Posts Tagged ‘The King’s Tavern’

Rx for a Great Escape – St. Simons Island

Monday, July 15th, 2013

A vacation means different things to different people. Some folks relax by taking on new sports, immersing themselves in foreign cultures or learning the history of exotic new destinations. For others, nothing relaxes like the comfort of the familiar. They dream of baking in the sun poolside with nothing on the “to do” list but applying sunscreen. Perhaps the only thing that’s universal about every vacation is that it should be an escape from the everyday routine, an experience that recharges one’s batteries. To help rate destinations on such a scale, I’ve developed something I call the “Rx” factor, for the power to help a vacationer relax. It’s my personal scale for rating the relaxation quotient of a vacation destination – a place’s power to meet a vacationer’s needs.

One of my favorite spots, hands down, is St. Simons Island, Georgia. This quaint island is part of the “Golden Isles” of the Georgia Coast,

Sunrise on St. Simons Island

Sunrise on St. Simons Island

where every visitor can feel instantly part of a time-honored summer tradition. And its “Rx” factor is through the roof, with these key ingredients making St. Simon’s a perfect place to relax.

A Slower, Timeless Pace

Nobody is in much of a hurry on St. Simons. At top island spots like the King and Prince Resort, for instance, the front desk staff works efficiently. But they’ll also take the time to suggest a favorite spot to watch the sunset. The entire island has a rhythm of its own, a pace that instantly eases the tension out of work-weary shoulders and connects mind and spirit with the gentle sounds of the ocean. It’s just as perfect for bike riding as it is for strolling. Bring or rent bikes and see for yourself.

Safe Atmosphere

By and large, this is a place you and your kids can walk the streets after dark in complete confidence. Like all vacation spots, it’s important to keep your valuables secured. But this is a pedestrian-friendly island, with plenty of foot traffic along the streets and beside the waterfront in the charming downtown area. A dose of common sense will keep you out of trouble and enjoying your vacation.

Pleasant, Colorful Locals

Shopkeepers, waitresses and locals can make or break a vacation town. St. Simons Island has plenty of townspeople who can jawbone for hours and sincerely welcome newcomers to the wonderful place they call home. They’ve got opinions and they don’t mind sharing. If you want an idea about anything from a great spot to fish to the best place to impress a date, you’re sure to find an answer.

Nourishment for the Soul

Sal's Pizzeria, St. Simons Island

Sal’s Pizzeria

For our family, great food at the beach is a non-negotiable. St. Simons doesn’t disappoint. Charming local haunts like Iguana’s serve fresh-from-the-surf seafood. Sal’s Neighborhood Pizzeria offers a bit of New York, with delectable pizza, sandwiches, salads and Italian specialties all made with care and served in a bustling Little Italy atmosphere with colorful commentary by Sal, a former boxing wunderkind. And for a special treat, the King’s Tavern restaurant at the celebrated King and Prince Resort presents fresh catch of the day seafood dishes that you’ll remember long after you’ve shaken the sand out of your shoes back home.

See how close you can get to a perfect vacation Rx!  Contact www.kingandprince.com to make arrangements.

Pre-Prohibition Happy Hour!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Come and join us at The King’s Tavern on St. Simons Island from 5 to 7pm each night and go back in time to the days of Model T’s, silent films, and the birth of jazz.  We’re offering great prices on our specialty Pre-Prohibition era cocktails – Bee’s Knees, Old Fashioned, and Moscow Mule, just to name a few!   If you prefer beer or wine, we have specials on those as well.

 Pre-Prohibition Happy Hour

 Featuring Classic Cocktails in the Tavern Bar Daily

5:00pm to 7:00pm 

Cocktails, $6

Bee’s Knees - Gin, Lemon Juice, Honey Syrup

Moscow Mule - Vodka, Lime Juice, Ginger Ale 

La Paloma - Tequila, Grapefruit Juice, Lime Juice, Soda Water, Fees Brothers Grapefruit Bitters

Mary Pickford - Rum, Pineapple Juice, Cherry Liqueur, Grenadine

Old – Fashioned - Bourbon, Simple Syrup, Orange Segments, Soda, Fees Brothers Cherry Bitters

Champagne Cocktail - Sparkling Wine, Sugar Cube, Angostura Bitters 

Wine, $4

William Hill Chardonnay

Benvolio Pinot Grigio

Sea Glass Sauvignon Blanc

Canyon Road Pinot Noir

William Hill Cabernet

Red Rock Merlot 

 Domestic Draft Beer, $4

Getting back to Nature on your Georgia Vacation

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

DJ Jones and his wife MJ visited us last month.  He wrote a beautiful article that highlights our history and naturally beautiful location – as well as a Friday night dinner of steamed crab legs.

