By Joni Williams
Love is in the air, and it smells like pizza. What, you were expecting roses or exquisite chocolates? That’s so 2015, my friend. This year Valentine’s Day falls on one of the laziest days of the week, Sunday, and we got the vibe going by taking a second visit to Landshark’s Pizza Co. in their new location on Highway 98 in Destin.
Landshark’s is now way bigger, anchored by a full bar on one side and a brightly lit dining area on the other. They also have some groovy throwback amusements like Ms. Pac Man and claw cranes, as well as a number of TVs plastered on the walls and across the bar.
But some things haven’t changed. They’re still the place for wings, offering a boatload of rubs and sauce options that range from classic Buffalo and barbecue to the more daring wasabi to the downright crazy PBJ. But there’s more. The menu is brimming with cooked-to-order burger baskets, salads, chubby calzones and irresistible pizza. Prices aren’t outrageous to begin with, but budget-friendly lunch and nightly specials are available anyway.
Now about that bar. They’ve made good use of the extra space by adding a lot of choice libations, and killer brews by Hoegaarden, Kona, Abita, Stella, Idyll Hounds, Goose Island and more. They still have the classics from AB, Miller and Yuengling but have wisely added our own local star brewers Destin Brewery, Idyll Hounds, Grayton Beer and Oyster City.
Faced with so many selections, we were like kids in a candy store and on Valentine’s Day to boot. We started with Destin Brewery’s Pecan Brown which we honestly liked way better than Lazy Magnolia’s overly sweet Southern Pecan. It’s dark, smooth, not too nutty and delivers the rum nose as promised. It’s just sweet enough to woo your Valentine, and offers plenty of woot thanks to its 7.5 percent ABV. For any singles looking to dance on some tables—we swear we would never, ever do such a thing. Bars maybe, tables never—this is good stuff.
We moved on to Oyster City, starting with the Red Snapper, a lovely burnt orange-colored IPA that’s almost crisp and tastes like summer with hints of pink grapefruit, hops for depth and a finish of bitters. By the time our steaming Landshark pie loaded with meat and oozing cheese arrived, we had switched to the Dirty Blonde. Smooth, easy to drink, mild but not without ample malty-hoppy flavor, it washed down the heat and salt without interfering with the scrumptious flavor of our beloved pie. Cupid himself could not have made a better match.
Of course, he could save himself a couple bucks if he hit up Happy Hour during the week, where domestic draft beers are only two bucks from 3 to 6 p.m., and bottles are a quarter more. And Landshark’s has all kinds of drink specials different nights of the week, too.
We’re especially infatuated with Wednesdays, when all top shelf bourbons such as Basil Haydens and Bookers are discounted a full two dollars. And you can get you some starting at only $4.50 a glass. Plus, wings are only 59 cents each, so go ahead and put a wing on it, even if you aren’t attached. Now that’s real love. See what we mean about this place being romantic?