The Perfect Bite
written by Lori Allen
of My Wandering Fork
St. Johns Magazine's exclusive reviews of Local Restaurants by Local Foodie
by Lori Allen, My Wandering Fork
So let’s get rid of the notion that golf courses fare only consists of cold sandwiches and lukewarm beer. We’ve moved on to a new era of upscale golf course dining. Whether its lunch, dinner or Friday night specials you are looking for, the golf clubs have certainly upped their game. Some notable chefs have been hired and they have created some fun and exciting new menus along with nice wine lists and craft cocktails which can be enjoyed while admiring the view of the course. I ventured out to a few around here and here’s what I found.
AJs Kitchen and Cocktails at the World Golf Village\
King and Bear
1 King and Bear Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32092
So this restaurant has been revamped and has a nice cool clean vibe with its steel grey accents and a neat fire pit with the view of their pristine course. The menu is comfort food with a twist along with weekend chef creations prepared from fresh local products.
To start we tried the Pretzel Charcuterie Board. This is made to share and is served on pretzel bread loaded down with cured meats and cheeses. The best way to eat this is to rip a piece of the pretzel bread, layer it with spicy salami or pancetta, then some extra sharp Cheddar cheese or nutty gruyere and top it off with their stone ground mustard. Each bite can be your own creation. Paired with their happy hour Pinot Noir, all your taste buds are satisfied.
We then decided on a nice light salad. I had the strawberry and goat cheese one that had succulent blackened shrimp, fennel and a touch of local honey which made it spicy and sweet all in one. The Heart of Romaine Salad with shaved parmesan and a tangy lemon Caesar dressing was equally as good.
Their menu is so interesting and diverse I can’t wait to go back and try their Honey Sriracha Glaze, Toasted Sesame wings, or possibly their South Burger with pork belly and pimento cheese. Or even their Black Pepper Beef Carpaccio with capers on tarragon toast. The choices are endless and the view is so very lovely.
The Grill at the Golf Club
at South Hampton
315 South Hampton Club Way
St. Augustine, FL 32092 US
At the Grill at South Hampton you will find some surprising items on the menu. I tried the Ahi Tuna Stack to start. The tuna was fresh with a wasabi slaw, a brown sugar soy glaze and stacked on a crispy wonton. The glaze added just the right amount of salty sweet and with the crunch of the wonton it was the perfect bite. I could have eaten a dozen of these! The garlic wings were equally as good. But don’t let the presentation fool you, it was not fancy but they were cooked to perfection, crispy garlicy, buttery goodness.
The homemade Greek hummus was a nice treat as well. It was a plentiful bowl of freshly made hummus topped with fresh red onions, tomatoes, crumbled feta and Kalamata olives. I loved the homemade chips, crunchy, chewy and salty all in one.
I saw on their menu they also have a Muffuletta sandwich, a Cuban sandwich and a Pulled Pork sandwich served on a pretzel bun that all sounded really good. Chef Gary Gouge prepares Friday night specials you will want to try out! And as an added bonus they have a fun Trivia night on Thursdays where you can go have dinner and enjoy the game!
The Bridge at St. Johns Golf
and Country Club.
205 St Johns Golf Dr
St. Augustine, FL 32092
After the dust has cleared from the new renovations at St. Johns Golf & Country Club a new restaurant and chef have emerged. The Bridge with its new menu inspired by local flavors and ingredients offers a fun dining experience!
I loved their craft cocktails. They had several choices which all sounded so good. I tried the Bridges lemonade – it has a splash of grapefruit soda which made it light and refreshing. We also tried the Aimies’ CBC lemonade. Made with Two TitMice Vodka, Lemonade, Strawberry and Basil Puree ($2 from each purchase goes to help Aimie Crush Breast Cancer) - a really nice combination and for a good cause as well.
For Apps we went with the Blue Cheese Chips, homemade kettle chips smothered in goodness. Tangy blue cheese dressing, tomatoes, scallions, bacon and blue cheese crumbles. Each bite came with a punch and coolness to get your palate going. Steamed shrimp sounded like it would be good and it was. They were plump and juicy drenched in buttery old bay seasoning. Yum!
Several salads were on the menu and I kept eyeballing the golden beet salad with apples, candied pecans and feta but we were in the blue cheese mode so went with the wedge. Chilled crisp iceberg lettuce, fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and Danish blue cheese, it did not disappoint.
I went back and forth for my main and ended up with the Menorcan pasta. The bowl came out steaming with large gulf white shrimp, juicy little neck clams and linguini all tossed in datil pepper vodka sauce then topped off with crispy fried calamari. Each bite you got a taste of the sea then the creaminess of the vodka sauce with just the right amount of heat. It was delicious!
The "& GRITS” caught my eye which are made with Tasso Sausage, Tomato Ragout and Stone ground Pepper Jack Cheese and choice of fish, chicken or shrimp. I also hear that the Caribbean Grilled Chicken is to die for. The chef smokes the chicken first then tops it with avocado served over a bed of black beans and rice. Garlic parmesan chicken tenders brined in pickle, battered and fried sounds like an upscale chick-a-fil meal and who wouldn’t want to try that?
The chef is a pastry master so you must try one of his homemade desserts made daily. The amazing view, live music (Thursdays) and a great staff (Maren treated us right!) along with delicious food makes for a great evening. So go and enjoy!
St. Johns Mag
Guest blogger and foodies exploring local restaurants.
Lori Allen is a local who moved from the Boston area to attend Flagler College and never left. She is a family person that loves the beach, football, working out and finding new places to try. Her love for food comes from her northern background and her love of cooking as well as meeting new and interesting people. She has never met a stranger nor has she ever been afraid to try an intriguing place. (Check out all her reviews on stjohnsmag.com)
Lori now has her own instagram page -check it out at mywanderingfork