In our last post, we looked at a number of restaurants in Fernandina Beach, Florida, and I told you there was one additional restaurant that was a little more “fall-ish” that I wanted to share with you. So here we are today at Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen. It probably doesn’t feel any more like fall than any other eatery in the area, but I typically think of seafood in the summer at the beach, and this is not a seafood restaurant. This is more comfort food, and that is what makes me think of fall.
If you have been a long time fan of Top Chef, you may remember chef Kenny Gilbert from season 7. He began cooking at the age of 3, and has pretty much been cooking all the time since then – from preparing his family’s entire Thanksgiving meal at age 11 to cooking for his school’s swim team in high school, to attending culinary school, to working as chef at the Ritz-Carlton and other fine resorts, to preparing meals for President Bush, the G8 Summit, and Oprah Winfrey. Yes, Kenny Gilbert has done a lot of cooking!
This past May, he competed against Bobby Flay on Beat Bobby Flay, and he won! 🙂 (You can find the recipe for his winning chicken and dumplings here.) So when we read that he had opened his own restaurant in Fernandina Beach, we definitely wanted to give it a try.
The interior of Gilbert’s Underground kitchen is divided into 3 spaces: The Safe House Lounge, Muscadine Hall and Datil Pepper Park (an outdoor dining space.)
Antique accessories are scattered throughout the restaurant to give it the feel of a Southern home.
We LOVED the spatterware and mason jar table settings!
They were just perfect for the place.
Now let’s take a look at the menu(s). We actually could have ordered the dishes that he prepared in his episode of Beat Bobby Flay…
but we found so many more things of interest on the “regular” menu that we decided not to go for the Beat Bobby Flay dishes.
We started with coffee and an appetizer…
of delicious pimento cheese with crackers and veggies.
Then my husband ordered the shrimp and grits which he did enjoy.
Our son had the 1/2 Fernandina Beach Hot Chicken – flavorful-ly spicy, but not burn-your-mouth hot.
Then we (yes, “we,” not just “me”) ordered the Ulimate BBQ Sampler so that we could all try their sausage, spare ribs, gator, turkey legs, and other dishes. I am usually not very adventurous in trying different meats, but these were all quite tasty, and it was fun to experiment with the variety of foods there…and goodness was it a large amount!
I ordered one side dish – Hoppin John. I was expecting black eyed peas on rice with ham, and this did not taste like my traditional dish, so I did not care very much for it. The next time we go, I think I want to order the cast iron roasted broccoli.
Even though we had eaten waaaay too much (and still had a large amount left to take home) we wanted to try one of their desserts (of course! 🙂 ) The GUK S’mores sounded good:
“Bittersweet Chocolate Creme Brulee, Crushed Gingersnap Cookies, Toasted Marshmallows”
(How could we resist?!)
It was pretty good. Although the marshmallows were charred, they were still not soft enough for me (but we ate it all. LOL) The strawberry shortcake will be my choice on our next visit – after I lose 10 more pounds!
And that was our visit to Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen. I hope you will have an opportunity to try it out on a visit to Amelia Island, Florida. (It is especially fun with a group. 🙂 )
In other news, my mom and I had our yard sale yesterday – exhausting, productive, and profitable! So perhaps life will return to normal now that I do not have to spend my time cleaning out every nook and cranny around here. My next post to share with all of you is about plans for a small dream lake house – and I am thinking of going in a very different direction with the interior decor for it. (And remember, this is still in the dream stage, so please don’t send a realtor to put a for sale sign in front of our house. 🙂 )
Have a great start to your last week of September!
Until next time…