper-Black Olive Relish. That’s a long description, but this dish kicked in beautifully with both the Chardonnay via the Scallops and Marscapone Risotto while the Roasted Red Pepper and Olive Relish unleashed the Pinot Noir (Click Above to Enlarge).

Fire gateauThere is also a really unique, interesting and memorable dessert at Fire – the Chocolate Gateau. It’s what you want in a Gateau in that the chocolate crust is slightly crispy, the interior cake is moist and the liquid filling oozes out, but the catch is a little habanero is thrown in the filling leaving an afterburn that shakes your nerves and rattles your brain – Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire.

This restaurant is well worth the support of locals and visitors alike. You won’t see Fire just driving down the road, so you have to look for it just a bit in Grayton Beach just north of the four way stop (opposite direction of Red Bar). Visit them online at or call at 850-231-9020.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 17th, 2007 at 2:36 pm and is filed under Restaurant Reviews, South Walton Living. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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