Best things about Sealand still a pleasure

Published: Friday, November 2, 2012 at 01:17 PM.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Sealand Restaurant is appropriately named. The restaurant has been serving steaks and seafood (and pasta and Asian specialties) in downtown Fort Walton Beach for years. I had not been to Sealand in a long time, and was pleased to find that the best things about the restaurant had not changed.

The food
The first impression when viewing the menu at Sealand is that it is huge. There are a couple of dozen appetizer options, a handful of entrée salads, and plenty of steaks, seafood, Italian and Thai options. Normally, when I see a menu that large, I am concerned that it isn’t possible to execute it properly. But that wasn’t the case at Sealand. Everything we tried was quite good.

My favorite dish recently was my favorite dish the last time I went there. I am a Thai food lover and Sealand does a wonderful version of spicy Thai sausage. It is fragrant with Kaffir lime leaf. The heat from the spice is tamed by cool lettuce, cashews, and the unexpected, but lovely addition of Feta cheese.

Other Thai dishes include pad Thai noodles and a steak salad with Thai lemon dressing. We also enjoyed moist, flaky mahi mahi with golden almond crust served with coconut curry.

Fish options vary depending on what is fresh. The evening we visited triggerfish was on the menu. Salmon, tuna and swordfish are menu regulars. Tuna is offered Japanese-style, seared and served with a soy ginger sauce. It is also prepared Jamaican-style with jerk seasoning.

Shellfish include shrimp, oysters, snow crab legs and lobster tail. Lobster and crab can also be added for an additional charge to any other meal.

With the exception of pad Thai, the pasta dishes are Italian fare. Seafood pasta can be ordered with marinara or alfredo sauce. Italian sausage is served with bowties and vegetables. Bacon-laced fettuccine carbonara, cheese ravioli and penne Bolognese are other Italian classics. The Italian theme continues with meat dishes such as chicken Marsala, piccata and Parmesan.

Sealand offers a variety of steaks in different cuts depending on your appetite. Choose from prime rib (served with horseradish sour cream), New York strip, ribeye, filet migon and sirloin. Steaks range from 8 to 20-ounces. Surf and turf combinations in the form of steak with crab legs, lobster or shrimp, and chicken and shrimp are offered.

A children’s menu offers steak, shrimp, chicken, fish and pasta.

I enjoy dessert at Sealand. Tiramisu, Key lime pie and a brownie with ice cream are on the menu. A restaurant specialty is bread pudding with coconut and a sweet rum sauce.

But to me the highlight of the dessert portion of the menu is the ginger crème brulee. The ginger custard is rich, but not overly sweet. And the dark caramel sugar crust on top adds the slightest hint of bitterness that works beautifully with the pronounced ginger flavor.

I would go to Sealand just for this dessert.

The atmosphere
The interior of the restaurant is comfortable and homey with the large dining room divided into smaller areas that enhance the atmosphere. Booths and tables both provide plenty of room to enjoy your meal.

The service
Service was outstanding. Everyone was friendly, and our server did a great job of making sure we enjoyed our time at Sealand. He made good recommendations, kept our glasses filled and empty plates cleared, and properly paced the meal.

A final taste
Sealand really does offer something for just about everyone. With a varied menu and a range of prices, it is a good option for a casual weeknight, or something more substantial on a weekend.

Restaurant: Sealand Restaurant
Location: 47 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Fort Walton Beach
Telephone: 244-0044
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 4:30 pm – 9 pm (closing varies, so call ahead); Sunday, 11 am to 9 pm. Closed Monday.
Handicap accessibility: good
Children’s menu: yes
Reservations: not necessary
Price range: Appetizers, $5.95 - $11.95
Salads, $3.50 - $13.95
Entrees, $10.95 - $49.95
Children’s menu, $5.95 - $9.95
Dessert. $4.99 - $7.25
Payment: major credit cards 

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