The Gulf Coast gem pays tribute to the city’s Spanish Creole heritage, while adding a contemporary twist
PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla., September 14, 2021 – Separated from the Gulf of Mexico by just a few hundred feet of white sand, Sal de Mar is the perfect poolside gem for travelers as well as food and drink-obsessed locals.
Fusing Spanish influence with local ingredients, the Hilton Pensacola Beach restaurant defies typical hotel restaurant fare with homemade tortillas and authentic Spanish cuisine—made entirely from scratch. Not to mention, Sal de Mar serves up three types of generously garnished margaritas in 40-ounce sizes.
With flavors like jalapeño and local strawberry and smoked pineapple, the drinks are culinary creations in their own right. The restaurant also offers larger-than-life stacked milkshakes that can be made with or without alcohol.
“Sal de Mar’s menu has a lot of character,” said Chef Omar Torres, the hotel’s food and beverage director and executive chef. “The flavorful lineup features Floridian favorites such as conch fritters, coconut shrimp, and handmade tacos and also includes shrimp ceviche, octopus, and an Americanized version of bombas, the traditional Spanish potato croquette. Popular bar foods, like burgers, are available as well.”
Since his arrival at the Hilton Pensacola Beach in 2019, Chef Omar has remained focused on uniting the local community of farmers and artisans. Chef Richard Assaf, the restaurant’s executive sous chef, has made his mark internationally as a past recipient of Dubai’s Finesse Cooking Award and having cooked for President George W. Bush.
Inspired by the history of Pensacola, hotel development and management company Innisfree Hotels decided on a restaurant concept largely influenced by the city’s storied heritage. The first multi-year settlement in what is now the continental US, Pensacola was held by various Western powers following its founding, but was most frequently returned to by the Spanish, who defended their claims throughout the 17th century. Today, Pensacola’s rich Hispanic heritage can be felt through its many historic sites and cultural touchstones.
The city’s centuries-old history has spawned a passion for the past—both archaeologically and culturally. With its Mediterranean look and authentically Spanish Creole menu, Sal de Mar (which means “sea salt” in Spanish) embodies all that Pensacola has to offer.
Hilton Pensacola Beach is featured on ResortPass, a booking platform that allows users to purchase day passes to use certain hotel amenities. This includes food and beverage offerings, such as a cocktail package for $20, and appetizer package for $20, and access to Cabanas neighboring Sal de Mar for $100. Locals also can enjoy a 20% discount on menu items.
Daily hours of operation at Sal de Mar are 11:00 am to 7:00 pm for outdoor food and drink service and 11:00 am to 11:00 pm for indoor service. The hotel is located at 12 Via De Luna Drive. For more information, visit hiltonpensacolabeach.com.