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Amelia Islander

Ready, Set, Eat!

Jan 08, 2016 11:49AM
From fine dining to charming bistros, local favorites, a blend of ethnic influences, and the area’s freshest seafood, you’ll find it all during Amelia Island’s eighth annual Restaurant Week, held from January 22 through 31. The ten-day culinary showcase of top Amelia Island restaurants will feature a selection of the island’s most popular dining establishments. Guests can enjoy Restaurant Week dining for lunch and dinner, with different restaurants participating in each meal. Both lunch and dinner will offer a special fixed (prix fixe) menu, along with their regular restaurant menus. In 2008, the Amelia Island Tourist and Development Council started Restaurant Week in order to boost business, which was usually slower in January, especially for local eateries. “Restaurant Week saves many restaurants during the off season,” says Chef Scott Schwartz, owner of 29 South Restaurant. “It gives many the impetus to come dine on the island and experience some of the food from the talented chefs that represent this small town.” In its eighth year, Restaurant Week has become so popular that the event has expanded to ten days instead of seven, and since the restaurants are sure to be filled to capacity, diners are encouraged to make reservations well in advance. Participants will pay $12 for a prix fixe lunch, and choose from either $19 or $31 for a prix fixe three-course dinner. Diners can choose from a multitude of gourmet entrees, such as Snapper en Papillote, Duck Risotto, Blackened Salmon, Shrimp and Grits, and many more, all created by Amelia Island’s talented chefs. Over 25 restaurants will be participating in Restaurant Week, and there are a variety of lodging partners who are promoting special stay packages during the ten-day event. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island will be holding a Kick-Off Dinner on Thursday, January 21 at 6 p.m., featuring “A Tribute to Amelia Island Cuisine.” The event begins with a wine reception with hors d’oeuvres, followed by a five-course dinner. Cost is $72 per person, and a wine pairing upgrade is available. Reservations should be made in advance by calling (904) 277-1087. To wrap up the festivities, join the Omni Amelia Island Plantation on January 30 for a four-course “Outlaw Dinner,” which will highlight different ingredients that have been “outlawed” at some point in recent history. Each course will be paired with a complementary wine and moonshine cocktail. The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. Featured ingredients include foie gras, which has been banned in both California and Chicago for many years, and absinthe, which was banned for over ninety-five years as it was thought to be a mind-altering hallucinogenic. Cost is $75 per person. Space is limited, and reservations can be made online on or by calling (904) 432-1467. Also throughout the ten-day event, the Amelia Island Culinary Academy will be hosting several cooking classes, and Marlin & Barrel will be doing tastings of their local spirits. “We love Restaurant Week,” says Tim Seyda, owner of Bar Zin and Cucina South. “It’s a great way to showcase our restaurant to new business and treat our regular customers, as well.” For more information, visit To make a reservation, be sure to contact individual restaurants in advance.