The hotel has survived fire, war, and decades of change, yet it still shines amongst an American coastline that’s become dominated by one soulless mega-resort after another. The key to the King and Prince’s success is simple: the resort possesses something which can’t be bought through the latest trends in hotel design and often takes decades to attain… Character.

Which would be the highlight of your weekend?  All-you-can-eat crab legs or gazing at the moon reflecting on the ocean from your oceanfront room at The King and Prince?

Read the rest of D.J.’s story on his blog, The World of Deej.

All You Can Eat Crablegs at The King's Tavern

All You Can Eat Crablegs at The King’s Tavern at The King and Prince, St. Simons Island

Georgia beach vacation

Moon over St. Simons Island from The King and Prince Resort

Not Your Ordinary Gin Tasting

Friday, August 17th, 2012

 Ready for our very first GIN tasting! 

 Join The King and Prince, and Quality Wine and Spirits for our first GIN tasting. We will be featuring 5 different styles of Gin from small batch artisan to Old Tom and maybe even a Gin liqueur. First you will try each Gin by itself and then you will taste how the Gin can be mixed to make a great cocktail.  There will also be a nice spread of The King and Prince’s fantastic menu items

All inclusive just $20.00.

 Thursday, August23rd, 2012
6:00 pm-7:30pm

RSVP 912-638-8614 or email jason@thestillandwinery.com 

**IMPORTANT** 

PLEASE BE SURE TO RSVP, THIS INSURES THAT WE HAVE ENOUGH GIN FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY!!!

Legend surrounds you…

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Legend surrounds you…

When you are embraced by the majesty of the Tower Room, or open your balcony door, you will feel as if you’re on top of the world; you can almost sense the legends and hear the past. By being in the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, you stand in the middle of history. You can imagine those first visitors in 1935 as they came in droves to enjoy the seaside dance club; you will sense the feel the pride and loyalty when, in the 1940s, the King and Prince served as a naval coast-watching and training facility during World War II.

And when you step outside the next day, after an amazing breakfast at The King’s Tavern, you can hop on the St. Simon’s Trolley and head to the historic Lighthouse. You can embark on a tour that will bring you into the intriguing and mystical Christ Church, which traces its origins all the way back to 1776. The magnificent wooded grounds enclose a cemetery of the earliest settlers to St. Simon’s – settlers that have tales to tell of battles, life and love. Then on to Fort Frederica for a history lesson to the extreme, where you will learn the monumental place this island holds in American history. From outdoor activities to the numerous unique shops and art galleries, a tour of St. Simons is an experience you will want for days on end.

Kindness surrounds you…

With a staff of amazing, friendly people who wish nothing more than for you to have the vacation of a lifetime, you will be constantly pampered. From massages in our Royal Treatment Cottage to relaxing with coffee in the elegant atrium lobby before heading out for the Friday Evening Seafood Buffet in the oceanfront Delegal Room - the historic centerpiece of the Resort – featuring original stained glass panoramas depicting scenes from St. Simons rich history and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean…the King and Prince staff offers nothing but warmth and charm.

THIS is Artistry!

Sunrise on St. Simons Island

St Simons Island Sunrise

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13th Colony Distillers – A Delcaration of Drinking Local

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The King and Prince is proud to provide Georgia-made 13th Colony vodkas, gins and whiskeys.  Steve Mirsky gives a short history of the distillery, along with tempting flavor descriptions!  Learn more at 13colony.net

13th Colony Liquors: A Declaration of Drinking Local
By: Steve Mirsky   |    Posted on April 11, 2012   |   0 Comments

Up until recently, when folks mentioned liquor from the Southern U.S., whiskey and moonshine immediately sprang to mind. Popularized through aggressive marketing and folklore, images of whiskies like ‘Ole Grand Dad and Jack Daniels are etched into a cultural milieu that also plays up images of  pickup truck driving backwoods individualists.  But of course reality is just a bit more complex and liquor production in what is commonly referred to as “the South”, an area roughly defined by the Mason Dixon Line and the Mississippi as borders, has a rich tradition that’s all too often overshadowed by these preconceived notions.

