Located on A1A, Sunset Grille has become a favorite for locals and visitors since it opened its doors in March of 1990, and there are plenty of reasons why. Offerings include cold cocktails, Key West-style décor, award-winning food, two separate dining rooms, a lively bar and plenty of outdoor seating including a second floor deck.
Did we mention cold cocktails?
Sunset Grille’s relatively new “Drink Like A Local” menu featuring St. Augustine Distillery spirits highlights classics like the Florida Mule and Old Fashioned for $8. There are also original creations like the Havana Dream with rum, coconut cream and Florida orange juice as well as the St. Somewhere.
“It’s nice, light, a bit tart and very refreshing,” says Hannah Perry, who has bartended at the beachside eatery on-and-off for a decade, of St. Somewhere. “And it pairs great with the Caribbean Blackened Snapper. People love these ‘drink like a local’ menus. It’s a real novelty to try local spirits. Our Old Fashioned has become wildly popular.”
The tart and sweet components of the cocktail fit perfectly with Head Chef Freddy Underhill’s Caribbean Blackened Snapper dish, an entrée available on the restaurant’s dinner menu. “I chose this dish because it’s relatively easy to make at home,” Chef says. “The snapper is light, mild and flaky – ideal for those hot summer nights.”
Sunset Grill receives daily fresh seafood deliveries including Mayport shrimp and whatever they can get locally from nearby Seafood Shoppe including snapper, grouper and mahi. For the Caribbean Blackened Snapper, Chef Underhill suggests you pair it with sides like beans and rice (made in-house) and the vegetable power blend, which includes kale, golden yams and Brussels sprouts.
To make the Caribbean Blackened Snapper and St. Somewhere at home, check out these easy-to-follow recipes.
1.5 ounces St. Augustine Distillery Florida Cane Vodka
1 ounce St-Germain Eldeflower Liqueur
1.5 ounces sour mash
Splash of cranberry juice
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Pour into a pint glass and garnish with a fresh lime wedge.
Caribbean Blackened Red Snapper
Caribbean Blackened Snapper
For the salsa:
½ pineapple medium dice
1 papaya medium dice
1 mango medium dice
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
¼ red onion,. very small dice
¼ red bell pepper, small dice
a few sprigs of cilantro chopped
Combine all ingredients.
To make the fish:
When available, use locally sourced fresh fish. This particular dish uses locally caught red snapper. If you are unable to acquire snapper or it’s not your preference, grouper and Mahi Mahi also work well.
You’ll need a 6- to 9-ounce portion for each person.
Lightly coat one side of the fish with your favorite blackening spice. Coat the bottom of a saute pan with olive oil and turn it up to medium high heat. Slowly place the fish blackened side down into the oil so if the fish splashes the oil goes away from you not towards you. Once the fish has a nice sear on the blackening side, flip it over carefully. Turn down the heat to medium/low for a couple of minutes or until the fish is just done. Place a healthy serving of your already prepared Caribbean Salsa over each piece of fish. Enjoy!