Amelia Island hosted its 10th annual Restaurant Week Jan. 19-28.
The 10-day showcase featured culinary events and fixed lunch and dinner menus at nearly 30 of the island’s top restaurants.
“Amelia Island is home to a growing number of incredibly talented chefs and award-winning local restaurants,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Restaurant Week is the perfect time for hungry visitors and locals to try some of the island’s new culinary hotspots and enjoy their old favorites.”
The “Tribute to Coastal Treasures” event kicked off the festivities Jan 17 at the Ritz-Carlton’s Coast Restaurant. The epicurean experience began with an hour-long wine reception, followed by a four-course presentation of food designed by Executive Chef Sean Woods, Coast Chef d’ Cuisine Niko Anagnostou and Executive Pastry Chef Sheldon Millett. The menu included Mayport Shrimp Cocktail and Cold Water Oysters on the Half Shell, Confit Duck Tortellini, Roasted Cobia, Florida Shellfish Bread Pudding, Blackberry Cremeux Tart and more.
The fun continued Jan. 18 at Amelia Island’s local distillery, Marlin & Barrell, which hosted a Cuban night featuring a distillery tour, rum tastings paired with Cuban cuisine from Hola Cuban Café and cigars from Waterwheel Cigars.
Amelia Island’s Restaurant Week also included demonstrations and cooking classes hosted by the Amelia Island Culinary Academy. Also offered as part of the culinary showcase was a cocktail tour with Amelia Island Downtown Tasting Tours that featured stops at four local bars.
The events concluded with the “Barrel & Ashes” finale dinner Jan. 27 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation, where Executive Chef Daven Wardynski and his culinary team highlighted the complexities behind smoked foods and coal-roasted vegetables, incorporating various barrel-aged ingredients for each of the four courses.
The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau partnered with Barnabas, Nassau County’s largest food pantry, to collect shelf-stable food items during Restaurant Week. Participating Amelia Island restaurants had collection boxes, and diners were encouraged to drop off canned and dry food goods throughout the week to aid Barnaba’s efforts. Barnabas works to combat hunger in the community, and the nonprofit organization’s staff and volunteers collect donated fresh, frozen, packaged and canned food and distribute it throughout the county via food and mobile food pantries.