While it’s true that the South has a tremendously successful history of Bourbon production in Kentucky and Whiskey in Tennessee, recent years have witnessed the rise of a robust craft distillery movement as well. Some uniquely Southern approaches to vodka and other spirits include brands like FireflyCorsair Artisan , and on a more commercial scale,Piedmont Distillery. A newer addition to these craft producers with a growing fan base isThirteenth Colony Distillery in Americus, Georgia.

In 2007, four friends, Alton Darby, Kent Cost, Dr. Gil Klemann and Winford Hines, began distilling homemade vodka for family and friends. This initial foray catapulted their efforts from hobby to business opening their own distillery. Thirteenth Colony now specializes in small batch production of Southern Vodka, Southern Gin, and 100% corn whiskey. Located on top of the South’s oldest and deepest aquifers, their water is super pure…perfect for making fine-quality distilled spirits. Locally grown corn, barley and rye are also used in the process, which unfolds in a custom-designed 250-gallon still.

Thirteenth Colony vodka is aromatic and supremely silky resulting from slow carbon filtration through a 10 foot column filter…perfect for savoring chilled and neat as the Russians do with caviar, such as Walter’s Caviar from Darien, GA making it a totally local experience. Their Southern Gin, bursting with the pungent scent of juniper berries, is best simply enjoyed with tonic water and lime on the rocks. Their signature Corn Whiskey is my favorite derived from a traditional southern recipe aged in vintage oak barrels yielding a robust 95 proof. Each bottle is personally signed and numbered by Thirteenth Colony distiller, Graham Arthur. Dangerously drinkable, its smooth taste is complex on the palate with hints of oak, spice, butter, and sweet corn. ..a perfect pairing for some real Southern Soul food!

First Seating: King and Prince Shows Off On Opening Night

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Will McGough will make you hungry for our Georgia grown ingredients in this post on his Wake and Wander blog!

First Seating: King and Prince Shows Off On Opening Night

Posted on April 19, 2012 by willmcgough

I arrived at the King and Prince Resort on St. Simons (off the coast ofGeorgia) knowing that I would be participating in a Southern Culinary Showcase, but I had no idea they would put on such a performance the first night.

I actually contributed to the meal – I sautéed the shrimp and prepared the pork, tomato, and corn gravy to accompany the grits. In the past, grits was a dish that reminded me of something served at a bad diner, dry and bland, but when the chef passed me the heavy cream, I knew we were officially in the south.

The brand new Executive Chef Jeff Kaplan (he’s been on the island for ten days) and his crew allowed me to have some fun flipping the shrimp, but eventually it was time for me to step aside, let them do their thing. As the courses began to roll out of the kitchen, I was more than happy to get my tail back to the table.

We started with a spread of Artisan cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy(Thomasville, GA), paired ridiculously well with local honeys and jams – you can’t really beat a well-thought sweet/salt combo (more info and photos to come… I am going to attend a honey tasting later in the trip).

The main course of shrimp and grits was easily the best version I’ve ever had – it was creamy and the Georgia shrimp are naturally sweet (noticeably so compared to shrimp from other regions… more to come on this later as well).

The first course of fresh oysters stole the show in terms of creativity – they were served with sweet corn and asparagus. Again, the traditional salty-sea taste of the oysters combined with the burst of sweetness in the corn jumped off my palate, and the crunch of the asparagus provided the texture (a good way for first timers to get over the “sliminess” of oysters).

One of the great things I’m realizing about Georgia is the pleasant balance in its signature fare. For every Southern-style comfort dish with heavy cream, there’s a piece of fish or a fresh peach providing a light complement/alternative.

Or you can say screw it – you’re on vacation – and toss the peaches into a crème brulee. What I said about my experience in St. Barths also applies to this version of the classic dessert (see photo):

Had I been in a room by myself, my tongue would have been on the dish.

First two photos courtesy of Desiree Miller:

 

 

 


Apalachicola oysters with sweet corn, asparagus, tomato, cilantro vinaigrette.


Blackberry sorbet with blackberry liqueur (palate cleanser).

 

Explore the Golden Isle of St. Simons

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

A great article by Carolyn Burns Bass posted in Greer’s OC about The King and Prince Resort and what to see and do on St. Simons Island.

