A Beloved WaterColor® Classic Keeps Evolving
FOOW® (formerly Fish Out of Water) has long been synonymous with fresh, locally inspired cuisine that celebrates Florida’s best. From its brand-new dining room and focus on a locally sourced menu, to its stunning waterfront views and now coastal-casual atmosphere, FOOW® serves up an authentic taste of the Gulf in an ambiance that embodies the spirit of the WaterColor® community: fun, approachable and always served with impeccable service.
Opened in June 2018 as a new dining concept showcasing a more laidback coastal-casual menu, FOOW® is located at the AAA Four Diamond and Forbes Four-Star rated WaterColor® Inn, a The St. Joe Company property. Since its opening in 2018, FOOW® has received a AAA Three Diamond rating, Florida Trend’s “Golden Spoon Award,” and a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. The restaurant is open to the public daily.
Whether for a quick family lunch post-beach, a girls’ happy hour or a romantic date night, FOOW® is the ideal dining spot for visitors and locals alike who are in a vacation state of mind – whether for brunch, lunch or dinner. A daily Happy Hour (2-5 p.m.) provides the opportunity to catch the sunset while sipping on one of the restaurant’s inventive Rum Diary cocktails and enjoying live music (available seasonally). After 5 p.m., FOOW®’s dinner menu comes to life with an array of fresh options straight from the Gulf. In the FOOWroom, private parties can enjoy a more intimate dining setting against the backdrop of an impressive wine cellar.
At FOOW®, the best seat in the house is always guaranteed, thanks to glass walls that showcase breathtaking views from every seat. Wall art by local artist Justin Gaffrey further elevates the restaurant’s colorful, laidback and community-centric vibe. And long after lunch or dinner has ended, visitors can keep the FOOW® vibes going, by taking home a piece of the signature “WaterColor casual” style with branded merchandise from the FOOWshoppe.
A Fresh Taste of the Gulf
FOOW®’s locally sourced Southern cuisine is guided by the world-class expertise of its culinary team and their commitment to authentic cuisine and impeccable flavors. They are led by Executive Chef John Engle and Chef Matt Moore, the WaterColor® Inn’s Director of Food and Beverage.
Sample dishes from FOOW®’s brunch menu (8 a.m.-2 p.m. daily ) include:
- FOOW® Coastal Granola: organic Greek yogurt, topped with seasonal fruit, local honey and mint
- Deep South Biscuit: fried green tomatoes, country ham, hot pepper jelly, Thomasville Tomme and scratch bacon atop a freshly made toasted biscuit
- FOOWly Loaded BLT with Cajun-rubbed smoked turkey breast, avocado spread, garlic aioli, cherrywood bacon, heirloom tomato, and farm greens
- Bottomless Mimosas and FOOW®’s Famous Bloody Mary are also available
Sample dishes and desserts from FOOW®’s midday menu (2-5 p.m. daily) include:
- Gulf Oysters by the half dozen
- Dos Grouper Tacos topped with smashed avocado, cabbage, salsa, cilantro and lime
- Carolina Pimento Cheese with candied pepper bacon and pork rinds
- Grilled Shrimp Salad Sliders: farm greens, pickled onion, tarragon mayonnaise, housed in a brioche bun
- #FOOWTIME: daily food and drink specials available 2-5 p.m.
Sample dishes and desserts from FOOW®’s dinner (5-10 p.m. daily) include:
- FOOW® Burger: Raines Farms Louisiana Wagyu beef blend, lettuce, tomato, opinion, house-made pickle and garlic aioli on a buttered brioche bun
- FOOW® Buckets, served with fries, including:
- Fried Gulf Oysters with Creole remoulade
- Fresh Catch from the Gulf
- Fresh-Catch Dinner Entrées, served with choice of side, hushpuppies and local vegetables
- Dirt Road Anthem: Mississippi mud pie with graham cracker and Oreo dirt, chocolate cruller and roasted pecans presented in a special FOOW® bowl
A Toast for Any Occasion
With seasonal live music, FOOWbar pours a collection of local beers and Southern coastal craft Rum Diary cocktails, including exceptional tequilas, rums and a long list of smartly picked wines stored in the restaurant’s on-site cellar. The daily Happy Hour (2-5 p.m.) features select $4 beer, $6 draft beer, $8 wines by the glass and $9 signature cocktails.
Specialty cocktails include:
- Beach Hair Don’t Care, with Cruzan® Coconut Rum, banana, fresh citrus, finished with a salted rim
- Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with Cathead honeysuckle vodka, lemon, jalapeño and mint
- FOOW® Frosé: signature frozen blend of rosé, vodka, strawberry and agave
FOOW®’s private dining capabilities include the FOOWroom and FOOWwest. FOOWroom, a comfortable space situated by the restaurant’s wine cellar, offers completely private seating for up to 36 guests. FOOWwest, located on the main dining room’s west side, takes in views of the Gulf from its raised platform and offers semi-private space for up to 38 seated guests in a mix of booths and tables. Events in FOOWwest are limited to two hours.
Parties up to 20 guests may choose to order from the full a-la-carte menu tableside, while parties of 21 or more receive a special menu to pre-select items prior to the event. Full bar service from FOOWbar, as well as the restaurant’s world-class wine inventory, ensure no guest goes thirsty. Group reservations made be made by emailing email@example.com or calling 850.231.7773.
Located at the restaurant’s main entrance, the FOOWshoppe offers numerous ways to take the FOOW® experience home, featuring exclusive FOOW®-branded apparel for kids and adults, including distinct designs and phrases. Guests may also browse an array of gift items, including candles, branded drinkware and Supergoop® sun care.
Design & Décor
FOOW®’s recent redesign, led by designer and architect Cooper Carry of The Johnson Studio, emphasizes Gulf views and proximity to South Walton’s white-sand beaches. The new look recently earned local construction company, Anderson Construction, the Golden Aurora Award for Best Interior Renovation (commercial) at the 2019 Southeast Building Conference. The reimagined space includes a streamlined, open-air kitchen, as well as an expanded Gulf-view bar that wraps from the interior to the exterior, creating an indoor-outdoor vibe. Highlighting WaterColor Inn’s natural environment, coastal hues mingle with warm hickory wood, blue/gray patterned fabric, and neutral textures. Light flows in through large windows during the day, while the sunset impresses guests in the evenings as nautical bulb fixtures turn on to provide a warm, ambient glow. Varied table options, booths, communal spaces and the patio all boast Gulf views from every seat.
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Details included in this story were accurate at time of publication but are subject to change based on seasonal schedules, amenity and/or operational updates. For the most current information, please visit the respective property’s website.