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“Very good meal, a bit noisy” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cafe Thirty A

Cafe Thirty A
3899 East Scenic Highway 30-A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
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Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Somerset Bridge Rd.
Description: Café Thirty-A is a casual fine-dining restaurant featuring grilled and fire roasted seafood, meats and poultry, wood-oven pizza, vegetarian fare and hedonistic, "architectural" desserts. The menu changes daily according to availability of ingredients. Fine wines and cocktails--including a creative menu of the best martinis in the area--complement the meal. The ambiance is open, casual, "islandy," yet sophisticated, with vaulted ceilings, upside-down market umbrellas, hand painted chairs, intimate lighting and half-wall dividers creating the atmosphere. Patrons often state, "It just makes you feel good to walk in here!" It's a fun, happening place to dine - with impeccable, yet unpretentious, service. Recent and ongoing awards are: Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, Florida Trend Golden Spoon Award, North American Restaurant Association Five-Star Award of Excellence, NW Florida Daily News “Restaurant of the Year.” Private dining for 25-80 is available upstairs in the Fishbone
Bluemont, VA
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Very good meal, a bit noisy”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2013

We had a very good meal, our server worked to get our order in before 6pm and got us a great discount. The setting is very nice. We had to use valet parking because of the pre-6pm crowd. The crowd was a bit noisy, which is the reason I went for 4 stars rather than 5. The place calmed down a bit after 7pm, once the 5-6pm discount crowd (which we were part of!) started to thin out. I think next time we'll get 7pm reservations.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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361 reviews from our community

89% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Calvert City, Kentucky, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

Went to the early bird special and this was a great price. Two steaks for price of one. NY strip was great. Daughter had fillet and this was not the best. Potato was awesome and service excellent.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
houston, tx
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“fabulous restaurant and great service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

My wife and I had a Thursday night dinner here and were delighted with everything. The decor and ambiance are beach style and beautiful, and the high ceilings keep the noise level very low.
Our waiter was great, very knowledgable about the menu, and checked back at convenient yet unobtrusive times. My wife had the crab cakes which she described as thew best ever, mostly fresh lump crab with just enough stuff to keep it from falling apart. I had the grouper, press, flacky, dee-lish. Other diners were raving about the fillet mignon. Great spot!!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Martini heaven”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Tuesday and Thursday are the time to get to the bar an enjoy $5 martinis made by Jim and Jason. This is the spot to be at on those days.
We haven't eaten here this year but usually enjoy the seafood at the 2for1 early dinner.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Top Contributor
161 reviews 161 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
“Exceeded our very high expectations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

My partner, our very good friend and I dined at Cafe Thirty-A last night (April 23, 2013) and we were not disappointed. Having read the small number of negative reviews here as well as the preponderance of positive reviews, our expectations were very high but I still joked that I was going to be on the lookout for any flaws. Happily,there were none to be found! Upon arrival we were seated promptly in the right-side dining room and this was a happy event indeed. The bar to the left of the entrance was packed with a loud and lively throng and the main dining room - which was stunning in taupe and bright white with pops of blue and green color - was equally loud. I can understand some of the negative reviews regarding the sound level of the restaurant if they were in the main dining room. The smaller second dining room in which we were seated was quite peaceful with lots of windows through which we could view the nearly full moon as it rose over the beach. Tip #1: Ask for a table in the right-side smaller dining room for a more serene dining experience. Our server, Don A, was appropriately solicitous, friendly, attentive and knowledgeable. He provided answers to our questions about some of the items and seemed to show up exactly when we needed him. The wine list was extensive; we ordered a bottle of the Spy Valley Savignon Blanc (Marlborough region of New Zealand); be advised they had only been carrying it for less than 2 weeks and we got the last bottle in stock, and understandably so! Freshly baked bread was brought to the table along with dipping oil and freshly ground pepper (I've always said you can judge a restaurant by the quality of its bread, so I felt we were off to a good start). My partner started with the red and golden beet salad which arrived as one of the most beautiful presentations we'd seen. He raved about its flavor (I don't like beets so I can't report...). Our friend had the arugula salad which arrived with broad thin slices of pecorino cheese and pine nuts atop a large mound of arugula; he enjoyed it a lot. I had the classic caesar salad which arrived with large crispy croutons and just the right amount of dressing. For main courses, my partner ordered the Wood-Oven Roasted Cobia, our friend ordered the Wood Oven Roasted Grouper and I ordered the Maine Lobster in Paradise. My partner's cobia was delicious and was served with Singapore noodles; the lemongrass-pepper-soy sauce was divine. Our friend stated that the grouper was one of the best he'd had. As far as my dish, I should state here that I rarely order lobster because the majority of previous experiences have been so poor: rubbery, flavorless with the restaurant apparently expecting the ubiquitous container of melted butter to provide the flavor. But, I decided I'd see how this upscale restaurant would prepare it. My lobster dish consisted of three smaller tails surrounding truffles mac and cheese with peas, haricot vert and crawfish tails. My primary concern while ordering was that I'd have to fight the lobster to get it out of the shell (as had been previous experiences elsewhere). Don had assured me that there would be no fight involved and he was correct. The lobster pulled away from the shell nicely, and I was surprised that there was no butter for dipping until I tasted the lobster - what a great flavor it had! No dipping butter needed! As for the mac and cheese, all I can say is that it was delicious and that it was a perfect complement to the lobster. I should mention that we ordered a side dish of the creamy grits for the table. After tasting this dish, I wanted it all to myself. Don had said the grits were prepared with cream, butter and chicken stock. There were no grits left by the end of our meal. Finally, for dessert my partner had the Brie Cheesecake, our friend out the Rum-Raisin Bread Pudding and I had the Molten Chocolate Cake. All were spectacular, but hands-down the most beautiful presentation and uniquely delicious flavor went to the cheesecake. I'm not sure if I'd call this a "savory" dessert, but it was absolutely gorgeous on arrival and absolutely one of the most unique flavors I've ever experienced. Yes, Cafe Thirty-A is somewhat expensive, but we agreed that the meal was well worth it. Portions were larger than we expected (contrary to other reports) and we will definitely go back. By the way, I rated the Bar Scene Very Good because clearly the large crowd there was having a wonderful time; however, it was really LOUD so I'm not sure I'd have enjoyed it very much. There was no outdoor seating that I could see. Also, at this time of year, there was no valet parking and on our arrival at 7pm there were still several parking spots available for self parking. With such a place, I would expect parking to be very difficult during high season; the valet stand was visible and, given the quality of our experience, a fee for valet seems reasonable to me. Tipe #2: Those who are visiting during 5pm-6pm to take advantage of 2-for-1 entrees should note that not all dishes are available for this special. If you are looking for a fine dining experience along 30-A, you can't do much better than Cafe Thirty-A.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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