July 24, 2018 9:00 a.m.
Although your roving reporter has relocated to Jacksonville, I had to stop by and have lunch at Lagniappe. Located in the Harris Teeter shopping center on First Coast Highway, Lagniappe is a modern open concept venue, with a comfortable bar and two large rooms for dining.
Brian and Melanie Grimley have partnered with Ken and Lisa Satow to bring a mixed New Orleans and Southern menu to our area. Of course, you may have already sampled some of the Grimley’s fine food creations at Lulu’s Restaurant in downtown Fernandina Beach. They opened that restaurant after moving here from Colonial Beach, Virginia in 2010. Their son has carried on their Dockside Restaurant and Tiki Bar at that location.
Their experience at Fat Tuesday’s New Orleans Saloon in northern Virginia led them to go with a New Orleans touch for Lagniappe, a creole name that means “add a little something extra.” They carried that over not just with a larger menu, but as Melanie puts it, “bringing good food, a good time experience and atmosphere” to Lagniappe.
They have posted their menus on www. Lagniappeamelia.com and feature small plates as well as a much larger menu than they could at Lulu’s. My sister-in-law had a potato and leek soup and1/2 a roast beef sandwich and I had a wonderful crab salad with a semi-sweet dressing and just the right amount of greens. The small almond cookies were a nice finish to lunch. They have added Carey Todd, executive chef, and Brandon Watson, sous chef to staff as well as Andy Goodall and Joe Riley to the kitchen, working with Brian to handle the larger menu and restaurant. Certainly this will be another success for the Grimleys and Amelia Island. Hours posted are 11 to 2 for lunch, 4 pm for the bar and 5 pm dinner. They also have a small shop at the entry which offers some uniquely southern gift items.
You may be wondering what happened to Lulu’s downtown. That restaurant formerly owned by the Grimleys, has recently been sold to three partners, Wesley Deason, Robert Edwards, and Jim Jessup. Wesley Deason is the managing partner with restaurant experience and is continuing the fine restaurant experience at 11 South 7th Street. The menu still features their famous crab cakes, and the new owners still maintain a booth at the Fernandina Market on Saturday mornings.
According to Deason, the new name of the restaurant with 27 seats inside and a lovely patio outside the Thompson House, will be Lulu’s on Seventh. The Thompson House, which they purchased, is being remodeled and will be available on Airbnb within a month or so. Their website, www.lulusamelia.com lists their hours as 11:30 a.m. through dinner Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday brunch 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More items will be added to the menu and we look forward to a continuing good dining experience from the new owners, who love the local area and have other investments including a Yulee bowling alley.
This reporter and her hubby are now exploring our new area in Jacksonville for the perfect New York thin sliced pizza and new restaurants such as “Poppy’s”, “Nona Blue” and Medure’s in Ponte Vedra. During our quest we discovered a new franchise opening in Northeast Florida, i.e., Cousin’s Maine Lobster. Owners Tom Mikell and Julianne Lilly, are very excited to bring this restaurant to our area and hope to open in Neptune Beach at 630 Atlantic Boulevard Suite 630 next Friday and we will be there with bells on.
Editor’s Note: Gerry began free lance writing for fun and is the author of a published book (available on Amazon and at Books Plus) about funny real estate experiences. Gerry was a former longtime member of our local American Business Women’s Chapter, a volunteer cancer driver and church deacon who loves to read, travel and meet interesting people.