When the Destin family’s fishing business was forced to close, Dewey Destin decided to put his fresh seafood expertise to good use. His namesake Dewey Destin’s Harborside Restaurant opened in 2001 in a quaint home that overlooks Destin Harbor. Several other locations have followed, but Harborside is the original.
The casual restaurant has seating inside and out, with heaters to warm things up during the colder months. Harborside is a very popular restaurant, so expect a wait, especially during the summer months or if it’s cold. If you have to wait, walk-up to the bar and enjoy a cocktail in the garden.
Harborside is committed to serving only the freshest seafood that’s expertly prepared. In fact, the kitchen will even prepare fish you catch and bring to the restaurant. But the staff don’t put fish under warming lamps. It comes to your table when it’s ready, even if your companions’ food isn’t yet ready.
You can get the fresh catch prepared in a variety of ways: fried, grilled, blackened or bronzed, which is seasoned with garlic salt and butter. Steamed shrimp, crab legs or scallops and a variety of specialty dishes are on the standard menu. The portions are large so go hungry. And if you don’t like seafood, there are terrestrial menu options.
Here are a few of our favorites:
A perennial favorite at Harborside, the Group Parmesan pairs delicate fish with a creamy sauce and nutty parmesan cheese. It’s broiled to golden brown and two sides. Get the sweet coleslaw and hush puppies. They’re a real crowd pleaser.
Sesame Crusted Tuna
Yellowfin tuna is coated in sesame seeds and quickly seared. Then a sweet chili and horseradish sauce is poured over the top. It’s the perfect way to showcase the fish.
Pecan Crusted Mahi
A perfect pairing of flavors, the pecan crusted mahi is covered with a tangy cream and white wine sauce. It’s topped with parmesan cheese and broiled to perfection. It’s like a taste of the beach
When you wrap something in bacon and stuff it with crab meat, you just can’t top it. Sweet, succulent jumbo shrimp are filled with a savory crab mixture and wrapped in a piece of bacon. The concoction is then either fried or broiled. We recommend the broiled preparation.
Key Lime Pie
Smooth, silky and just tart enough, Harborside’s key lime pie is perfection. People say it’s the best in Florida, and we believe it. Don’t leave without a slice.
After dinner, walk down and look at the boats or enjoy the shops that line the boardwalk. It’s a wonderful way to cap off a memorable meal at one of Destin’s most popular restaurants.
You’ll occasionally find lionfish on the menu. An invasive species that has invaded the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, lionfish have venomous spines. They’re very tasty, but can only be eaten after poisonous spines are removed. The dish always sells out when featured at Dewey Destin’s Harborside. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a chance to try it.