A Squared: Dining on St. Simons Island: Georgia Sea Grill

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dining on St. Simons Island: Georgia Sea Grill


I'm back with a follow up post about dining on St. Simons Island-- and I saved the best for last! 

One of the highlights of vacationing with your parents is that you have built-in free (and more than willing) babysitters. So when mom and dad suggested that Alex and I get out for a date night, we jumped at the chance-- and I knew exactly where I wanted to go! A few months before our trip I had watched an episode of Beach Bites with Katie Lee where she visited the Georgia Sea Grill on our little St. Simons Island. We had passed the restaurant several times on prior trips, but had never gone so this was our opportunity. The restaurant is a little higher end than the standard beach cafes you'll see on the island, but still had a great laidback and comfortable vibe. And the food was a wonderful combination of southern coastal classics with upscale flair.


After a glass of rose (a vacation necessity), Alex and I began our meal with the appetizer that Katie Lee highlighted on her show: Crab stuffed hushpuppies. Hushpuppies can be really bland if they're just balls of fried cornmeal, but these were pretty special. They were moist and had great texture, with chunks of corn, jalapeno pepper, and crab throughout. The outsides were fried crispy and they were served with a pickle spear and a creamy chive aioli for dipping.



We also split a baby iceberg wedge salad before our entrees arrived. It's a small thing, but I love when a restaurant splits and separately plates a dish that you have said you'll share. Our wedge salad arrived as two lovely and separately plated salads of crisp iceberg lettuce, grape tomatoes, and crispy bacon topped with crunchy fried onions, smoked gouda cheese and a pink-peppercorn vinaigrette. I loved the smokiness of the bacon and the cheese along with that creamy pepper dressing, which was a fun way to dress up a classic salad.


As the name might suggest, Georgia Sea Grill's menu offers a wonderful selection of seafood dishes. I had a hard time deciding what to order, but finally settled on ordering from the Fresh Catch section of the menu. Georgia Sea Grill features a handful of 'catch of the day' fish specials every day, which can each be prepared in one of three ways. I decided on the tripletail, which is a mild white fish local to coastal Georgia. And I ordered in pan roasted, which left the inside moist and the outside of the fish nice a crispy. It was served alongside the most delicious gnocchi, sauteed leeks, fresh baby arugula, drizzled with a sweet and tangy citrus sauce. I absolutely loved this dish-- it was just the right combination of comfort food and light seafood fare.


Alex got a little adventurous with his order and went with one of that evening's specials: A mahi mahi filet glazed with a Coca-Cola barbecue sauce. It was served over southern-style local collard greens and one of the most interesting side dishes I have ever tried: bourbon baked peanuts. YES, they prepared peanuts like baked beans... and they were really tasty! They tasted very much liked traditional baked beans, but with a bit more chew. The dish was topped off with a corn relish and a little bit of the citrus vinaigrette that I enjoyed on my fish. This was such a fun dish and a great way to give local seafood a little southern barbecue treatment. Alex would have preferred to have a little more heat in the dish (he always wants more heat), but I thought the balance of flavors was really nice here and actually enjoyed the sweetness of the barbecue sauce.


The "local vegetable" of the day was roasted rainbow carrots, which our server mentioned were sourced from a local farmstand. The rotating specials and vegetables of the day at Georgia Sea Grill are typically dictated by what's in season in the area, so I was excited to try these carrots. They were buttery and very simply roasted, which brought out their naturally sweet flavor.


And for a little something sweet, we shared a key lime pie for dessert. Key lime pie is one of Alex's alltime favorites (and I can't disagree), so we order it almost anytime we see it on a menu-- but especially when we're visiting the southeastern US. This one didn't disappoint. It was tangy and creamy and got a great touch of sweetness from a drizzle of raspberry coulis.

As a thank you to my parents for babysitting, we also brought a slice of pecan pie back to the house for them. It's a Georgia staple and this one was housemade with local honey and of course, delicious.

Georgia Sea Grill is located at 407 Mallery St., St. Simons Island, GA 31522. (912) 638-1197. They also accept reservations via OpenTable!

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE Georgia Sea Grill. It's my favorite restaurant and our visit there is always one of the highlights of our yearly Jekyll Island trip. The crab hush puppies are good, but you really need to try the friend pimento cheese balls. They are out of this world!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Karen! And we were so close to ordering the fried pimiento cheese too! Guess there is always next time. 😁

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