Exterior of Addison on Amelia

The Changing Restaurant Scene

January 5th, 2009 by theAddison

There have been several changes to the local restaurant scene since your last visit. We’ve lost a couple, gained some and made changes to others. We’ve always liked the selection of restaurants here. Within a short walk of the inn there are at least 20 great spots to eat. None of the restaurants are chains, all are small independent places, most of them with chefs in the kitchens. There is a nice range of menus too, from a tender pulled pork sandwich at the Happy Tomato to a steaming plate of seafood pallella at Espana.

La Bodega (on Third) closed down but the owner has moved much of the services and menu to her catering location. We’re not sure what is going to happen to the property on 3rd but have heard lots of rumors. The catering business, on 8th Street, just a few blocks from the inn, is called As You Like It and they now serve lunch and dinner as well as their gourmet to-go salads, sandwiches and meals. They have a few tables inside and a little garden patio out back. Their food is great, mostly because of the chef in their kitchen. Chef Grant (the same one who cooks our special dinners at the Addison) is in their kitchen stirring up their pots.

Another of La Bodega’s chefs has moved across Third Street and is now cheffing at the Green Turtle. They have a little kitchen in the back in which Nori-san cooks up some amazing food. He has a regular sandwich, chili and soup menu along with his Blue Plate Special. If you closed your eyes and ignored the decor while eating the Blue Plate you might think you were in a fine dining establishment. Four of us had dinner there one evening and the bill for dinner and drinks was $43. We have sent several guests there and they all come back happy and with a few dollars leftover in their jeans. I know Maggie Doone loves the Blue Plate pork chops. She shared a plate with Mario who owns Pompeo’s, one of the downtown’s Italian restaurants, one afternoon.
Do you want a really fresh salad? Another of our local restaurants, 29 South (corner of 3rd and Ash), has put their back lot to good use. It used to be an employees parking lot but is now a vegetable garden. Among other produce, they have a rotating selection of lettuces that will be used for their really-fresh salads. They have just finished building the beds and have started planting. I stopped by this morning to take this picture and they were already harvesting radishes and greens for mixed salads. I’ve heard that some parts of the country aren’t ready to put their gardens in yet (something about ice and snow) but 29 South has a jump on the growing season with this beautiful weather we’ve been having.
Restaurant Week is a new promotion by the restaurants of Amelia Island to tempt the appetites of visitors. So far, 17 restaurants are offering great deals between 26-Jan and 1-Feb with fabulous gourmet meals at reduced prices! Check it out at http://www.ameliaisland.com/app/webroot/yummy/ While you’re at it, check out our “Dinner Is On Us” Special running through January. Chef Grant is cooking up some great meals for Saturday visitors.
All of this writing has made me hungry. I think Maggie and I will head downtown and see what we can find for lunch. Via con queso!

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