I’m excited to share a new local dining spot! Just east of Rosemary Beach and Inlet Beach, over the Lake Powell bridge is Carillon Beach. If you’ve been there, you know what a hidden gem it is. If you haven’t, put it on your list pronto. One reason to hop over the county line is Phat Crab Restaurant, the latest dining endeavor by Steve Carpenter. (This is part of the same restaurant family as Crabby Steve’s, another local favorite.)
Carillon Beach’s main area has a mix of merchants tucked into its New Orleans-inspired exterior with the Phat Crab adding a delicious exclamation at the end. I love the chic style of this street! The aesthetic is beach meets Big Easy.
Now let’s talk taste. My brother is on the culinary team and I have to say, they’ve done a great job of creating a menu with its own personality. This is definitely the spot for a more adventurous eater looking beyond the usual beach dishes. At the same time, the food is approachable in the sense that you’ll recognize the ingredients, but they’re paired in delicious new way. Discover seafood options thoughtfully swirled with Asian twists and fresh flavors. I’m talking yummy bowls, statement dishes and food with a kick.
The Grilled Shrimp Bowl was one of my favorites with yellow curry and veggies over rice. I also loved the Mango Rice Bowl with greens, an over-easy egg and Wambatu Moju (a traditional Sri Lankan eggplant mash with a healthy kick). Other entrees that caught my eye are Korean BBQ Chicken, Grouper with Jasmine Rice, the Tuna Poke Rice Bowl and Cioppino. I know Hunter’s pick would be the steak dish – meat and potatoes 100%.
For appetizers, the Marinated Goat Cheese is like a melt-in-your mouth bread and cheese heaven with a flash of garlic. In a dream world, I would live off of that dish alone. I also highly recommend the Crab and Avocado Salad with sesame vinaigrette. If you’re feeling wild, try the Phrog Legs — yes frog legs— served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.
For dessert, try the Pavlova if you’ve never had it or if you’re craving a rich and delicious, go for the Bread Pudding .
At the bar, the French 75 is high on my list along with the Crab Claw (the Phat Crab’s spin on the selzter trend). The 105 Carillon is citrus with a kick and a great pair to the menu.
The restaurant has outdoor dining, a main dining room and a small bar inside. Go check it out and give them a try. Phat Crab is open for dinner 5-10 PM, closed on Wednesday.