Exterior of Addison on Amelia

Category Archives: restaurants

The Changing Restaurant Scene in Fernandina Beach

May 22, 2014 by theAddison

There is another round of big changes happening to the restaurant scene in downtown Fernandina Beach  Once in a while, a business will fold and people will move on.  I love it when the new business opens up!

Luigi’s Trattoria was just a couple of blocks from the Addison and provided a great Italian meal served in their tiny dining room, the front porch or in the big open-air piazza in the back of the restaurant.  Giovanna no longer operates the Trattoria in this location and the building was looking a little rundown.

Enter Mark and Teresa of Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop.  They bake, they make cookies and cakes and they are moving into the old Trattoria.  This might just be the next bright spot in our vibrant downtown where you can enjoy fresh baked goods in the shady piazza on a sunny afternoon.

The other movers and shakers in the restaurant world?  Bonito Grill and Sushi closed last year and is soon to be re-opened as Palate.  Raw bar up front with a full menu in the back.  I know these people, they make great food.

O’Kane’s Irish Bar closed last year as well but new life is coming.  A couple of local restaurant owners have decided to expand their workload and will soon open a brew pub in the old O’Kane’s location.  Crazy people but they make great food and hopefully great beer.

With all the changes going on downtown you just have to hope, that when the music stops, everyone has a storefront through which to do business.

Amelia Island Restaurant Week Coming Up!

January 2, 2014 by theAddison

Amelia Island Restaurant Week is coming up at the end of January!    Starting on January the 17th and running through the 26th, the island’s restaurants will be offering special menus at a fixed price.  You can spend the week touring some of Amelia Island’s finest restaurants while dining on a variety of both traditional and eclectic menu offerings.  This is a fun event that everybody enjoys.  We all get to try new menu items at the island’s top restaurants and their chefs get to stretch their culinary skills by preparing special dishes.
This will be a busy week for the restaurants so be sure to give us a call well before your stay at the Addison so that we can make dinner reservations for you.

Two More Favorites = One Great Lunch!

July 25, 2012 by theAddison


The Happy Tomato is by far my favorite place for barbecue.  Love the pulled pork and the ribs.  Rich and his crew also put together some real nice salad sandwiches with either shrimp, tuna or chicken. 
The Happy Tomato has a pretty outdoor courtyard with a few tables for enjoying your lunch.  But where can you eat if you crave air conditioned comfort?  Get your Happy Tomato lunch to go and walk across the street to another of my favorite spots, the Green Turtle Tavern.  You can sit at the bar in their AC, enjoy the best barbecue and have a cold pint or two to go with your lunch.  With 40 different beers to choose from you’ll be sure to find something that goes with that Rib and Chicken Plate that you brought with you, all in the comfort of air conditioning!

And don’t forget, if you love barbecue the Great Southern Tailgate Cook Off is coming to Amelia Island on August 24th and 25th!

Another of Our Favorites: Espana Tapas and Restaurant

June 25, 2012 by theAddison

This continues our series on a few of our favorite things on Amelia Island.  Please keep in mind that I am not a pro food critic and do not understand subtle nuances of flavor and texture.  I comment on restaurants as I would comment on fine art, I know what I like.

I love Espana Tapas and Restaurant for two reasons.  I love eating there with my family and I send our guests there knowing that they will come back happy.  The food is great, the service wonderful and the staff is not only friendly but they pretend to tolerate me after a bottle of wine.

Espana serves tapas, or appetizers, as well as a full dinner menu.  The menu is old world cuisine from Spain and Portugal with a heavy emphasis on seafood.  Probably a third of their menu is fresh, local seafood.

This photo shows two of my favorite choices at this, one of our favorite restaurants.  The Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew is delivered to your table in a big iron cauldron.  The vegetables are tossed in just before serving so they are cooking in the broth on their way to the table and are cooked but crisp, not all mushy.  The seafood in the stew is plentiful.  The presentation, the taste and the amount of seafood in the cauldron make this a favorite.  Not into seafood?  The beef tenderloin with a bleu cheese sauce is amazing.

The other favorite in the photo?  The white wine sangria.  Love it!  And its made with fruit so it’s good for you.  They also do a great red sangria, loaded with fresh berries.

Only two blocks away, great food and excellent service.  If this was fine art, I’d eat it off the wall.

Thursday Night is Wing Night Again!

January 27, 2012 by theAddison

We used to go to O’Kanes Irish Pub for wings on Thursday nights after the Addison’s Happy Hour. The wings were good and cheap on Wing Night but we mostly went to see the bartender, Mark. He is a big, pleasant man who could always make your day better. Mark left O’Kanes and we tried Wing Night a couple more times but it just wasn’t the same without Mark behind the bar.

