#43 of 130 Pensacola Beach Restaurants

The Grand Marlin of Pensacola Beach

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The Grand Marlin — Where Refined Dining Meets Beach Casual
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Grand Marlin offers an ambiance that's a fusion of elegant and casual that actually works — and then there's the food. Award-winning chef Gregg McCarthy brings his magic to the table in the form of exquisitely prepared fresh fare from the sea.

- The FloridaPanhandle.com Local Expert Team

The Grand Marlin’s story started during a group deep-sea sports fishing adventure in the world-class marlin fishing grounds just north of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. The group wanted to find a way to bring island culinary traditions and carefree lifestyle back to their town in Florida, so they brainstormed up The Grand Marlin. After bringing in two stars of the Atlanta restaurant stage to provide their dream with a final layer of polish, The Grand Marlin was born. It’s been up and running since the year 2010.

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into the main dining room at The Grand Marlin won’t be anything in the room itself — it’ll be the mesmerizing view out the windows of the sparkling waters of Santa Rosa Sound. Be sure to request a window seat if you’re making reservations and want to dine by the light of the setting sun. After the sun slips below the horizon, you’ll enjoy the twinkling lights of Pensacola Beach. In addition to dinner, The Grand Marlin is also open for brunch on Sunday mornings.

Also, don’t fuss over what to wear. The Grand Marlin is that place on the beach where you can wander in wearing beach sandals and shorts and not be out of place, but you also won’t feel overdressed if you decide to put on the sparkle and shine for date night.

The Grand Marlin also has a full bar called the North Drop Bar where you can enjoy signature drinks such as Blue Marlin Martinis, Mandarin Mango Mojitos, and North Drop Ales. Classic and craft cocktails are also available, and if you’re a wine lover, you’ll be glad to know that The Grand Marlin offers an extensive wine list featuring more than 80 bottles.

The Grand Marlin’s menu changes every day to reflect the types of fresh fish currently available. You’ll also find freshly crafted salads using ingredients such as kale, field greens, and ripe pears, classic desserts such as Key Lime Pie, and Pineapple Butter Cake.

Here are just a few of the jewels dotting The Grand Marlin’s menu:

Fried Gulf Shrimp or Oysters
Your choice of gulf shrimp or oysters dipped in buttermilk and breaded to order. Served with French fries, jalapeno coleslaw, and tartar, and cocktail sauces.

Maryland Style Lump Crab Cake
This classic Maryland crab cake is flavored with Creole mustard butter and roasted corn relish and comes with a side of French fries.

Shrimp & Grits
Fresh Gulf shrimp seared in chipotle and served with locally produced C & D Mill cheese grits, tomato, and Andouille sausage stew.

TGM Signature Praline Basket
The Grand Marlin’s signature dessert features crispy pralines, vanilla bean ice cream, and chocolate and caramel sauces — finished off with a scoop of fresh berries.

Insider Tips:
-If the main dining room is crowded, you can usually get a table in the bar.
-The generously sized appetizers make a meal in their own right for light eaters.