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Amelia Islander

David's Restaurant and Lounge

By Michael Gass • Photo by William Raser
Through the years and the evolution of downtown Fernandina Beach, the stately, ivy-draped brick building at 802 Ash Street has lived many lives. A telephone exchange, a warehouse, and more recently, the home of restaurants that would come to define haute cuisine on Amelia Island. Since 2012, David’s Restaurant and Lounge has set a quality standard for steaks and seafood that is unsurpassed.

Walking into David’s feels special, as the refined atmosphere and their attention to detail are evident coming through the door. I went in recently with my friend, Christie, to celebrate the end of a long week. Our server, Roki, suggested a glass of Sonoma Cutrer Russian River Chardonnay, an oaky, buttery white that would pair well with the escargot I was looking forward to enjoying. Christie decided to start with the Chilean Sea Bass Cake, which was served over mixed greens with red onion, cherry tomatoes, lemon caper remoulade, and basil pesto.

Before our appetizers hit the table, however, the stage was set as we enjoyed an amuse-bouche from Chef Devin Odom. Amuse-bouche translates to a little something extra, a hint at the experience to come. This single bite of honey cream cheese topped with fresh raspberry compote, along with David’s freshly baked bread served in a real treasure chest, was an impressive start to our dinner. The wine complemented our two appetizers beautifully.

By now, Christie was gushing about David’s elegant food and their impeccable service, and just when it seemed it couldn’t get much better, Roki brought us Lemon Sorbet to cleanse our palates and prepare us for our entrees. David’s is famous for their whole Alaskan King Crab, shipped straight from the Bering Sea, caught aboard the Deadliest Catch boat, but Christie had her eye on David’s Filet Mignon, grilled to perfection and served with Wild Mushroom Risotto, Seasonal Vegetables, and Port Wine Demi-Glace. Opting to add a couple of fresh scallops to her order, she called it one the best dishes she has ever tasted. I would have to say the same for my pan-seared Alaskan Halibut, served with a roasted potato stack and caramelized carrots, red pepper coulis, and lemon beurre blanc. Two classic dishes, perfectly prepared.

It was tough to think about dessert after such an extravagant meal, but it’s hard to turn down David’s Key Lime Pie and Crème Brulee. Both were perfectly decadent and totally calorie-free (wink wink).

As we prepared to leave, we were reminded of an upcoming wine dinner featuring several of the wines on David’s extensive list. For more information, please call (904) 310-6049 or visit David’s is open for dinner seven days a week, and be sure to spend some time in their lounge, which opens at 5 p.m. and features some of the finest libations in the area, as well as a pared-down menu of cool eats at the bar.

David’s also has two event areas available for larger gatherings, including a stunning private wine room that accommodates up to 12 guests. For a larger gathering such as a wedding reception, rehearsal dinner, or corporate meeting, their smaller private dining room accommodates up to 50 people.