I have found our new spot for Thursday Wing Night. I had wings the other night at Halftime Sports Bar that were just wonderful. Big, meaty wings that were moist inside and slathered with a tasty sauce. Bretta was tending bar and, as you can tell by the smile on her face, she loves what she does.

Bretta and Jon bought Halftime a few months ago. They upgraded the menu and added some theme nights like Trivia Wednesdays. They both quit their day-jobs and have embraced the life of a small business owner in Florida. Any small business has it’s ups and downs but Bretta and Jon are optimistic that they have made the right move. I’m glad they did. Those wings are great!

Amelia Island Restaurant Week Coming Up Fast!

January 17, 2012 by theAddison

Amelia Island Restaurant Week starts January 22nd and runs through the 29th.  The Fourth Annual Amelia Island Restaurant Week will feature three-course price-fixed menus at 23 participating restaurants. Make your plans today to enjoy an old favorite restaurant or try something new, or both, during Amelia Island Restaurant Week!  

We have a new restaurant in town and I’m really looking forward to trying their Restaurant Week Special. The standard format for the restaurants is a $19 or $29 price-fixed menu option. Our new restaurant? Tasty’s Burgers. The burgers are great and I love their fries but how are they going to come up with a $19 or $29 meal? This new restaurant could really surprise us!

Be sure to ask for the Restaurant Week menu wherever you go for dinner this week.  We dine well on this island and we really dine well on Restaurant Week.

Sandy Bottoms Beachfront Cafe

April 22, 2011 by theAddison

Sandy Bottoms is the only beachfront restaurant at the north end of the island from which you can actually see the surf.  They made a few changes last month that make it even a better spot. 

The owners discovered that they owned 30 feet of beach that they were unaware of.  They roped it off and added tables and umbrellas so that you can wiggle your toes in the sand while enjoying a Sandy Bottoms lunch or a cold adult beverage.

Where better to get that adult beverage than at their new outside Tiki Bar?  Artie-The-One-Man-Party runs the inside bar during the week’s day shifts but we caught our friend Russ tending bar at the new patio Tiki Bar.

We have guests at the Addison who are always looking for that perfect beach.  They are concerned that Main Beach might be too crowded for them.  The Main Beach photo shown here was taken from Sandy Bottoms at mid-day, mid-week April.  As you can see, there is plenty of sand between the towels.  If Main Beach does “fill up” on the weekends you just have to drive north or south to one of several beach accesses to find a beach similar to what you see here.

We have guests checking out today that are heading back to Wisconsin.  Kyle and Dawn have been hitting the beaches all week from one end of the island to the other.  At yesterday’s Happy Hour Kyle told me that it was still snowing in Wisconsin.  I think the snow back home just made their last day on the beach that much sweeter.     

Happy New Year!

January 4, 2011 by theAddison

Happy New Year!  May 2011 be a good year for you.

I started off the New Year by marrying a couple of friends.  Gil, head honcho of our local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB), and Wendy, his former girlfriend now wife, asked me to marry them at sunrise on January 1st.  They rented a beach house with great views of the dune for a few days.  It was a lovely ceremony and the weather was perfect.  The morning was warm with enough cloud cover to make the sky interesting.  They had a handful of relatives and friends in attendance and finished off the day with a reception at the beach house.  I couldn’t stay after the ceremony of course.  I had a full house of guests ready for breakfast when I got back to the Addison

Wendy and Gil getting married

View of the dune from the deck.

That is me on the left there, blocking out the sun.  No Hawaiian shirt and I was wearing long pants.  And no, Gil and Wendy are not little people.  The camera angle just makes me look huge.  

So, that is how I started off the month.  What’s next?  Restaurant Week starts January 23rd.  The local restaurants are preparing special menus at special prices for the week.  The Olympic Triathlon is on February 7th and don’t forget Valentine’s Day on the 14th.  The Book Festival is on February 18th and 19th and is followed by the Third Amelia Island Film Festival starts on February 24th (watch for the Maggie Doone movie to win!).  The spring gardening season officially kicks off with the Amelia Island Garden Show on March 5th and 6th.  This is all in addition to the weekly Farmer’s Market and regularly scheduled events at Fort Clinch and at our local museum.

So much to do, so little time.  And just who is the man behind the scenes who is assisting in the development of these events and promoting them?  Well, that job is Gil’s and his team at the CVB.  So far, so good.  Maybe you can catch some of his handywork on your next visit.   

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

October 18, 2010 by theAddison

I can’t believe that it is already the middle of October.  Where do the days go?



Center Street, Fine Arts Fair getting set up.



