Our final dinner on Amelia Island was not our last meal as we returned the next day to host long-time clients for a wonderful brunch as well. We chose 29 SOUTH EAST (www.29southrestaurant.com) also located in downtown Fernandina Beach at 29 South 3rd Street. Our dinner server was Ian, a very camp full of zest and oh so tall guy that in thought he would hit his head on the ceiling!
He made many suggestions and we should have listened to his word as gospel. We chose one starter, the LOBSTER CORN DOG that came with a very tasty Vodka Spiked Horseradish Ketchup (like my vodka-spiked horseradish cocktail sauce!) but sported a battered deep fried lobster tail on a stick that was just too greasy and mess to eat. Ian did suggest the fantastic FRIED GREEN TOMATO Short Stack which came stuffed with Goat Cheese, topped with Red Pepper Jam and drizzled with Balsamic. No grease on these fried babies. His other suggestion was the spot on GRILLED ROMAINE with Maytag Blue Crumbles, In House Cured Bacon, Toasted Walnuts and a Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette. Our first wine was a 2012 Broadbent Gruner Veltliner which was nice, especially with the tomatoes. We also asked why everyone else was getting rolls and we didn't; you have to ask. I guess it's like water during a drought. They were tasty salted soft warm buns as well!
Samuel ordered what must be the biggest dish ever for him: 10 ounce NY STRIP with pecorino/garlic/rosemary fries and Lardon Jus. It was huge but superb. I am not a steak guy, but the meat was tender, cooked well, the sauce divine and the fries some of the best ever.
We moved on to a Chauteuneuf du Paper from Mont Redon 2010 that was creamy and divine, especially with my fish special-
Hawaiian Snapper (Onaga) with Garden(out back) Papaya Bourbon Butter, Habanero Coconut Lime Milk (not sweet), Asapargus and Fingerling Potatoes. This is one of the top ten pieces of fish ever, the skin was crispy tasty and the meat flaky and superb; the sauce was perfection. SHRIMP & GRITS was another huge portion and a hit to boot with FRIED SHRIMP (Ian said they were a garnish) not necessary on top of the ones in the dish (they, too were a bit greasy). Mill Ground Grits had yummy local shrimp, sherry and Andouille Sausage Pan Gravy with Grape Tomatoes. YUM YUM...
We wanted dessert (Glazed Doughnut Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Drizzle sounded divine) but I reminded everyone we had the Club for sweets and drinks waiting back at the hotel, so Will & I settled on a small LOCAL Cheese plate with all the cheeses from SWEET GRASS DAIRY just across the border in Georgia. Fontina came with Watermelon Rind Chutney, Black Truffle Brie came with truffles and Micro Greens and the divine rich Asher Blue came with blackberries and honey. Crusty toasted bread was perfect for the cheeses if you wanted it, but it was a great way to end our final dinner in Florida.
Brunch the next morning was just as good, although Samuel was so full he just looked at his pancakes after one or two bites. Will liked his FISH TACOS with Chipotle Sauce & Napa Slaw and our guests enjoyed their breakfast fare as well. The hit dish, however was the PULL PORK EGGS BENEDICT which our charming server Yolanda brought and I almost fainted. Two huge poached to perfection eggs on Buttermilks Biscuits with Creole Mustard Hollandaise had what had to be nearly half a pound of PULLED PORK in the middle with a tasty peppery marmalade (was it orange and red pepper jelly?--I forgot to ask!).
It was good that our flight was midday and we didn't eat again until reaching home later last night!
Happy Hallowe'en to all and don't eat too much candy! We still have Salted Caramels!