Explore the Golden Isle of St. Simons

01.20.12

Review by Carolyn Burns Bass

It’s not hard to understand why this stretch of the Georgia coast is known as the Golden Isles. Miles of marsh grass wave in the breeze, carved by streams, rivers, and inlets to form a jigsaw puzzle of islands. The sun rises like a glittering coin over the Atlantic and blankets the marshlands in gold and amber as it sets over the isles. Poised on the mouth of the sound leading up to the bustling port city of Brunswick, is St. Simons Island, the largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles.

The Spanish named the island and the sound after a Catholic saint during 16th century exploration of the Southeastern coastline. You can see Spanish influences throughout the region, including the architecture. Mediterranean arches, turrets, clay tiles and stucco make haunting backdrops for the Spanish moss dripping off the massive trees overarching the buildings and lining the streets and lanes. The island has maintained its quaint seaside charm through decades of development in the islands and cities surrounding this wild island treasure.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

The jewel of this golden isle is the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. Perched on the white sandy shore near the mouth of St. Simons Sound, this historic hotel offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the coastline stretching north and south. Built in 1935 as a private dance club for the well-heeled of the area, it added lodging to its original structure in 1941 and opened to the public as a hotel. There was nothing as magnificent as The King and Prince anywhere along the Southeast coast when it was built and even today it rises above many of the cookie-cutter resorts now dotting the coast and the Isles.

A spacious, bright and airy lobby greets you from the main entry of the King and Prince. You can see the Mediterranean design in the arches that line the coastal stretch of the lobby interior. Natural wood bannisters, trim and ceiling beams encasing dark embossed tin tiles add warmth to the lobby’s light interior. Just beyond the reception desk is a fountain, surrounded by palms, lush greenery and flowers, and an indoor pool and whirlpool (one of five pools located throughout the resort).

Guests at the King and Prince have a deluxe array of choices in room types to meet budget or family needs. Oceanfront rooms in the historic building are only steps from the beach, with spacious bathrooms and separate sitting areas. Luxury amenities such as in-room Keurig coffee stations, Bath & Body Works toiletries, and large flat screen televisions are standard in every room. Stretching beyond the historic main building are the Beach Villas. These roomy accommodations offer two- or three-bedroom apartment size villas with master bedrooms, full kitchens, dining areas and private patios or balconies.

Stepping up the game in privacy and luxury at the King and Prince are the Residences, which comprise of six individual houses spread throughout the resort to include quaint beach cottages and even executive-level houses with ample meeting and entertaining areas (with as many as five bedrooms!).

Scenic and Challenging Golf

Competing with beach and ocean activities on St. Simons Island are the resort’s tennis courts, pools and golf course. While the formal name of the King and Prince includes “golf resort,” the greens are actually a bit of a drive to the northern-most end of the island. Known as the Hampton Club, this golf course shuttles hotel guests straught to the course for a day of golf among the salt marshes, swampy lagoons, towering palmettos and grand oaks draped with Spanish moss.

The course was renovated in 2009 with renewal in turf and design enhancements to the original 18-hole, 72-par design. Four of the holes sit upon individual marsh islands accessible by elevated cart bridges, making for challenging play. Practice areas include a driving range, putting green and a chipping green, and golfers can grab lunch or post game cocktails in the roomy clubhouse. You can take a virtual flyover of the entire course from the resort’s website for an overview of this distinctive course.

Georgia Coastal Cuisine at its Finest

Director of food and beverage, Vinny D’Agostino, revitalized the King and Prince’s food culture when he joined the staff in May 2011. A master sommelier and culinary arts graduate from Johnson and Wales University, D’Agostino brought more than two decades of creative culinary experience from some of the nation’s top hotels and restaurants. Food was the centerpiece of D’Agostino’s large Italian family, inspiring his passion for taste, texture and temptation, and it shows in everything he prepares or directs. Be sure to try D’Agostino’s signature shrimp and grits, made with Georgia’s wild white shrimp and Tasso ham in a spicy cream sauce that wraps the tongue in savory delight.

