Amelia Island Restaurant Week: Cafe´ Karibo

cafe karibo logo

Cafe Karibo

The first night we were in Fernandina Beach, we had reservations at Cafe Karibo on 3rd Street as guests of the manager. It only took a few minutes to drive over from the Residence Inn. We parked around the block and walked a short distance. The neighborhood around the restaurant was charming, with a residential feel. There were several quaint restaurants and shops on the block. Even after dark walking was not scary, as it can be in some cities.

The outdoor patio

The outdoor patio

The atmosphere at Cafe Karibo was like a neighborhood pub, with some wooden benches at tables that would seat six, and smaller tables for two to four. If it had been warmer out, we might have opted to sit on the patio. It was beautiful even in winter, but just a bit too chilly that day. It was pretty busy for a Wednesday night. We found a table and soon after, our waiter appeared to take our drink order.

While they do serve wine and beer, we both ordered the Peach Iced Tea, which was a great blend of flavors. The Restaurant Week Menu was offered, as well as the regular menu. You can see the Restaurant Week Menu here: Cafe-Karibo.

We decided on the Caprese Salad and the Crab Cakes for starters. Both were excellent! I know I have had Caprese Salads in many different places, but this one seemed to be the best I have had yet. The Balsamic Vinegar they used was thick and sticky, which is quite different from what I am used to. It just made the whole thing better! There was also a noticable difference in the flavors of the red and orange tomatoes.

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

Anyone who knows me knows I love crab, any way I can get it. I was not disappointed by these wonderful crab cakes. The only thing I didn’t like was that they did have a bread crumb coating, so they were not gluten free, but I ate them anyway. They were served with brie and a cranberry chutney, something I would have never thought of on my own, but enjoyed immensely. Even Fabgrandpa ate half of them, and he usually does not care for crab. You know I am going to have to re-create them at home now.

Crab Cakes with Brie and Cranberry Chutney at Cafe Karibo in Fernandina Beach

Crab Cakes with Brie and Cranberry Chutney

Fabgrandpa chose the Coquille St. Jaques, or Sea Scallpos with Shitake Mushroom Sauce. These were jumbo scallops, served over smashed potatoes, covered in the mushroom sauce, and had a side of grilled vegetables. The veggies included red and yellpw peppers, zucchini, carrots, and asparagus. He said it was delicious. The only problem he had with it was there was so much he was not able to eat all of it. That man has never walked away from a scallop before, ever. I am not sure if the sauce if gluten free or not, I forgot to ask.

Sea Scallops with Shitake Mushroom Sauce

Sea Scallops with Shitake Mushroom Sauce

For my entree, I chose the Pan Seared Red Snapper. It was served over the same smashed potatoes as Fabgrandpa’s meal, and had the same side vegetables. This plate was gluten free: there was no breading on the fish, and no gravy or sauce on the potatoes. The fish was seared crispy and golden brown, and had a very tasty fruit  salsa on top. (I think it was the papaya chutney, but not sure. It was delicious, though) The vegetables were cooked just right–not mushy, not too crisp.

Pan Seared Red Snapper with Smashed Potatoes and grilled vegetables.

Pan Seared Red Snapper with Smashed Potatoes and grilled vegetables.

We both declined dessert, which was a choice of Strawberry Cake, Mud Var, Creme Brulee, or Chocolate Ganache Cake. We just couldn’t hold another bite. At that point, we were glad that we had parked around the block!

The Cafe Karibo menu includes a good selection of Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Appetizers, and entrees to fit just about anyone’s taste. A few of the offerings are gluten free, such as the one I had, the Pan Seared Red Snapper. You might also try the Shrimp & Grits, the Rum Marinated Pork Tenderloin, or the Fresh Catch of the Day. (The information here about gluten free menu items is from my own observations of those items, and are not indicated as such on the menu. As always, be sure to ask about the ingredients when you are ordering)

Cafe Karibo is located at 27 North 3rd Street in downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida.  Reservations are recommended for parties of 6 or more, and maximum split check limit is 8.  904-277-5269

About Karen

Karen Eidson is telling the world way too much about her, whether they want to know it or not. She writes about her life of living full time in an RV, eating a gluten free diet, things she does for fun, and things that are important to her. She makes you look at photos of her grandchildren, talk about her husband's survival of oral cancer, and shows you things she has made. You know you want to look.

Comments

  1. Although I can’t eat crab I’d have helped FabGrandpa finish those scallops. Can’t believe he was too full to finish. And no dessert?

  2. It all looked so good. I think I would have gone for the scallops also. They looked amazing.

  3. Even though I can’t eat any seafood, these still like they would have been great meals for those who can eat them. Thank you for sharing this review with us.

  4. That Caprese Salad looks amazing.

  5. @SensiblySara says:

    I’ve never seen a thick Balsamic Vinegar. Those dishes look good!

  6. The restaurant and meal look amazing. I love the outside patio and like you- if the weather was nice- would be tempted to dine outdoors as well. The Caprese Salad made me hungry.

  7. The food looks really good and that outdoor patio looks like a perfect setting for a romantic dinner.

  8. You’re making my mouth water! Those scallops are huge and look insane!!!

  9. I’m hungry just looking at those dishes and I’m not so sure I would have been able to turn down dessert, they sounded lovely!

  10. Kim @kimgoescoastal.com
    This looks amazing!!

  11. Well…now I have to go to Amelia Island! If for nothing else, than just to eat!! YUM!

  12. Yum, that all looks amazing! You have me craving some seafood, too bad we don’t have any good seafood around here. 🙁

  13. Wow, those are huge scallops! I don’t think I’ve ever tried balsamic vinegar, but I’ve heard it’s really good. I have no idea how you decline dessert. I can be full to busting and still can’t turn away from dessert.

  14. Wow.. I want that pan seared snapper. YUM!!

    I was showing hubby these pics cuz he is HUGE into seafood. Now he wants to go there.

  15. Mmm Karen it looks like you guys made out well. Everything looks yummy.

  16. Oooh, that food looks amazing!! I’m famished now!

  17. Wow these dishes look delicious!!

  18. That caprese salad looks amazing!

  19. Thanks for pointing out the gluten free dishes, Karen. That’s super important to me!

  20. I love crab cakes and scallops and seafood in general! Everything looks so delicious!

  21. I have Celiac and I love hearing about places with GF options. What a beautiful outdoor patio!

  22. I need warmer weather! Looks like a great place to be!

  23. Looks like you had some amazing meals! I would not have turned down strawberry cake! 😉

  24. Oh that all looks so good! You’re making me hungry!

  25. Looks so good! I need to go out to a nice restaurant soon!

  26. the food looks amazing as well as the atmosphere

  27. mmm, the Caprese Salad looks so good! I imagine those tomatoes were divine! And wow, that crab cake looks yummy!

  28. This place sounds amazing!!!! The Caprese Salad looks YUMMY! One of my favorites!

  29. Sandy Cain says:

    Just looking at the pictures of those dishes makes me drool! Those Sea scallops with Shiitake mushroom Sauce – oh, if only they delivered! I could eat that every day and not get tired of it! Even the Cafe Karibo’s patio section looks inviting. You are sure lucky, to get around to all these cool places!!! Thanks for the pictures and descriptions, it makes me happy just to think that maybe someday I’ll be able to go there!!

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