There are few restaurants in Fernandina Beach that have been around as long as Sliders, an Amelia Island destination for more than 30 years. Today Sliders is a tropical-themed restaurant with an outside Tiki bar, live music every night of the week, daily happy hour specials, and Monday night “Paint & Sip” art classes in the banquet space upstairs.
Sliders has something for everyone. On a recent Monday evening, I met my sister, Martha, for dinner downstairs before venturing up the elevator for a colorful evening with local artist Lamar Miles.
Perched on the ocean side of Sadler Road and A1A, Sliders is the perfect place to take in the essence of Amelia Island. I like to go in the evenings to enjoy the live music, especially when they bring the Firewater Tent Revival to town from Atlantic Beach, which they do once a month. Tonight I wanted to get a better idea for what they do outside of the standard restaurant parameters.
It isn’t uncommon for Sliders to serve over a thousand people on a busy weekend during the peak season. During that time, they may be serving guests upstairs in their banquet facility which seats 250 people or at the nearby Ocean Club of Amelia, which they also operate. Martha and I started the evening with a Crab Cake and an order of their Tuna Nachos. The crab cake was filled with delicious crab meat and served with a horseradish remoulade and a lemon brulee. I really enjoyed the smoky-sweet flavor of the lemon and squeezed it all over my crab cake. The nachos were not nachos at all, but something better: triangle-shaped wonton wrappers, deep-fried, seasoned, and topped with a wasabi cream cheese sauce, teriyaki glaze, toasted sesame seeds, wakame seaweed salad, and, of course, the always delicious ahi. These flavors elevated the dish sky-high compared to the typical neon yellow nacho cheese concoction.
Our entrée came from their banquet menu, a delicious Surf & Turf featuring Parmesan-Crusted Seabass and Filet Mignon. The seabass was perfectly prepared, the crust crispy, and dressed with a lemon beurre blanc. The filet was grilled to perfection and dressed with a mushroom bordelaise. The rich red wine and earthy mushrooms drifted into the lemon butter to create a remarkable plate. What may have delighted me most were the potatoes. Roasted simply with salt and pepper, olive oil, and rosemary, they were perfectly seasoned. So often the starch and vegetables are overlooked, but on this plate they truly shined.
Monday nights at Sliders are a blast. After we had a slice of what has to be the best key lime pie I’ve had in ages, we went upstairs to find a raucous affair already in full swing. The Monday evening art events typically draw around 30 people, but for some reason, when flamingos are involved—like tonight—attendance more than doubles. The room was set up in two lines of tables covered with paper and paint trays. The air was electric with people of every stripe slinging paint and enjoying a drink.
Sliders is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Be sure to check out their event calendar at slidersseaside.com for upcoming happenings, musical guests, menus, and information on booking private events.