I loved this antique market, 8 Flags , where I found some vintage silver wear for food photo props. They had a lot of interesting memorabilia in there, so it could be fun to visit, even if you don’t think you’re in the mood to shop (though you’ll likely find something you like – they have a ton of stuff).
When I originally asked friends and co-workers for suggestions on a Florida vacation spot, the Ritz at Amelia Island was one of the first (and top) recommendations. Unfortunately, they’re not pet-friendly, so I’m really glad we were able to find the charming Hoyt House where Bailey was a welcome guest.
Fortunately, the Ritz does have a few places non-guests can visit, like the Spa and Salt , one of their on-site restaurant.
Salt’s theme is pretty obvious – it’s all about the salt. There are pink Himalayan salt lamps and candle votives all around. As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you’re greeted by a display of various salts of all shades, shapes, and flavors – they have over 40 types!
We decided to try the Chef’s Adventure Menu. I was a little nervous because I’m not all that experimental with my food, especially when it comes to gourmet eats. But, after talking about it more with our waiter and after he assured me he could make sure I didn’t get anything raw (sushi – ok, beef tartare – hmm?).
Our waiter gave us two glasses of sparkling wine, I’m guessing because he found out we were celebrating our anniversary.
There was bread a-plenty in three options. We didn’t want to fill up on this, but…
…they had butter from France to enjoy with the bread…
…and a cute serving dish of three of their signature salts. We started with three types with the bread and got two more with the main courses.
So, you got to top the bread with French butter and gourmet salts. Yum! I’ve never topped bread with salt before, but it was a fun and interactive way to eat it.
I’m so glad the kind team at Salt printed a copy of the menu for me because I would never remember all the intricate details of this wonderful tasting menu. First up, we started with an Amuse Bouche – “Strawberry Gazpacho / Toasted Pistachios / Micro Basil”. This was a great way to kick our meal off as the gazpacho was light and refreshing.
As soon as we saw our first dish of the adventure menu, we knew we’d made the right choice.
“1st Course: Kajiki Wrapped in Potato / Pickled Snow Peas / Yuzu Gel / Rice Crisp / Gremolata”
Isn’t this one gorgeous!? I think I would have been okay to eat this one raw (or less cooked), but since we’d already talked about no-raw-foods, the chef cooked mine a little extra. I thought it was still delicious – one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. The fish had a great texture and flavor, and I really enjoyed the crispy potato outside. The little details of the micro greens and edible flowers were icing on the cake. The combination of ingredients was just so unique, and I’d never had kajiki before. Who knew I liked it? Too bad kajiki seems to come from the West coast because I would totally order this fish again. I’d love to order the dish again, too, but I’m not sure you can even do that, and it’s a little far for dinner from home anyway.
The 2nd course was another happy surprise. I’m not a big fish eater, so I rarely order it, and I tend to stick to the same types, but apparently I like Hawaiian gray snapper. Yum! But, it wasn’t just the fish, the entire plate was a playful medley of deliciousness. And just look at all those colors. I thought every bit of this was a pleasure to eat, and surprisingly, hubby said he thought it was the best kale he’s ever had. He doesn’t even like kale that much, but he enjoyed it this time.
We had a great view of the ocean just outside and watched the sun slowly set as the skies turned from blue to pink.
We didn’t do the wine pairings of the dinner, but I did get a glass of red to go with the 3rd course.
We were starting to get pretty full by this point, but we kept going. The beef was very tender and had a great flavor. I loved the nice sear on the outside. And, I’ve always wanted to try morels. I feel like those are something I only see on Food TV. You guys know I’m not much of a mushroom fan, but I thought they were quite tasty and went very well with the beef. I also really enjoyed the fava beans and various sauces on the plate.
Check out the tempura poached egg! I’ve definitely never seen that before.
And for dessert: “White Chocolate Mousse / Caramelized Rhubarb Compote / Fresh Strawberries / Creamsicle Ice Cream”
I was so happy dessert was light because we were truly stuffed by the end of this meal, though we were slightly crossing our fingers that we would get one of the soufflés we kept seeing at tables around us. The dessert was a unique mixture of mousse, compote, and ice cream. I enjoyed experiencing the different textures and temperatures of the components of this dessert.
And since we were so absolutely stuffed from dinner, we took our complimentary sweets (and salts – not pictured) to go and enjoyed them on the car ride home. I also stopped by the Salt shop earlier in the week and selected a couple salts to bring home for cooking later.
We had a wonderful anniversary dinner at Salt at the Ritz. The service was impeccable, and the food was so unique, beautifully plated, and simply delicious. I’m so glad we tried that adventure menu because it really helped make the entire experience extra special.
My other Florida road trip posts are available here: