PLĀE Restaurant is one of Amelia Island’s premier dining establishments, and it’s always such a treat have dinner there, especially with one of my dearest friends! PLĀE’s menu blends eclectic cuisine with artful presentation in a contemporary setting. My friend Emily and I were greeted by PLĀE’s manager, Sherry, and we were on our way to an exquisite dining experience. Chef de Cuisine Carey Todd began our meal with Salmon Brûlée, while our server Alicia poured us a glass of Steffelter Hof Riesling, a surprisingly refreshing dry white wine. The salmon was smoked and served with lavash bread, lemon, and caper mayonnaise, and topped with brûlée, which is caramelized sugar. What a nice balance of sweet and savory, and perfect with our wine! Alicia brought us two salads to try: the Southern Caprese Salad and the PLĀE Full Salad. The Caprese was unexpected —a stack of fried green tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, plus chopped heirloom tomatoes and arugula, drizzled with light and dark balsamic vinaigrette. What a hearty salad! It was practically a meal in itself, and I love that the mozzarella was a little melt-y from the heat of the tomatoes. The PLĀE Full Salad was composed of artisan greens, radishes, peas, candied pecans, and sundried tomatoes, served with crostini and boursin cheese. I really loved the dressing on this salad—a very light champagne vinaigrette. Emily and I also enjoyed a glass of Kim Crawford Pansy Rose. Pink wine is making a comeback, and this rose is charming, refreshing, and vibrant. Poisson du Jour is always a good choice at PLĀE, and I love that Chef Todd creates a new dish each evening. Tonight it was flounder, pan seared, served with roasted red peppers, feta orzo, green beans, and arugula with champagne buerre blanc. The fish was perfectly cooked and, as always, a delicate buerre blanc is the best accompaniment. I enjoyed a glass of Wendt Chardonnay, a subtle, buttery white wine. Emily’s entree was The Chef’s Plate, a specialty surprise dish that PLĀE is known for. You order the plate, and then the chef surprises you with one of his signature dishes. This evening it was Surf and Turf, but this dish was not like any surf and turf I’ve ever had. The surf was a grilled Maine lobster tail over sautéed spinach with sherry lump crab cream sauce. Decadent! And the turf was a filet with mushrooms (duxelle paste) wrapped in filo and served with a port demi glace. Wow! The filet was so tender you could cut it with a fork, and the lobster was sweet and smoky. Alicia paired this dish with Mercer Cabernet, a medium-body red wine from Washington State. For dessert, PLĀE’s Peanut Butter Pie is one of my all-time favorites, served with crème Anglais and chocolate sauce. But Chef Todd wanted us to try their chocolate cake, which is actually a cake and torte in one, bound together with chocolate ganache and raspberry cream cheese frosting. It was rich and delicious! And Sherry surprised us with a glass of Shooting Star Black Bubbles, a sparkling syrah from California, a unique wine choice to end our fabulous meal. PLĀE is located at The Shops at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. Reservations are highly recommended, especially on the weekends. For more information, call the restaurant at (904) 277-2132.