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“Eat under the big tree”
Review of Firefly

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Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $14 - $42
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Front Beach Rd.
Description: Casual Fine Dining at it"s Finest! Firefly specializes locally caught seafood, mouthwatering steaks seared on an 1800 degree broiler, wild game, fresh sushi and artisan pizzas. Winner of Florida Trend's Golden Spoon Award, OpenTable's 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America, Urbanspoon's Top 250 High End Restaurant and Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence, quality of food and service is Firefly's mission. The atmosphere is more like New York City than Panama City. Firefly is the locals choice for a romantic night out, or a special occasion. Firefly has also played host to Country Music Stars, Heisman Trophy winners and the President of The United States. Firefly was one of eight restaurants selected to cook for the athletes and dignitaries in the USA House at the 2012 London Olympics. We want it to be much more than dinner, we want to treat you to a unique dining experience!
grand rapids, michigan
Level 6 Contributor
163 reviews
100 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Eat under the big tree”
Reviewed January 18, 2013

They serve nice sized cocktails. We only had appetizers but that was plenty for us, very good. Service was perfect and fast. Big tree inside is pretty.

Visited January 2013
Thank victoryah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“accomodating to gluten free requests”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Everyone in our group enjoyed their meals, and they were extremely accomodating of my gluten free needs, changing out sides for the entree I wanted. The restaurant itself is lovely and has a great wine list.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank freqtrav3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

My husband and I have eaten here many times because we love the food and service but lately the service level has been going down. During our most recent visit, we made a reservation and were seated shortly after we arrived (which was good) however, once we were seated, we waited and waited for a server but they never came. 20 minutes after waiting, we stopped an employee and asked why no one had come to our table, he said he would have someone come over right way. Once the server made it our way, we asked what was up and she stated that the hostess never told her that we had been seated. Not sure how she could blame it on the hostess considering we were seated in the servers area and she had been making trips to and from her other tables conveniently located to the left and right of us (Helloooo!) Anyways, she took our drink and appetizer order and took forever to bring our drinks. Finally she decided to come back with our drinks and to take our dinner order. Once again she pulled another disappearing act. The phantom server showed up with appetizers and I guess she assumed we didn’t want the bread and dip that’s customary for every customer to get *sighing*. The water boy finally decided to bring his sorry butt over, he didn't speak, didn't look at us, just plain rude.
(Fast forward) The manager brings out our entrees and I made the comment "Wow, I ordered it so long ago, I don't remember what I ordered". He didn't respond, or acknowledge me at all. Why bother making things right with us, we only come here and spend hundreds of dollars at your restaurant (sometimes hundreds in one visit). Maybe they don’t care about customer service during “the off season” never mind the fact that the locals keep them above water winter during the wintertime.

Signing of,

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
3 Thank Nadia F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Opposite experience of prior 2 reviews”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

The food was good, well prepared and good presentation. We ordered from the sunset menu and the selections were good. Ordered She Crab soup and the 4 oz filet. The wait staff was efficient and courteous. There were 6 in our party, all enjoyed their meal, All will return

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank snowbird03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Charles, Missouri
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“WOW! Excellent Dining Experience”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

