Pensacola Florida

Visiting Pensacola

Teresa had to teach a class out in Pensacola this past week, so I offered to be the designated driver. We hadn’t travelled since Labor Day, so we were both looking forward to the trip. We stayed at the Residence Inn near the airport. It is close to the local DDS office. It is also close to the Lottery District office where I planned a visit. The hotel is really nice and it had a very large desk space with power connections which made working remotely very easy for me. I booked some interesting places for us to eat each of the three nights. Thought I would use this post to share our dining experiences.

Union Public House

We decided to revisit the Union Public House when we arrived on Monday night. We had visited it a few years before and had really enjoyed it. They moved to a new, larger location since our last visit.

We ordered the Tuna Tartare to start. It is served with a truffle soy vinaigrette. It was the best tuna we have had since we lived in the Keys. We decided to try the Slow As Molasses Cured and Smoked Pork Butt for our main. This was served with creamed corn, spinach, pickled red onion, and fried jalapeño. It pork was perfectly cooked and the rest of the dish really complemented it. The corn was especially good.

The two dishes were so filling, we had to skip dessert even though we had really enjoyed their buttermilk pie on our first visit and had been looking forward to having it again. We both gave the Union Public House a solid thumbs up if you are in the mood for a delicious, hearty Southern-style meal.

Angelena’s

On Tuesday night we visited Angelina’s. I picked it because we had seen chef and owner James Briscione on Chopped. The restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine with modern interpretations. There are also some Gulf-coast inspired dishes. It is located downtown. The room very “New Orleans” with lots of woodwork and classic black and white tile floors.

Teresa and I always share plates. We decided to start with the Nola-Style BBQ Shrimp which was recommended by our server. THis is dish of wood-fired shrimp served with Cajun garlic butter and puffed pizza dough. It was a generous serving of large shrimp in a red sauce. The pizza dough was an unusual accompaniment. The dish as interesting. It wasn’t as spicy as we expected and the sauce seemed to overwhelm the dish. I thought the pizza dough was interesting, but Teresa didn’t really enjoy it.

For our main course we ordered the Chianti-Braised Short Ribs. We had been debating getting the Seared Scallop Risotto. Our server offered the option of adding two of the scallops to our short-ribs so we did. The short ribs were served on a C&D Mills polenta with braised greens and pickled peppers. Unfortunately, I was feeling a little under the weather, so we decided to take the dish to go and head back to the hotel. We did have it for lunch the next day. It was still very flavorful. We really enjoyed the ribs and the polenta which was very smooth.

Bonsai

For our third night, we decided to get sushi. We haven’t found a sushi place in Tallahassee that we really enjoy. Bonsai at the Pensacola Beach Hilton had a lot of positive reviews, so it seemed like a good choice.

We scheduled all of our meals at 5:30 since we were still essentially on east coast time. I didn’t account for the amount of traffic we would hit driving down to the beach. There is a lot of construction, so it made it a fairly long drive.

We parked in the hotel lot. It was a bit of a walk into the hotel. The restaurant is up on the second floor. It doesn’t really have an seperate entrance. You walk through a room section to get to it. They said that was coming. The room is pretty small and not as “upscale” as I expected. There is lots of glass looking down on the pool area and the beach.

Service was attentive. They brought us a small starter that was unusual. WE ordered their Nijiiro Maki to start. This had crab salad, cucumber, avocado, tuna, hamachi, steelhead, and snapper. It was fresh, but the fish was not that flavorful. We then ordered the Berkshire Pork Butt. This was good, but didn’t match up to the pork we had Monday so we probably should have passed. We then ordered the Nigiri. This was Bluefin tuna, Faroe Island Salmon, Hamachi, Snapper, Tamago and Salmon Roe. the portion was pretty small and some of the fish was cut incorrectly.

We ended the night walking out of the deck area and enjoying the sunset. Overall, this night was disappointing especially given the cost.

A Nice “Break”

All in all, a nice break for us. We had some good food and got time together on the drive. We did miss our pup and were happy to get home.

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