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Trebeache — A Place to Relax and Savor on 30A

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Trebeache (pronounced tray-BEE-chay, I made it a point to ask) has been open since the early part of this year, and my family and I finally got around to visiting for dinner on a recent weeknight. The restaurant is in a large building in Redfish Village, there’s plenty of parking in the area, and you can sit outside under umbrellas, or inside. We sat inside.

 

I like Redfish Village for the same reason I have always liked Alys Beach. It seems just a little quieter, a little more peaceful and tucked away than other parts of SoWal. Dining there can truly be a relaxing experience. With an active and daily more verbal 5-year-old daughter (Grace, the Tiny Diner), this is a great blessing.

 

Inside it’s cool and clubby, with wood panels, area lighting, and a soothing color scheme of beige, brown and bronze tones. The old-fashioned saloon-style bar gleams with rows of bottles, and the walls are hung with colorful, textured paintings. TD, advised to be on her best behavior, immediately calmed down and responded to the greeting of our server (Courtney) with a gentle politeness that made Mommy and Daddy proud.

 

Trebeache serves both lunch and dinner. The dinner menu offers a selection of raw bar items, sizzling oysters, soups, hot appetizers, salads, fish and shellfish, steaks, and house specialties. There are daily specials.

 

Wine, beer and cocktails get their own menus, and I started off with an Old Fashioned, made with Bulleit rye and garnished with a Luxardo cherry. I am not a frequent drinker of cocktails—beyond an occasional gin martini—but lately I’ve been reading up on the classics. Trebeache gave me a chance to start some field research.

 

My drink was cooled (not diluted) by a single thick chunk of ice, with a slice of orange zest and a boozy little cherry free-floating at the bottom of the glass. It’s spicy, slightly fruity with a mature sweetness. I stopped at one, but could easily have absorbed two.

 

The starter menu offers oysters in the shell, or in “sizzling” variations with pecorino and champagne butter, garlic, lemon and wine cream, or crisp pork belly. There’s also seafood salad, Thai beef salad, poached shrimp, chilled smoked sea scallop, blue crab in bouillabaisse broth, buffalo frog legs, broiled cauliflower steak with St. Andre, and a crispy duck lettuce wrap. Soups include shrimp and crab gumbo and crab bisque, and there are salads with marinated pears or fried oysters. Choosing an appetizer was tough, even with an Old Fashioned for support.

 

Love won—my wife and I both love duck. You get a share-sized portion, leg and breast, perfectly cooked, juicy and lush without being fatty. In addition to the lettuce wrap, there’s shredded mirliton slaw and a pepper dipping sauce. We tried to get TD to appreciate duck in Paris last fall, with no success. Trebeache succeeded.

 

I decided on one of the specials—pompano—for my main course, because I find it impossible not to order pompano when I see it on a menu. My wife ordered the 16-ounce New York strip steak. My fish came sizzling from the pan, with crisp potatoes (Brabant-style, I think), baby bok choy (one of the world’s great vegetables) and a light browned Hollandaise. A perfect plate of food. The steak was cooked as ordered, juicy and flavorful, with a savory potato gratin and asparagus. Half went home for my wife’s next-day lunch. TD enjoyed her fried chicken, but I think she could have polished off another order of duck.

 

Other entree choices are seared sea scallops with cabbage and mushrooms, potato-wrapped grouper with mushrooms and capers, sizzling redfish on the half shell (served similarly to the pompano), pressed chicken with house-made pappardelle pasta, carrots and parsnips, house-made gnocchi with lobster in sage brown butter, and a tenderloin filet with onion rings and blistered Brussels sprouts.

 

Dessert is usually an easy choice for us, but Trebeache complicated things by offering both a pistachio creme brulee and a strawberry glaçage. We got both. TD appropriated the glaçage, a flaky pastry with strawberries, cream, and slightly crunchy crust that we all took a stab at. It manages to be both homey and elegant. The creme brulee was just plain outstanding—crunchy, creamy, nutty and garnished with a pair of sugar-dusted biscotti. They also have a salted caramel bread pudding sundae and chocolate crepe. I wonder how they’d go with an Old Fashioned?

 

Trebeache needs to stick around, in or out of season. Go.

TREBEACHE

2052 W. Country Road 30A
Santa Rosa Beach
850-937-7793
Hours: Open Daily at 11 a.m.
Reservations: Accepted
Children’s Menu: Yes
Dress: Casual
Trebeache is prepared to exceed expectations, with a relaxed but smoothly luxurious atmosphere, expertly mixed cocktails, and a menu full of delightful surprises. Duck, steak, fish, chicken, pasta and shellfish get star treatment in a variety of imaginative and flavorful ways. Don’t pass up dessert. Full bar, $8-29.
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