By Liesel Schmidt
A unique, upbeat place where out-of-the box thinking and creativity give rise to dishes like Pastalaya, Bric à Bracprides itself on funkiness and fun that’s one-of-a-kind—despite the fact that the identical twins who own the joint might leave you doing a double-take.
Born into a family where running restaurants runs in the veins, Rudolfo and Fernando Petit opened the doors of Bric à Bracin 2014 with their eyes set on giving the lively members of the Destin community exactly what their chosen name would imply, should you do a little digging into what the French term actually means: a little bit of this and a little bit of that. And taking their own experience in the hospitality industry to forge out on a path of their own making, the Petit twins accomplished just what they had hoped, bringing bold and vibrant flair to the dining scene that transitions from family-friendly restaurant by day to groove on over the line into a rocking party scene at night.
Known more commonly to locals—and repeat offenders—as BaB, the menu here is clearly representational of a desire not to stay confined to the expected, as there are dishes referential to a melting pot of cultures and regions of the world, from Creole and Mexican to Italian and good old Southern comfort food. With a twist, of course—not only when it comes to their cuisine, but also with regards to their lively contribution to the area’s nightlife. After all, how does one achieve uniqueness without going slightly off the rails?
Not that their patrons would complain, as BaB is known far and wide as the place to come for creative concoction that’s a party in a glass—and the atmosphere all around just keeps things going well past dark. Or, in the case of their nightclub Fridays and Saturdays, until the wee hours of the morning—four a.m., to be precise. And with good reason, as Jones and Company has been their main attraction each Friday since their doors first opened, and a steady rotation of live music and some wicked spinning are something that could keep the dance floor packed for days.
So, too, are their signature drinks, and their chart-toppers are certainly worth hitting the bar for. Blending together light and coconut rums with blue curacao and a sweet hit of pineapple juice, the Crab Island is one of their most popular cocktails, topping it all off with a cherry and serving up the fun in a Mason jar. For something with a bit more kick, try the Wipe Out and get ready for the tidal wave of flavor that comes from its mixture of vodka, gin, rum, melon liqueur, pineapple juice, and sweet and sour served with a cheery little cherry. Love a good dose of whiskey? The Destin Comfort is sure to please, combining Southern Comfort with peach schnapps and orange, cranberry, and pineapple juices garnished with a colorful array of fresh-cut fruits. But whatever your drink of choice, the mix-masters at BaB will be able to satisfy, as their bar menu offers their signature items as well as a wide selection of beers, wines, and—of course—margaritas and mojitos on the rocks.
“People know that they can come here and enjoy a casual vibe and get a great meal, and we have a lively atmosphere that’s made us seem different,” says Fernando. “And really, the people that come here are what we love most about what we do—meeting people and talking to people and building relationships with them. They start out as customers, and before we know it, years have gone by and they’ve become friends. That’s what this is about for us.”
A little of this, a little of that—Bric à Bracshakes things up and serves it with a smile that’s twice as friendly, and you’re sure to come back for a double-take. Or two.
2 oz. light rum
1 oz. coconut rum
1 oz. blue curacao
6 oz. pineapple juice
In a cocktail shaker, combine first three ingredients and shake until fully mixed. Pour over ice into a 22 oz. Mason jar or large glass and top with pineapple juice. Garnish with cherry and serve.
Bric à Bracis located at 824 Gulf Shore Drive, Destin, FL 32541. Open daily for lunch at 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. and dinner from 5:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. For more information, call (850) 424-6369 or visit them online at www.bricabracdestin.com.