The District – Seville Steak & Seafood
Since opening three years ago, The District has lured diners to downtown Pensacola for its dry-aged steaks, top-quality seafood, and magical dining experience.
When The District: Seville Steak & Seafood first opened its doors to the Pensacola fine-dining scene in the fall of 2018, there was a very clear idea of what was meant to be achieved. Owner Wilmer Mitchell and his family were already invested heavily in the historic Seville Quarter Entertainment District and had a vision of adding to their portfolio with a top-tier steakhouse that featured prime beef, quality seafood, craft cocktails, and an unparalleled wine list.
As The District now approaches its third year in operation, new general manager Matthew Williams looks to bring a fresh perspective to the ever-evolving landscape of downtown Pensacola, and has his eyes set on becoming the premier steakhouse on the Gulf Coast. Downtown has seen a renaissance over the last few years, but it will see much more growth and change in the near future, and Williams believes The District can be a foundational pillar of the exciting experiences the area has to offer.
“We’re so excited about our menu and the quality of food we put out on a nightly basis,” says Williams. “But we also have this breathtaking lounge and terrace upstairs that’s truly the hidden gem of Pensacola.” His goal, he says, is to curate a total experience for guests. “They can come upstairs to our lounge and have a glass of wine, craft beer, or cocktail after a long day of work and have some of those conversations and make some of those business decisions you just can’t make at the office,” explains Williams. “Then they can meet with family and friends downstairs for a magical evening enjoying our expertly aged steaks and a carefully selected bottle of wine. After dinner, they can return to the lounge or relax outside on our terrace for dessert and listen to the talented musicians who play nightly.” Williams clearly has a passion and an energy he’s looking to create.
There are always challenges in any high-end restaurant operation, and certainly the last year has seen the hospitality industry forever changed. “COVID really impacted the way we operate our business,” says Williams. “But what we’ve seen recently is an outpouring of support and relief from the community that things are finally getting back to the way they were. People have been starving, not just for delicious food, but for warmth and kindness, to gather with friends, and to share and create memories.”
Many restaurants locally and nationally are experiencing extreme difficulty finding and retaining staff, but that hasn’t been an issue for The District. Executive chef Josh Warner has an incredible track record of motivating and inspiring his kitchen staff and creating a tight-knit family unit. “It’s refreshing to work with a team that cares so much about the quality of food we put out,” says Warner. “We have some incredibly passionate individuals working with us, and it’s my job to coach them up and make them that much better. We’re all here to learn and grow, and it’s really special to see what’s happening in our kitchen and know that it’s the product of a lot of hard work and planning.”
But to get to the meat of things, it’s the steak that allows everything else to happen. When you can confidently say that you do something no one else locally does, you really stand out. The District’s dry-aged beef process, which is handled entirely in-house, has evolved over the years and has only gotten better. Its steaks are all Certified Angus Beef and aged for a minimum of 28 days, but you can often find nightly specials with steaks that have been aged for up to 90 days.
The aging process allows moisture to evaporate from the muscle of the steak, creating a greater concentration of beef flavor. It also uses the beef’s natural enzymes to break down the connective tissue in the muscle, which leads to more-tender beef. “When our guests tell us it’s the best steak they’ve ever had, it’s because it is,” says Warner.
The District isn’t just a place to celebrate your anniversary or a birthday; it’s a place to celebrate life. It’s a place that welcomes you with open arms and embraces you like an old friend. It’s a place where you can leave your cares at the door and know a great dining experience is everything you could want it to be.
The District: Seville Steak and Seafood | 123 E. Government St. | Pensacola, FL 32502 | (850) 332-5224
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHELLE STANCIL
Coastal Palate Magazine, all rights reserved.
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