There’s grand fare on Ponte Vedra Beach
It’s not every day that you can step out onto the sand and enjoy a moonlit stroll along the beach after an indulgent and expertly prepared meal. At Seahorse Grille, the signature restaurant at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, that’s exactly what you can do.
Of course, after a glorious meal of seafood, steaks and many other gastronomic delights, you may prefer to simply stay at your table, enjoy another glass of wine, and gaze out into the distance while cargo bearing ships pass along the horizon.
Celebrating ninety years of operation, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is highly regarded for oceanfront golf, tennis and spa facilities. With this in mind, your adventure may begin hours before dinner with vigorous sporting activities or a day of pampering. If so, your evening spent at Seahorse Grille will be a wonderful way to complete the day.
While there is a casual vibe at the beach, everything at Seahorse Grill is impeccably prepared. “Come prepared for a casual, yet glorious, experience,” Chef Erik Osol suggests. With so many compelling offerings on the menu, he continues, “Our guests can live it up and have a great time. There’s lots of food worth sharing and a stellar selection of wines to go with.”
Speaking of adventure, there’s a special “chef’s table” inside the kitchen directly alongside the cooking line, giving a party of two to four inquisitive diners a first hand glimpse into the workings of a top-notch commercial kitchen. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a first rate kitchen in action, this is for you.
While the service and surroundings at Seahorse Grill are impressive, it’s the food you’ll remember. No matter your tastes, the menu has traditional steakhouse offerings for those favoring more familiar cuisine and all sorts of goodies for the more venturesome.
Not to be overlooked are many of the shareable items including the Smoked Cobia Platter (with cucumber, crème fraîche, radish and herb salad), and Lamb Lollipops (with herb salad, black pepper & cumin aioli). There’s also the Triple Crème Grougère (mini cheese stuffed pastries) which are wonderful little balls of garlicky deliciousness.
For the intrepid, check out the Spicy Carrot Soup (with rabbit confit, pumpkin seeds), Baby Kale Salad (blueberry balsamic, endive, apples, butternut, pecans), and Southern Bolognese (fresh pasta, gator-beef-pork ragout). While each has its own unique character, these dishes are all equally delicious.
If that’s not enough, and assuming you’re in for the long haul, check out the exotically prepared Grouper (sweet potato, coconut cream greens, eggplant, chili and basil) or delightfully flavorful Flounder (butternut squash, turnips, field peas, garlic shrimp sauce). For the beef eater, the steaks are cooked to perfection – incredibly rich and flavorful.
According to Chef Osol, it’s important to try a little of everything. Knowing how important vegetables are in a well rounded diet, you might want to consider a side of Oyster Mushrooms (with lemon and thyme) or Brussel Sprouts (pickled veg and orange); both a welcome complement to whichever main dish you select.
As part of our meal, we were introduced to a bottle of 2017 Meiomi Pinot Noir, a very approachable red wine with notes of jammy fruit, mocha, vanilla, and toasty oak. While many prefer white wine with seafood, the smoothness of this wine made it completely enjoyable with everything we ordered.
Of course, no meal is complete without a sweet finish and perhaps a little dessert wine to go with. While several of the desserts including the Ginger Peach Bombe (ginger cake, peach gelée, white chocolate mousse) and Key Lime Khaos (key lime panna cotta, key lime curd, lime sponge, honey graham tuile, key lime macaron, lime crispies) are intriguing, Chef Osol recommended the Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake (strawberry honey jam, sweet corn powder, freeze dried strawberries) accompanied by some perfectly chilled and wonderfully sweet Inniskillin Vidal Icewine.
If all of this is tempting, it’s important to note that there are only a few ways to partake in these culinary delights. Either you are a member of Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, a guest of a member, or a visitor staying at the resort. If you’ve elected to stay, check out one of the beachfront guest rooms where your day can start with a step right onto the beach.
Considering the level of stress that a busy life imposes, you might want to plan a long weekend of sun, sports and relaxation and take full advantage of all the amenities the resort has to offer – including a magnificent meal at Seahorse Grille. Whatever you decide, the experiences you’ll have at Seahorse Grille, along with those throughout the resort, will be warm, welcoming, engaging and memorable.
Seahorse Grille, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, 200 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach, (888) 839-9145, www.pontevedra.com/dining.
By Jeffrey Spear
Get Chef Osol’s recipe for Scallops, Florida turmeric, radishes and rainbow carrots with elderflower sauce here.
Pair it with:
Meiomi Pinot Noir
Grapes: Monterey 60%, Santa Barbara 23%, Sonoma 17%.
Description: A rich garnet color with a ruby edge, the wine opens to reveal lifted fruit aromas of bright strawberry and jammy fruit, mocha, and vanilla, along with toasty oak notes. Boysenberry, blackberry, dark cherry, juicy strawberry, and toasty mocha flavors lend complexity and depth on the palate. The well-integrated oak provides structure and depth seldom seen in Pinot Noir.
The name Meiomi means “coast” in the language of the native, coastal dwelling Wappo and Yuki tribes, and pays tribute to and symbolizes the origin of this Pinot Noir. Meiomi is a high style Pinot Noir that is shaped, more than anything else, by the fruit sources that lay the foundation of the blend. This is a purebred enjoyment wine that unifies California’s most noteworthy coastal areas.
Aged in 100% French oak to allow the sweet and structural influences from the oak to mingle seamlessly with the rich fruit and ripe tannins, Meiomi Pinot Noir has a consistent profile of supple tannins, silky texture, and balanced acidity that makes it the perfect wine to enjoy with a wide array of food.