The King and Prince is renowned throughout the Golden Isles for its Friday night seafood buffet and its sumptuous Sunday brunch. Set in the resort’s Delegal room, the Friday night seafood buffet features various preparations of the region’s distinctive wild white shrimp, plus platters of crab legs, chilled and steamed; oysters, both fried and on the half-shell; clams and mussels, along with entrees of salmon, catfish, tilapia, sole, grouper and other chef selections. Sunday brunch includes an omelet bar, plus a wide variety of southern comfort foods such as grits, plain, creamy with cheese, or spiced to delight with shrimp; smoked BBQ ribs; buttermilk fried chicken; succulent pot roast and gravy, crispy fried catfish and plenty of other chef surprises.

The Delegal room itself is a thing of beauty. Commanding the eye is the view of the Atlantic from the windows lining the oceanfront wall. Set above the oceanfront windows and around the entire room are eleven spectacular stained glass windows depicting the history of St. Simons island.

Additional dining choices at the King and Prince include the King’s Tavern set in the hotel’s turret lined with oceanfront windows for stunning ocean views, the Atrium Café where snacks and refreshments, along with barista-prepared coffees and teas are served, plus the seasonal (March through October) Paradise Beach Bar and Grill located beachside with casual fare and cocktail service.

More to Do and See On St. Simons

Guests not getting enough exercise running or strolling along the beach, bicycling through town, or browsing through the myriad shops on St. Simons, have free access to treadmills, ellipticals, free weights, and exercise balls in the fitness facility next to the tennis courts.

Set only steps away from the beach guests may rejuvenate body and soul in the Royal Treatment Cottage, an intimate retreat house with a full menu of massage therapies. Lunch can be ordered from the concierge and enjoyed in the quiet of the cottage.

Out and about in St. Simons you’ll find boutiques and souvenir stores, coffeehouses and cafes, candy stores and cocktail happy hours. You can rent a bicycle at Ocean Motion (walking distance from the King and Prince) and pedal around the Island’s 21 miles winding bike paths.

Hop on the Lighthouse Trolley for a guided tour of St. Simons island. The trolley can take you from the Coast Guard station, now a Maritime Museum with history of the island–including its fascinating mission as a coast watching and training facility during WWII–to the working lighthouse; to the picturesque Christ Church, the first English church in Georgia; around town and through the moss-lined lanes from the north end to the south. If you’re lucky to get Cap Fielding as your trolley guide, you’re in for a treat with his arcane knowledge of the region’s colorful history.

On the Water Excitement

Travelers seeking new experiences can get thrills and chills from a shrimping trip on the waters off St. Simons island on The Lady Jane, a former working shrimp boat now USCG certified to carry passengers. The Lady Jane, run by Captain Larry Credle, is an educational and tourism expedition not to be missed.

Guests board The Lady Jane in nearby Brunswick, then head into the waters of St. Simons Sound. Once clear of the marshes, Captain Credle drops his shrimp net and trawls until he figures he’s got a good catch. The net drips with surprise when lifted, then released on the ship’s sorting deck. All hands aboard have a chance to sort the treasures in the net, the jewel of the catch being the wild white Georgia shrimp. It’s not unusual for the net to bring up stingrays, puffer fish, several varieties of flounder, shrimp and crab—including the distinctive horseshoe crabs–plus beautiful whelks. A naturalist on board identifies the different fish in the catch, including the occasional catch of a loggerhead sea turtle. When turtles are caught, they are weighed, measured, and photographed, then released. The details are sent to the Georgia Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Everything but the wild white shrimp is released back into the sea. While cruising back to harbor on The Lady Jane, a shipmate cleans and shells the shrimp, then serves it fresh on a platter with homemade cocktail sauce and lemon. Seafood doesn’t get fresher than this.

Getting to St. Simons Island

St. Simons Island is easily accessible from international airports at Savannah/Hilton Head to the north and Jacksonville to the south, while Delta brings in three flights a day to nearby Brunswick Golden Isles Airport.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, 201 Arnold Rd., St. Simons Island, GA 31522, 912-638-3631, www.kingandprince.com.

Time for Good Food

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Rachel writes in her blog, “Time for Good Food,” about her trip to St. Simons and all the sites she saw and food she ate at The King and Prince.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Inspired by St. Simon’s Island

A week ago today I was at St. Simon’s Island, Georgia taking in the beautiful scenery and stuffing my belly with delicious food. Magical sounds cliché, but it really was an amazing trip that I won’t soon forget. I was invited by The King and Prince Resort and their publicist Leigh Cort, along with other journalists and bloggers from around the country, to be a part of a media trip focused on Southern culinary traditions. My friend Nikiwas also one of the journalists, so we rode down together.For someone like me who is enamored with history, food and the idea of eating locally and sustainably, it was sheer heaven. I learned so much, tasted so much and am so inspired, this is going to have to be several posts. Maybe a trilogy? You’ll see what I mean in a minute.

