Restaurant Review: The Old Florida Fish House

Old Florida Fish House View,dining,30A,

The Old Florida Fish House is a charming and historic restaurant on 30A in Seagrove Beach. Nestled along the pristine shores of Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake, the Fish House offers lakeside dining with views of the Gulf. Steeped in tradition and brimming with character, this iconic fish house has been a beloved fixture of the local 30A community since 2005. With its rustic ambiance, delectable seafood, and breathtaking views, it continues to enchant visitors from far and wide.

Since its founding, the Fish House’s menu and ambiance have evolved and improved. Old oak trees adorned with Spanish moss still greet guests entering the grounds. While outside seating has always been available with viewing areas by the lake, the Fish House has continued to enhance its grounds with lush gardens, romantic café lights, and flickering tiki torches. Inside the Old Florida Fish House, the weathered wooden walls adorned with fishing nets, vintage photographs, and local art evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Three kitchens offer guests a wide variety of delectable dishes. All are scratch kitchens, meaning all ingredients are prepared in-house. The main kitchen continues to serve fresh gulf-caught seafood, such as grouper and red snapper. Recognizing the health and flavor benefits of humanely and sustainably raised food, the Fish House serves Joyce Farms chicken, Upper Iowa Farms certified angus beef, and regionally grown produce.

Traditional + Creative Recipes

The Fish House’s expert chefs, Thomas Stuckenborg and Ron White, pay homage to traditional recipes, while also infusing their own creative flair to create a truly memorable dining experience. In addition to traditional seafood dishes, each night the chefs prepare features using the best seasonal ingredients. Recently, a fishing boat captain called Chef Thomas at four in the morning to offer a rare catch of scorpion fish.  Thomas immediately agreed to buy the entire catch, and later that night whole baked scorpion fish stuffed with organic vegetables was on the menu.

The sushi kitchen and bar, led by Chef DJ McCracken, is the second kitchen at the Fish House. As one of the top sushi chefs in the Southeast, Chef DJ combines exceptional skill with the freshest sushi ingredients to provide a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. DJ sources the best sushi ingredients from all over the world, including BlueFin tuna from the Mediterranean and Japan, Scallops and uni from Hokkaido Japan, and A-5 wagyu beef from all over Japan.  A local buyer bids on tuna, uni, scallops and wagyu at the Toyosu market in Japan each week. The week’s purchases are flown in overnight to the Fish House.

The Fish House continues to source the finest available exotic and rare ingredients. Last December the Fish House was the first restaurant in the US to purchase an entire wagyu cow from Japan.  The cow was a Champion, raised in the Gifu prefecture in Japan. Its trophy still adorns a wall behind the sushi bar. This year, the Fish House was selected to be one of approximately 50 restaurants in the US to be certified to serve Kobe beef from Japan. There are only six other restaurants in Florida certified to sell Kobe in Florida. In addition to Hida and Kobe beef, the Fish House offers Snow Beef from Chateau Uenae, Miyazaki Beef, as well as Olive fed and Drunken Wagyu.

Oyster Bar

The third kitchen at the Fish House is the Oyster Bar, which sources the best oysters from all over the US and Canada. Butter and parmesan-drenched grilled oysters are the main attraction for those who enjoy them New Orleans style. Raw oysters are sourced from the best providers available during the optimal harvest and season, including Canada, Virginia, and the Gulf.

The Old Florida Fish House is more than just a restaurant; it’s a gathering place where friendships are forged and memories are made. Locals and tourists alike come together to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Live music fills the air, adding an extra layer of merriment to the festivities.

Guest convenience is also a priority. Reservations are accepted year-round, including for large groups. This allows guests to avoid long waits if they are able to plan ahead. Complimentary valet parking is available during peak times to ensure all guests are able to park with minimal inconvenience. Outdoor activities entertain all ages, such as corn hole and ring toss. The Fish House dock is a great place to watch the sunset and take pictures with the lake and Gulf in the background. Shops are available on the property for gifts, toys and souvenirs. Next door, Coastside 30A offers retail items, as well as craft beer and fine wine. Beach Bean Coffee serves up quality coffee and food during the day.

In a time that is constantly evolving, the Old Florida Fish House stands as a testament to the importance of preserving history and tradition, while growing and evolving to meet changing tastes and palates. It is a place where the past meets the present, where stories are shared, and where the simple pleasures of good food and good company reign supreme. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking an authentic Florida experience, the Old Florida Fish House is a must-visit destination that will captivate your senses and leave a lasting impression.