Hotel Effie shines with celebrity chef-inspired fare and Southern hospitality

Great food and hospitality often go hand in hand, and they certainly do Hotel Effie, a luxury hotel in Miramar Beach, Florida. A beautiful 250-room hotel is located Sandestin Golf and Beach ResortBetween the white-sand beaches and clear blue-green waters of the Gulf Coast and the living shores of Choctawhatchee Bay, it makes an ideal home base for a Northwest Florida vacation.

From the minute you enter the hotel, Southern hospitality envelops you like a warm buttery biscuit. When you check in, you’re offered a complimentary, pre-packaged craft cocktail: a Vodka Punch (vodka, elderflower liqueur, vermouth, lime juice, simple syrup) or a Whiskey Punch (bourbon, Madeira, bumblebee liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup). Hotel Effie Complimentary trays of warm chocolate chip cookies—the hotel’s namesake signature recipe, Grandma Effie—in the lobby every day at 5 p.m.

The hotel has four main dining venues managed by James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson. Ovide, Hotel Effie’s signature restaurant, features a globally inspired menu featuring seasonal flavors and local seafood. The restaurant is light-filled, with floral ceiling murals and gold, coral and green accents set off by dark woods and deep hues. The menu changes throughout the year, with a 63°C farm egg (crispy rice, collard stem kimchi, peas, spring onion and oyster mushrooms) and raw oysters served on homemade buttermilk crackers, so you don’t get salt all over your lips. New menu items include an heirloom tomato salad with roasted okra and arugula and green angelica dressing, frogmore stew (made with shrimp, andouille sausage, corn, leeks and tomatoes) and blackberry cobbler (featuring brioche, lime and pecan ice cream).

Hotel Effie’s food and beverage offerings include Ara Rooftop Pool & Lounge, a stylish rooftop venue serving wine, craft cocktails and bottle service at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, Choctawatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico; The Lobby Bar (TLB), a venue serving creative liberation and signature small plates; and Sweetbay Coffee, grab and go coffee bar.

Executive Chef Matthew Kruger works with Acheson to ensure their seasonal culinary offerings are up to par. „We both love seasonal ingredients and Southern food, so the collaboration process was pretty seamless,” Krueger said. „I have a lot of freedom to express what I think the hotel needs and what the guests are looking for.” Continuing to fine-tune their menus, Kruger focuses on keeping things seasonal, southern, and accessible to guests—with some tasty twists, of course. For example, the fall 2022 menu features a bone-in pork chop served with dashi-braised turnips, mashed potatoes, shishito peppers, dates and a mirin glaze—a nod to Kruger’s background in Asian cuisine. He also looks to highlight his team’s culinary influences. „I love everyone’s influence on the menu because everyone has a different background and a different idea of ​​what food should be,” he said. „Food is a different language for everyone.”

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