Christ Church – the most visited attraction on St. Simons Island

I vaguely remember spending a day sightseeing on St. Simon’s Island as a child. One memory that stands out is visiting the moss draped Christ Church and its cemetery. I was excited to get to see it again all these years later. The parish was founded in 1736, though the current church building dates to 1884. A walk through Christ Church’s cemetery inspired prolific Georgia writer, Eugenia Price, to pen her first historical novel The Beloved Invader. The book brought to life the church’s rector Anson Dodge, Jr. and led to additional books, New Moon Rising and Lighthouse – known as the St. Simon’s Trilogy. Interestingly, Price stayed at The King and Prince in 1961 when she discovered the island that would define her career as a writer. Tourists still come to St. Simon’s today inspired by her books. Who knows, maybe I’ll be inspired to write a historical novel, but for now I’ll settle on a trilogy of blog posts. This first: an overview rich with photos.

The exterior of The King and Prince’s historic hotel building.

The King and Prince was built in 1935 and is the only oceanfront hotel on the island. I think that’s what sets St. Simon’s apart from other tourist destinations. It doesn’t feel touristy. You won’t find the high-rise condominiums and tacky beach stores. It’s quiet, laid back, upscale in some ways, but unassuming.Naturally, it’s a popular destination for weddings and romantic getaways. However, I’m totally inspired to take my family back there.

A wedding photo shoot I happened to catch out the window.

The beach is great, but there are also miles and miles of golden marshlands that are especially beautiful at sunset. Growing abundantly in the marshlands and estuaries is Spartina, the golden hued grass that gives St. Simon’s Island and other nearby barrier islands their nickname, “The Golden Isles.”

Marshlands at dusk.

And there’s the Lighthouse. And the cute village with shops and restaurants. And the waterfront park. And the Maritime Museum that is housed in a former Coast Guard Station.

Oceanfront park with St. Simons Lighthouse in the background.Maritime Center and Museum

I could go on and on, but I know you are probably wondering: what about the food? This is a food blog after all! Most of our meals were served at The King and Prince under the direction of its Food and Beverage Director, Vinny D’Agostino. While on staff for just a short while, D’Agostino is making great strides in bringing local farmers and food artisans ”to the table” to enhance the dining program at the resort. Honestly, going in to this I was not expecting the food to be that great. I’ve had some pretty bland, uninspiring hotel food in the past — but I have to say that the food I tasted at the King and Prince was really delicious. The shrimp and grits, I swear, may have been the best I ever tasted. I’m going to attempt to make them at home and share the recipe with you in the next post in my trilogy!

Shrimp and Grits made highlighted with Tasso ham, fresh corn and tomato.

One afternoon we had the pleasure of meeting food growers and artisans from around the state and sampling their fare. The most exciting thing I tasted was the first pressing of olive oil made from Georgia-grown olives thanks to Georgia Olive Farms. It’s so new that it isn’t even on the market yet. We also tasted cheese from Flat Creek Lodge, muscadine wine from Still Pond Vineyards, 13th Colony Distillery liquors, chocolates from Sugar Marsh Cottage, Wild Georgia Shrimp, Savannah Bee Company honey and peach products from Lane Southern Orchards — to name a few. I’ll definitely share more with you. Remember, my trilogy?

Georgia made products we tasted.

On our final day at the King and Prince, we ate breakfast in the elegant Delegal Room — once the ballroom of the old resort. I imagined how many dances, weddings, receptions and important events must have taken place in this stained glass adorned room with sweeping ocean views. I doctored this photo up a bit to look “old,” much like the actual historic photos that lined the lobby hallway and are featured in each guest room. It makes me feel happy.

Pretending it’s 1951

I love places with a sense of history, natural beauty and authentic Southern charm. You will definitely find that at The King and Prince and on St. Simon’s Island. Now, time for a short disclaimer: The King and Prince provided me with a complimentary stay and meals, but did not pay me to write this or endorse the resort in any way. By being a gracious host, showing me the island and sharing the spotlight with other local businesses and attractions, they made me fall in love. I’ll definitely be back!