A fantastic evening meal came from FIREFLY. I was intrigued by a discription of the owner as a “Rock ‘n’ Roller turned Foodie”. Needless to say, I just knew this was my kind of place.
As it turned out, David Trepanier had worked with many of the ‘80’s rock groups that I had known while working in Music Radio. Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Kiss and more to name a few. As expected, this lead to a lively discussion of the Good Old Days!
Dave, from San franciso, met his wife, an aspiring actress, at a NASCAR race and the rest was history. He was out of Rock “n” Roll and back to her home town of Panama City Beach.
Dave always wanted to own a restaurant and this was his chance to change the dining scene in Northwest Florida.
FIREFLY is located in the middle of the Shoppes at Edgewater shopping center. Don’t let the unassuming façade fool you, this is some mighty fine Fine Dining. Urban Spoon ranks FIREFLY as one of “America’s Most Popular High-end Restaurants”. Dave, and his staff, have earned Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for five years running for their 1800+ bottle wine cellar.They also have a private locker service where you can store your favorite vintage in ther cellar. FIREFLY has also earned Florida Trend Magazine’s Golden Spoon Award for three years in a row. I know there will be many more accolades in the years to come.
As you enter FIRELFY you find yourself in a very comfortable bar area. Dark hardwoods and mood lighting instantly make you feel right at home. As you head into the restaurant you will pass through a large room with a romantic fireplace, comfortable couches, overstuffed chairs and a large flat screen TV descreetlty placed amongst the hardwood bookcases. I felt like this was somewhere between a private country club and perhaps a European library. This is the perfect place to relax with a cocktail before your dinner.
The main dining room surrounds a large Oak tree enhanced with miniture LEDs that randomly blink to simulate fireflys. You will find yourself fascinated with this “natural” ambience as you dine. By this point in time I realized this would not just be a good dinner, but rather, a true dining experience.
Fresh seafood at FIREFLY is totally fresh and includes an excellent Sushi menu. Chef Paul Stellato was recently chosen to serve Team USA’s athletes, families and dignitaries at the the London Olympics through BP’s “Spirit of the Gulf” program.
Our dinner started with the She-Crab soup. This alone is worth a trip to Florida! It was served with a shot of Sherry at the table and was absolute perfection! We also had the Crab En croute, jumbo lump crab meat in a puff pastry shell and a sherry cream sauce. Once again, perfection. Others in our group had Sesame Tempura Shrimp, and Cracked Pepper Crusted Tuna. All were well presented and very tastey.
I chose Chef Stellato’s featured dish at the Olympics for my entrée. Sauteed Gulf Grouper, served with shallots, fresh corn, grape tomatoes,sherry cream and jumbo lump crab meat, all topped with a haystack of potaoes. This was an amazing combination of flavors, textures, and visual stimulation. This dish was ten out of ten on my rating scale.
Sue decided on a daily special of Grilled Filet Mignon with a red-wine demiglace sauce and seared Sea Scallops. This aged steak was precisely grilled to medium-rare and the scallops were very tender and moist, yet fully cooked. The presentation included seasonal vegetables of asparagus, carrots and garlic mashed potatoes. This was a griiled work of culinary art.
Our next visit to FIREFLY may well include Rosemay Crusted Rack of Lamb, Five Spiced Seared Duck or perhaps the Espresso & Tomato Braised Free-Range Texas Boar Shank!
Hand made pasta and artisan pizza along with a variety of salads offer something for every taste.
Sue had home-made strawberry sorbet for dessert. As you may have realized by now, I can’t pass-up a bread pudding so the seasonal warm bread pudding was a must. I have never had a German Chocolate bread pudding before, but needless to say, it was great. The home-made vanilla icecream was a perfect addition. Classic Crème Brulee, Triple Chocolate Bombe and more are the artisinal efforts of Pastry Chef Josh Rochill. Specialty coffees and a selection of Port, Dessert Wines, Scotch, Cordials and Cognacs will complete your dining experience.
It’s often said that a meal is “fit for a king”. A meal at FIREFLY is definitely fit for a President. When President Obama visited the Gulf region to promte the safety of Gulf Seafood after the infamous oil spill, he and his family chose to dine at FIREFLY. The Prez had a New York Strip Steak, but the First Lady did have lobster.
The President and family’s security was assured by being seated in one of FIREFLY’s private dining rooms.
Panama City’s FIREFLY Restaurant was decidely one of the best meals I’ve had. Great food, superb service and a classy, yet comfortable ambience. If you are anywhere in the Gulf area, it willl behoove you to make a trip to FIREFLY.
And who is Dave’s favorite rock band….KISS, ofcourse!
Information and reservations are available at www.fireflypcb.com or call 850-249-ffly (3359)

· Address:
535 Richard Jackson Blvd.
Panama City Beach, FL 32407
Panama City Beach - Bay Point

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Kevin and Sue M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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