Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Floridian Restaurant, St. Augustine, Fla.: Review

St. Augustine, Fla.—This old city is embracing new trend with Farm-to-table restaurants. The Floridian, located next to Flagler College and owned by Chef Genie Kepner and her husband Jeff McNally, supports Florida farmers, ranchers, and fisheries by using their products and advertising their names. It caters to vegans, vegetarians, gluten intolerant, and meat eaters.
The Floridian Restaurant, St. Augustine, Fla.
My husband and I went in for dinner on a very rainy night in June. The place was packed. We decided to wait in the bar in the back. On the way I noticed several decoratively tattooed line chefs. To me this meant the meal had to be flavorful.

The hostess was very friendly and apologetic about the long wait time. She gave us a menu to look at while we sipped our Cigar City micro-brew beer. There was a whole page dedicated to recognizing farms used by the restaurant.

Summer Gazpacho with watermelon & blueberry, The Floridian,
St. Augustine, Fla.
We were seated before we finished our beers but just after we decided what to eat. First course was Summer Gazpacho made with watermelon, blueberries, lime, cilantro, bell peppers, and local honey. It was spicy, sweet, crunchy, salty, and earthy (with grain circle side).
Southern Belle salad with Mahi Mahi, The Floridian,
St. Augustine, Fla.
Next came our main courses. I ordered the Southern Belle Salad made with Georgia sourced blue cheese, peaches (South Carolina sourced), sweet potatoes, candied pecans, local salad greens, and Florida sourced honey. The salad was lightly dressed with purple basil vinaigrette. I got it with a piece of grilled, locally caught Mahi Mahi.
The bitterness of the blue cheese was enhanced by the peaches but tempered by the candied pecans. It was also surprising how well the blue cheese went with the sweet potatoes.  
Not So Mac & Cheese, The Floridian, St. Augustine, Fla.
My husband ordered the Not So Mac & Cheese made with Anson Mills (S.C.) faro, Wainwright Dairy (Fla.) cheese, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers. He got Creole seasoned, Florida sourced, grilled shrimp on top.

The Creole seasoning covered everything in a delicious spicy blanket. The faro was earthy, the zucchini velvety, the tomatoes juicy, and the cheese creamy. 

Chocolate, pecan, coconut pie, The Floridian, St. Augustine, Fla.
We finished our meal with a generous portion of Chocolate Georgia pecan coconut pie made with caramel and double whipped fresh cream. It was deliciously low in sugar with an earthy chocolate flavor and a huge number of pecan pieces. The salty caramel balanced out the meal.
To find out more about this restaurant you can find them at 39 Cordova St., St. Augustine, FL   32084, Phone 904-829-0655

Or you can go to their website

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