Aqua Prime Seafood & Steaks, is a fresh coastal cuisine restaurant known for “Sea To Table”. We have been featured in the Where Magazine, Beach Scene, Americas Cuisine and many other publications. Chef Jason Vargo opened the restaurant in December 2013, and has put together a beautiful, tasteful menu that everyone will enjoy. He kept the favorites on, with a touch of essence on this new menu roll out. Featuring new Appetizers, Entrees, and Desserts, we offer Hand cut Norwegian Salmon, Wild Caught North Atlantic Cod, Chargrilled Oysters and Alaskan King Crab. Standing behind our brand and its quality, our Steaks are Certified Angus Beef and feature Hand Cut Filets, Marinated Skirt Steak, All Natural Chicken and Smoked Roasted Prime Rib! Throughout Aqua Prime, we have beautiful Mahogany wood and two beautiful bars to enjoy fresh cocktails or a nice bottle of wine. We have an elegant outdoor patio with a canopy of trees, plants and lighting. Host your special occasion at Aqua Prime where we do Weddings, Events, and Parties. We additionally offer to our patrons, the NFL Package every year for those who enjoy watching their team on 9 tv’s around our Bar. Open for lunch with a fast-casual new lunch menu. Open from 11am until 10pm, 7 days a week. Aqua Prime prides its self on Outstanding Coastal Cuisine. This is a True Gulf Beach Treasure!
Executive Chef / Co-founder
Chef Jason Vargo - Passion for Perfection
Jason's early life was the perfect preface to becoming the conscientious and imaginative chef he is today. Growing up in rural Ohio, he learned to appreciate fresh produce, meat, poultry and eggs by growing, harvesting and butchering with his family. His Hungarian mother made everything from scratch and cooked 3 meals a day with recipes that had been in her family for generations. All recipes were hand written in little books dating back to the very early 1900's. Chicken Paprikash, Dumplings, Goulash, Palacsintas, City Chicken. What inspired him was The Fresh Garden & Scratch Cooking.
“Living this life style, your whole life growing up, really makes an impact on a person’s life. A respect and understanding of food and a respect for life is the beginning of my passion for food. My first restaurant job was a Local Smoked BBQ Restaurant. I was only 14 years old working on the line in between school, pulling 30 plus hours a week.”
From the age of 14, Jason has worked on the lines through good days and bad, gaining an acceptance to Johnson Culinary in North Carolina, but unable to afford the tuition, he was still undeterred and dedicated.
“I’ve had mentors throughout my life and career. I've been in this industry for 24 years and opened Aqua Prime, December 2013. I must give thanks to the ones who have inspired me, with the knowledge they have in this industry. l’ve been very fortunate in working with very talented and gifted people I call my friends. The most recent would be Chef Greg Engelhardt, a Michelin Star Chef, the late Chef Tom Pritchard, T.J, Thielbar, and Joe Piteo. There’s more to the list but we all have those few who stand out for different reasons.”
MY LAST MEAL: I am the person who would ask for the best olive oil, the freshest herbs from around the world, garlic sliced so thin it melts in your mouth. A beautiful basket of mushrooms, truffles, porcini, chanterelles, wood ears. A box of garden fresh veggies, strictly organic, crisp n clean, buffer, cream. And a beautiful bottle of Sandeman Cask 33 Tawny Port Wine with a fresh whole sea bass and a fresh whole duck! I would not want a plated meal that someone was going to prepare for me.
I would put my jacket on one last time, button it up, tie my apron on. Preparing my last meal, smelling the aromas, hearing the sizzle of garlic In a pool of olive oil, taking my sharp knife and slicing it through the fish and breaking It down, salt & peppering the duck just enough, searing it with fresh herbs, to me the passion of the dish comes from preparing the dish. Sitting down and eating is just an added bonus to me. I would not necessarily eat my last meal, I would prepare my last meal to be honest.”
Here at Aqua Prime we are creating the Fusion of Smoked Coastal Cuisine. The countless hours of work Jason and his team put in on a weekly basis, can be seen in the quality of food you will receive when you dine with us. The team and I opened this restaurant with a vision of creating a brand, a concept, with dishes that you won't forget and a casual but upscale atmosphere in keeping with the beach lifestyle.