King and Prince Shrimp & Grits in Tasso Cream Sauce

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Marc d’Entremont writes an article at Suite101 about his visit to The King and Prince Resort and eating their Shrimp & Grits, a Southern Culinary Tradition.

King and Prince Resort’s Shrimp and Grits in a Tasso Cream Sauce

The King & Prince Beach & Golf Resort, St. Simons Island, GA, finesses a classic dish served in every southern dinner elevating Shrimp and Grits to stardom.
 

 

Shrimp & Grits in a Tasso Cream Sauce- Marc d’Entremont

It was the end of a pleasant sunny early November day in the now quiet off-season of St. Simons Island, one of Georgia’s premier barrier island destinations. The elegant 1935 King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort , listed on the National Historic Register and Historic Hotels of America, set a table befitting its Old World heritage. The formal place settings with an array of flatware and crystal stemware lay on starched white linen lit by softly glowing candles. The guests are not what the media would identify as royalty or even VIPs. We’re nearly two dozen jaded, or nearly jaded, travel and food journalists – critics to the core.

 

Southern Culinary Traditions

We were the guests of The King and Prince. Our four day tour to explore the culinary traditions of southeastern Georgia was organized by Leigh Cort Publicity. Such media trips involve a considerable amount of activity, not the least of which is eating and drinking. To make an impression worthy of an article the fare has to be more than just free.

Tradition versus an Old Standby

Personally my foodie radar was picking up more an old diner standby rather than a fine tradition when the itinerary indicated that dinner would include a Shrimp and Grits cooking demonstration. Google any of a dozen recipes and discover everything from bullion cubes to extra sharp cheddar used to mask tasteless farm raised frozen shrimp mounded on top of instant grits. Believe me I’ve had my full of disappointing versions.

Chef Dwayne Austell and Vinny D’Agostino

It took only a moment after entering the dining room for my nose to detect a subtle aroma of warm smoked meat. It was emanating from the chafing dish that was keeping the sauce at serving temperature. I should have guessed that a Johnson & Wales University graduate, Vinny D’Agostino, Food and Beverage Director, and Georgia Low Country native Sous Chef Dwayne Austell would rise above the ordinary.

Wild Shrimp and Tasso Ham

Quality ingredients are essential for a great dish and there is no comparison between farm raised and wild shrimp. Fortunately, much of America’s shrimp is wild and the package will be labeled appropriately. The high tides and lush nutrient rich salt marshes of low country and barrier islands provide an excellent clean environment for Georgia’s abundant shrimp. The Georgia White Shrimp is especially plump, meaty and flavorful. Yet the secret to Chef Austell’s outstanding Shrimp and Grits is the addition of smoky, cured Tasso ham – an essential ingredient in much of southern cajun cuisine. What is actually a pork butt rather than a ham gives the cajun spiced light cream sauce a rich flavor that lingers in the mouth.

The Recipe – for 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3rd cup diced Tasso ham
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup seeded diced tomatoes
  • 4 Tablespoons diced green onions
  • 4 to 6 ounces fresh shelled wild shrimp
  • 2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning mix
  • 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • cooked grits

Preparation:

  1. First prepare grits using the best recipe I know for Creamy Stone Ground Grits
  2. Add just enough olive oil to lightly cover the bottom of two saute pans and heat over medium setting.
  3. In one pan add the shrimp and cajun seasoning. Saute no more than 5 minutes. Overcooking results in tough shrimp.
  4. In the second pan add the ham and corn and saute for a couple minutes. Add the tomatoes and green onions, combine and saute a few minutes more. Add the heavy cream and asiago cheese. Bring to a simmer and cook for two minutes.
  5. Combine the shrimp and all the pan juices into the sauce.
  6. Serve over the prepared grits.

Wine Pairing

Vinny D’Agostino, a sommelier as well, paired the entree with a nice Georgia Chardonnay from Frogtown Cellars. The minimal acidity of a Chardonnay, preferably unoaked, works well with the creamy sauce. A California or Washington State Chardonnay would be a fine substitute since Georgia wines are not widely distributed.

Even if you’re not dining a few hundred feet from the ocean, this fine recipe from the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort can conjure memories of warm lazy days under oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss and sea gulls laughing overhead.