Nassau County – Amelia Island kicks off its annual Restaurant Week today through Sunday, January 30. The annual event, now in its 14th year, celebrates the island’s award-winning restaurants with special lunch and dinner menus.
Originally designed to attract customers to restaurants during the winter months, the event has become one of the busiest times of the year on the island.
“With an exceptional and growing collection of dining options, Restaurant Week remains one of the most anticipated annual events on Amelia Island,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the ‘Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. “In addition to providing an exceptional dining experience for customers, every meal purchased and event ticket sold is a boost for our local restaurants and their employees, who are vitally important to the local economy.”
Amy Boek, director of marketing for the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, describes the event as a must for restaurants and the community.
“The impact has really increased over the years,” she said. “People can go out, get a deal on what meal they’re having while supporting local restaurants.”
Businesses in the heart of Fernandina’s historic downtown district are also participating.
“People can get their wine and shop; it’s a great thing to do while you’re waiting for one of your reservations,” Boek continued.
Boek added that the island has “amazing places to stay, so if you go a little further afield you can stay and make it a vacation.”
Garrett Gooch, the Ritz Carlton’s executive chef, admits he really enjoys the week because it gives him the freedom to be creative with new dishes.
“Restaurant week has always been part of my career at the Ritz Carlton,” he said. “It keeps everyone excited.”
Gooch said while the week appeals to those who use Amelia Island as a vacation destination, it also celebrates the locals.
“While we give guests an experience that shows them, yes, we are the Ritz Carlton, we welcome our locals,” he explained. “They are the ones we love. They are our family on the island. They support us and we want to support them.
Boek suggests people reserve seats at their favorite restaurants so they don’t miss a thing.
“It’s a rare commodity to get a seat at any of the participating restaurants,” she said. “Planning ahead is always a good thing.”
Participating restaurants include: Amelia Island Tea House, Arte Pizza Wood Fire & Grill, Bantam & Biddy, Bar Zin Bistro and Wine Bar Beech Street Grill, The Boat House, Brett’s Waterway Café, Café Karibo, Cantina Louie, Coast at The Ritz- Carlton, Amelia Island, Cucina South, Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro, Kitchen 251, Lagniappe, Le Clos, Marina Restaurant, Pogo’s Kitchen, Salt Life Food Shack, The Salty Pelican Story & Song Bookstore Bistro, The Tavern by AIBC, Tidewater Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Veranda
The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island will host two special events, including the Cayman Reunion, a one-night-only dinner at Salt Restaurant and Celebration of the Sea, a closing dinner at Coast Restaurant. The Cayman Reunion dinner pays homage to the cuisines of Cayman Islands by showcasing the vast culinary knowledge and excellence of its talented chefs and sommeliers. The closing dinner of the celebration of the sea will include chef action stations and a buffet of chilled seafood, sushi, shrimp and grits, scallops with pork belly, chicken and waffles and mini crab cakes, as well as an array of dessert specialties.
A full list of participating restaurants, menus and special event information is available at:
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