Whenever I go away to a new place, I am always looking for the best local restaurants and places to eat. Before our trip to Amelia Island, I did the same and everything I saw kept pointing to Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen. Chef Kenny Gilbert of Top Chef fame opened the restaurant near where he grew up, bringing a new twist to Southern food. When we were leaving our hotel to go to the restaurant, we mentioned to the concierge where we were headed. They quickly responded it was the best restaurant on the island and MJD and I were even more excited to get there!
Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen says hello the moment you pull in to their parking lot with the delish smell of barbeque wafting out of their smokers. Again, we couldn’t wait to get inside and start eating! I started off the night with one of the several sangrias on the menu- it was sweet and yummy, just like I hoped for. I loved having so many sangria options, but it could be a bit overwhelming too! MJD opted for a local brew from Bold City, the Mad Manatee IPA which became his drink of choice during our stay there.
Everything on the menu at Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen sounded amazing and the truth is everything we ate was! To start, we ordered the skillet cornbread and drop biscuits. Both were amazing, but I especially loved the unique condiments they came with- a sweet cane syrup butter that was perfect melting on the warm bread and biscuits and a green tomato jam that I fell in love with.
When MJD and I browsed the menu we were instantly intrigued by the alligator ribs, but we weren’t sure if one of us should order them for our meal or not. Our waitress made the super helpful suggestion to try the alligator sliders for a starter. With two sliders, it was the perfect app and that way we both had a taste of the alligator ribs! I especially liked that option as it is a bit cleaner than your standard ribs 🙂
For dinner, I ordered the shrimp and grits- which was hands down the best I have ever had. It is a dish the restaurant is known for and I can see why! MJD had the pork ribs and he couldn’t stop talking about how good they were. The ribs were literally falling off the bone as he held them and he raved about their barbeque sauce. We did also order the Brussels sprout slaw as a side, but we had way too much food and it wasn’t necessary. I think I just got a bit nervous when we were ordering that we didn’t have any veggies on the table and added that to our order :). It was very good, but we didn’t put too much of a dent into it.
Despite being super full, I couldn’t resist dessert when I saw pecan pie on the menu. That is hands down my favorite pie and I was super tempted by their bourbon pecan pie. It was out of this world amazing- and worth every single bite!
I’m so glad we got to eat at Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen during our stay in Amelia Island- I’d highly recommend it (and their cornbread, their shrimp and grits and pecan pie) to anyone paying a visit to the island!