The Lighting of a New Era in Fine Dining
Nestled in the Shoppes at Edgewater, Firefly is Panama City Beach’s newest fine dining experience. From the moment I walked through the door I knew this was no ordinary beach eatery serving the usual beach fare. A beautiful waterfall adorning the wall behind the bar creates a “Wow Factor” upon entering the front lounge. An adjoining lounge with sofas and live music on Thursdays and Saturdays adds a tranquil and sumptuous feel to Firefly’s stylish environment. And keep walking…the biggest Wow Factor is yet to come: A huge oak tree – adorned with fireflies throughout – stands smack dab in the middle of the dining room. A description in words doesn’t do this vision justice…you just have to go there and see for yourself. Everything I sampled at Firefly was a notch above “really good.” Which is to say, simply, they got it right.
We began the journey with an aperitif of martinis. The Espresso Martini was thick and rich, cold, and not too sweet (which is a common mistake with martinis). The Pineapple Marini was refreshingly fruity and mellow. Our Tempura Fried Apalachicola Oysters were light and tender, served with a tangy cocktail sauce and an assembly of pickled parsnips, shallots, carrots, snap peas and red endive. The Tuna Nicoise, a scoop of sushi-grade rare tuna, was drizzled with basil oil and had a slightly savory, nutty finish. We sampled a bowl of smooth-as-silk Carrot Ginger Gazpacho swirled with a biting red pepper coulis, and garnished with a steak kabob. The vegetables and herbs that went into this cool concoction were so fresh the flavor spanked my taste buds, and the oversized white porcelain bowl added a cartoon-like whimsical flair to the presentation. Next came the Hydroponic Salad…butter lettuce underneath a confetti of strawberries and goat cheese, trickled with a warm brown butter pecan dressing.
Our lavish meal continued with two exuberant entrees, both served on giant white porcelain platters that matched the fun soup bowls. Grouper “In The Sac” was served with toasted almond rice pilaf primavera, steeped with butter-poached lobster sauce, and baked in a parchment sac. The Bacon Wrapped Gorgonzola Stuffed Pork Chop with charred peppers, caramelized onions and sweet tomatoes was infused with a subtle orange essence, and served alongside red skin potato hash. We shared the succulent Twice Baked Lobster Mashed Potatoes; a description of the dish cannot represent the eye-rolling rapture it creates. With such delicious decadence one cannot possibly say no to dessert…and we didn’t. We sampled the Key Lime Icebox Pie with gingersnap and macadamia crust, mile high meringue and warm coconut cream, which was divine. And check out the Hot Chocolate Souffle Cake if you are a chocolate lover, served with chocolate ganache and a trio of homemade ice creams.
Firefly is located in the Shoppes at Edgewater at 535 Beckrick Road in Panama City Beach and is open nightly from 5:00 pm. Reservations are recommended and appropriate attire is appreciated. Check out “Tini Tuesday” with $5 Stoli martinis. Call (850) 249-FFLY (3359) or visit http://www.fireflypcb.com.