A bit hidden away amid the hustle and bustle of the Village of Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House serves up some fine Gulf dishes and an engaging atmosphere, though it’s on the pricier side of Emerald Coast eateries. You’ve got both indoor and outdoor seating to choose from, with particularly great perches at the bar where you can watch oyster-shucking and other prep work in action, and catch the game to boot.
Opened by father Gary and son Bryce Jarvis—Destin native and avid fishermen—Slick Lips gets its memorable name from a nickname for the toothless amberjack, one of the Panhandle’s sought-after catches among both commercial and recreational anglers.
Speaking of catches, fresh-caught fish shows up in more than a few places on the menu, including blackened, fried, or grilled in a brioche bun as the catch-of-the-day sandwich and as part of the seafood platter (along with the options of fried oysters and shrimp). Other sandwiches include the Lobster Roll (dressed with tarragon aioli), the Yellowfin Ahi Burger, the Captain’s Burger (which, with brisket, short rib, and an Angus-blend patty, doesn’t play around), and such Big Easy-influenced options as a Muffuletta and shrimp, oyster, or crawfish Po’Boys.
Oysters are indeed (as you can gather from the name) a prime focus, prepared raw on the half-shell or char-grilled with a variety of topping options, from habanera brown jam to garlic herb parmesan.
For appetizers, consider the Cajun-dusted calamari (which comes with habanera citrus aioli), the Chef’s Crab Claws, the Ahi Poke, the Smoked Cheddar Bacon Bombs, or perhaps the Fried Green Potatoes or the “Southern Caviar” (vinaigrette-dressed black-eyed peas with onions, peppers, tomato, avocado, jalapeños, and cilantro, served with tortilla chips).
Besides the seafood platter, plenty of other entrees feature a taste of the brine, including the scallops and grits, the seafood pasta, and a number of fish plates. But dietary landlubbers have more than a few options to choose from, including Parmesan Crusted Chicken and a hand-cut Angus ribeye. Among the notable sides are the quite-excellent Sidewinder Fries and the Crispy Balsamic Bacon-glazed Brussel Sprouts; hushpuppies are also available.
From beer and wine to well-made cocktails, you’ll find a full bar menu in operation at Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House, too.
Service is often excellent, though it can be hit-or-miss, especially on busy nights. And there are a lot of busy nights at Slick Lips, which can mean a bit of a wait time (the place doesn’t take reservations) and a fair amount of noise during your meal.
Let’s take a look at some specific winners on the Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House menu:
The Slick Lips starters include the tasty Oysters Baytowne platter, which presents crispy-fried oysters on charred French bread, finished off with crispy bacon, Rockefeller cream sauce, and parmesan cheese.
If you feel like sampling the restaurant’s namesake, consider this seafood entree, which nestles its amberjack in applewood-smoked bacon: quite the flavor combo, and one enhanced by Creole meuniere sauce with sweet potato hash and arugula salad.
Another quintessential Gulf delicacy, the grouper here gets an awesome pecan treatment and comes served on a creamy wild mushroom risotto—definitely worth trying!
White Chocolate & Raspberry Bread Pudding
Tempting as Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House’s Key Lime Pie and Guinness Brownie surely are, we’re going to propose the bread pudding’s the all-out star of the dessert menu.
Don’t come here for cheap eats, but expect some thoughtfully prepared and zestily flavored fish and shellfish options at Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House, appropriately perched a stone’s throw from Choctawhatchee Bay.
Be aware that there’s a “Village Charge” applied to your Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House bill if you’re not a Baytowne Wharf resident. It’s not a big fee, but it can be a mildly unpleasant surprise if you’re not expecting it. (And it’s not typically advertised ahead of time.)