The Thirty-A Review July 2020

d i n i n g

Paradis, Found How One Local Restaurant Stands the Test of Time b y D e n i s e K . J a m e s

“When we opened back up on May 7, it was great for my wife and I to see everyone,” he says. “At the time, we offered three new dishes to kick off spring—our snapper, chicken, and tuna entrees were updated — even though the menu was limited. It was nice to see everyone come back and help.” The menu concept of Paradis is “local and coastal”, in the words of Cosenzi, and the offerings consist of a variety of mouth-watering land and sea favorites for the most discerning palates. The limited spring menu still listed many of the favorites that patrons have come to know and love: diver scallops with wild mushroom and sweet pea risotto; fresh grouper encrusted with lobster and pistou; Shisho dusted ahi tuna; the cast iron filet with black truffle demi-glace; and more. Cosenzi promises the full menu will be back soon. Cocktails, meanwhile, are still as popular as ever inside the Paradis Lounge, and the iconic Agave Maria continues to steal hearts with its blend of reposado tequila, watermelon puree, fresh citrus, and jalapeno. Those who prefer vodka are sure to love the Ruby Red Sunset, made with Deep Eddy Ruby Red grapefruit vodka, fresh citrus, a splash of ginger ale, and a sugared rim. And, for bourbon drinkers, we suggest The French Quarter: Buffalo Trace Bourbon, green chartreuse, and orange bitters. Of course, the cocktail menu also offers a number of other libations, including martinis, wines, and dessert cordials. Cosenzi and the rest of the

The menu concept of Paradis is “local and

Roasted Chicken Breast

T here’s something special about going out to eat when you’re on vacation – or, for that matter, when you’re fortunate to live in a place that feels like vacation all the time. For locals and visitors who discover Restaurant Paradis, it’s not hard to put the worries of “real life” away and enjoy a fine meal and a well-crafted cocktail, while taking in breathtaking views of Rosemary Beach. Owner Danny Cosenzi and his team purchased the restaurant more than six years ago, and they have taken care to maintain these beloved qualities, as well as introduce new concepts and garner new fans. According to Cosenzi, his in- coastal”, in the words of Cosenzi, and the offerings consist of a variety of mouth-watering land and sea favorites for the most discerning palates.

Fresh Fish Entree

Shiso Dusted Ahi Tuna

valuable staff is the reason that the restaurant is what it is today. Refer- ring to them as “a senior staff,” he explains how many of them have been around since Paradis’s begin- ning, making customers feel at home and helping things run smoothly. “They really take care of the restaurant,” he emphasizes. “For example, Donnie Sellers, who is now

Paradis staff look forward to still being able to celebrate 11 years of excellent cuisine and are working on a rescheduled anniversary event. Until then, they are excited to greet visi- tors and share the love of the island over a fabulous meal. “We’ve been very blessed during these tough times,”

referred to as ‘The MVP’, started out as a painter for a project at the restaurant and then asked us for a job. He took a job as a dishwasher—and now he does everything! The regulars who come into the restaurant know him better than they know me.” It’s most certainly a family environment at Paradis. Besides Sellers, there are bartenders who’ve stood the test

of time—Jeff Troy, Byron Lewis, Lindsey Hedglin—as well as Chef Mark Eichin and General Manager Michael Wood, both on staff since day one. When the restaurant closed on March 20, due to COVID-19, it was just five days before the anniversary of being open for 11 years. Everyone was pleased to return to the restaurant once conditions were safe, and Cosenzi says he “had a new appreciation for what is offered.”

Cosenzi comments with a smile.

To make a reservation or see the menus online, please visit, or call (850) 534-0400.

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