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Amelia Islander

Amelia Tavern Restaurant & Brewpub

Dec 09, 2016 11:01AM
Amelia Tavern opened on Centre Street earlier this year to rave reviews from Amelia Island residents and visitors alike. Offering small plates and simple dishes based on coastal Florida and Georgia recipes, and using locally-sourced ingredients, Amelia Tavern presents a stylish modern bistro environment. I recently visited Amelia Tavern for lunch with my friend Sonia, and we were delighted to see Chef Wes Cox at the helm in the kitchen. Cox has created his small plate menu with the idea that diners like to try a variety of dishes, and Sonia and I were eager to sample some of his fare. Our server Ashley started us off with a giant Pretzel with Welsh Rarebit sauce. This pretzel is so big it is served hanging from a hook, and it was larger than my head! We got a good laugh from the presentation, and then as we started eating, we realized this was a pretty serious pretzel. Perfectly baked, hot and crisp on the outside, soft and yeasty within, the pretzel was covered with coarse salt and served with a bowl of melted beer cheese, made with sharp cheddar and Amelia Tavern’s own IPA. A decadent pretzel, indeed! Chef Wes then brought us a Roasted Pork Eggroll, filled with tender, shredded pork and braised red cabbage, served with coarse grain mustard and onion and bacon jam. Sonia and I loved this dish, which had all sorts of savory and sweet elements about it, and a super crispy egg roll wrapper. Our next small plate was actually a martini glass filled to the rim with Shrimp Ceviche, served with hot radish, cilantro, lime juice, and serrano chile. This is true ceviche, made from local shrimp, chilled, with a clean balance of flavors and acidity, and served with a corn tostado. A delicious, fresh seafood dish. Chef Wes then treated us to a small plate of Crab Cakes with Corn Avocado Salsa and Ancho-Chipotle Sauce. The crab cakes are all-crab, nicely browned on the outside and bursting with tender, sweet crab. The ancho-chipotle sauce was a perfect accompaniment, slightly smoky and spicy, and the corn salsa was creamy with the addition of the avocado. Carol Prescott, Amelia Tavern’s general manager, loves to bake, and it shows. Chef Wes brought us a piece of her specialty, Pumpkin Cheesecake, and we could definitely taste the love that went into this dessert. Served with the richest whipped cream I’ve ever tasted, I would say this cheesecake was the perfect end to a perfect lunch! Upon another trip to Amelia Tavern, I joined some friends for drinks, and Amelia Tavern’s mixologists are whipping up some amazing signature cocktails, like “Lilet Me Down”, created with Lilet blanc, St.-Germain elderflower liquor, and ginger beer topped with champagne. Now that’s my kind of cocktail! The Prickly Pear Margarita is also a hit, along with their own craft beers, wines, and traditional, bountiful cocktails. Amelia Tavern is bright, eclectic, roomy, and filled with high energy and professional staff people to make your dining experience the best it can be! For more information, call (904) 310-6088 or visit www.ameliatavern.com or their Facebook page.