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Amelia Islander

Beech Street Bar & Grill

Dec 08, 2015 10:18AM
The Beech Street Bar and Grill is newly owned by visionary Tim Lawther and his wife, Merrie Ann, whose focus is to create classic dishes with a twist in a modern environment. Beech Street still has its original ambiance, but the restaurant is brighter, and livelier, with abstract art and a few modern touches. I invited my friend, Pat Foster-Turley, to join me one night for dinner, and we were in for a treat. Our server, Ashton, was quick with suggestions for drinks, so I ordered Raeburn Chardonnay, and Pat tried a “Spicy Hattie,” a specialty cocktail created by bartender Mark Currie with vodka, jalapenos, and lime. The wine was smooth and dry, and Pat loved her cocktail, which was refreshing and not too sweet, with a tasty bite of heat. Tim brought us Charcuterie Palette to start, which consisted of Prosciutto, Serrano ham, Finocchiona, which is a type of salami, aged Gouda, and Manchego, served with a coarse mustard, honey, toasted almonds, grapes and crostini. We loved this platter! It was a great way to start our meal. Tim and Chef Charles Kamback planned a tasting for us, so we could try several items on their vast menu. First up was a crab cake, served with homemade Remoulade sauce, a bit of lemon gel, and mustard seed “caviar”. The crab cake was bound with sabayon, a light custard, and the flavor was delicate – and I loved the interesting condiments! We also tasted Grouper Ceviche, marinated with finger lime, red and green peppers, and cilantro, and served with crostini. A small shot of the marinade, called “Milk of the Tiger,” was served on the side, which then can used to dip toasted bread. Tim and Ashton brought us two salads. One was a wedge of iceberg served with blue cheese, red onion, and lardons, drizzled with blue cheese dressing, and the other, a different take on a Caesar salad, bursting with the flavors of black and white garlic, parmesan toasts, and croutons. The dressing was earthy and slightly sweet. Both salads were divine! For our entrees, Ashton set out two different wines to pair—one was New Harbor Sauvignon Blanc, and the other, Upper Cut Cabernet. Our entrees were Smokin’ Scallops, the restaurant’s most popular entrée, along with Shrimp and Grits, and Beef Cheeks. The scallops were amazing, served over vanilla polenta with crispy pork belly, house hot sauce, and topped with a crispy shallot salad. The Shrimp and Grits are made with local shrimp, served atop a stone ground grit cake with Tasso ham, arugula, and hot sauce. The Beef Cheeks was really a stew, served with homemade Tagliatelle, and wild mushroom Marsala. Each dish was perfectly cooked, with a good balance of flavors and textures. For dessert, Chef Charles created a delicious warm carrot cake with cream cheese icing, and Ashton brought us dessert beer, Terrapin Peanut Butter Chocolate.It was ideal with our cake! Beech Street makes nearly everything from scratch, including their pasta, mozzarella, and they source local seafood and meats. They are open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner, and available for special events. They also serve brunch on Sundays. For more information, call (904) 572-1390 or visit www.beechstreetbarandgrill.com.