October started off with the Amelia Island Jazz Festival.  We had fun supporting it by hosting the headliner Steve March Torme and his musical director Steve Rawlins.  A lot of our guests went to see their concert and it was fun listening to their stories over breakfast.
The Jazz Festival coincided with the Amelia Island Fall Fine Arts Fair.  The artist’s booths along Center Street were even open late on Saturday night as part of the Artrageous Artwalk.  The Artwalk happens on the second Saturday of every month and our guests can tour galleries, meet the artists and perhaps enjoy a glass of wine as they tour the variety of galleries downtown.


Amelia Cruizers Car Show



This last Saturday was the Amelia Cruizers Car show.  This is one of my favorite events on the island.  I can walk to it and the cars are obviously labors of love.  The owners are out with their cars, constantly dusting and wiping and are quite willing to discuss mechanical and restoration details with passers by.  



We have a busy month coming up for the Addison.  Shannon is starting to plan the Christmas decorating so the inn can be all decorated for the Amelia Island Holiday Cookie tour on the Saturday, November 20th.  We have a couple of friends and past guests who are interior decorators and they are helping Shannon with the holiday decorations.  They will handle the creative side of things, I’ll be outside hanging our icicle lights.  Shannon is also working on her baking plan for the 800 or so cookies we are going to need for the tour.  

I have started the kitchen plan (picture post-it notes ALL OVER the kitchen cupboards) for our Thanksgiving Dinner.  Most of the Island’s restaurants are closed on Thanksgiving so we are putting together a day of feasting for our guests.  We have a couple of family groups coming and some repeat guests from last year who are bringing their friends.  We’ve even got friends of ours (who knew?) coming down from Virginia for the holiday.  Two rooms left!  Book now!

Speaking of busy, my day here is winding down.  We just had guests return from Pompeo’s Italian Restaurant downtown.  They brought Maggie Doone a meatball from Mario, the chef and owner of Pompeo’s.  The meatball is all sliced and ready for eating so I had best get it back to her.

The fall weather?  We have been running 60+ degrees on the verandah for breakfast in the mornings with a high around 80 every day.  The sun, she shines.  Perfect fall weather and just right for a few days on Amelia Island. .                 


Third Street is Lunch Street

April 17, 2010 by theAddison

Third Street is Lunch Street. Well, not exactly. It isn’t like anyone except for yours truly really thinks that Third Street will be named Lunch Street but there are SO MANY great places to eat lunch within two blocks why shouldn’t the street be renamed?

Starting at the corner of Ash and Third we have 29 South. Scotty, the owner and head chef, cooks up some amazing Southern ecclectic food. 29 South is also open for dinner but the lunch menu is good too. You can check out their menu and even reserve tables online at http://www.29southrestaurant.com/
Heading north along Third we see Kelly’s. They have just re-opened the restaurant and it looks great. Their courtyard is their dining room and they have done a fantastic job getting it ready for serving lunch. They have a lunch menu that they run all day with a few dinner entrees thrown in for evening fare. They just opened on Friday so we haven’t had a chance to get in there yet but we’ll post reviews as they come in from our guests.
The next lunch spot is the Happy Tomato. Tremendous pulled pork sandwiches and other barbecue. Great salads. You order at the counter, grab a table in their treed courtyard and they will bring steaming hot pulled pork sandwiches with your choice of sauces out to you.
Across the street from the Happy Tomato is the Green Turtle, my personal favorite. It is a pet friendly, non-smoking bar with $2 PBRs and a great sandwich menu. My favorite? Their Maxwell Street Polish Sausage served with onions, peppers and chips. Their Chicago Dog is authentic, real tasty and only $4. There’s no sign out front so keep an eye out for the Scramble Campbell bus.
Crossing Center Street and heading one block north we get to Cafe Karibo. This is the island’s only brew pub and they serve a full menu (heavy on sandwiches and salads) either indoors or on their spacious outdoor patio. The food is always good and they are always tweaking the menu.
The last stop for lunch along Third Street is Arte’s Pizza. We love the food here. One pizza and one salad is a meal for two heavy eaters. The pizza is real New York style and even our guests from New York are impressed with it. A favorite place of the locals so it is often crowded for dinner. Go for lunch and enjoy your pizza on their new outdoor patio. This photo really does not do the food justice. This photo makes it look like a cantina from a Clint Eastwood movie. The food is WAY better than the building looks.
So how do you follow up lunch at one of these great Third Street eateries? At the corner of Third and Center is Fernandina Fantastic Fudge. They have not only fantastic fudge that is made on premises but they also have a wide selection of Working Cow ice cream from a small boutique dairy. It must be great ice cream, the line-ups for it can be really long in the hotter afternoons.
You had a good sleep in one of our comfortable beds, enjoyed breakfast on the Addison’s veranda and have had lunch at one of our popular restaurants along Third Street. Still hungry? Want some dinner? Check out our new Local Dining page on our web site. We have restaurant descriptions and links to their menus so that you can find exactly what you crave.
Bon appetite!
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