Offering the best in continental cuisine, Horizons delights Amelia Island diners time and again.
Horizons is a delightful restaurant to visit any time of the year, for lunch or dinner. Chef Courtney Thompson cooks up all my favorites with style and creativity, for what I consider to be true continental cuisine. Recently, my friend Bruce and I dined at Horizons, and, as usual, our meal was perfect.
We were greeted by Mel, one of my preferred island servers, a knowledgeable and expedient woman who has been with Horizons since day one. She recommended we try a Mediterranean white wine called Rene Barbier, which was light and crisp with a flowery aroma. Mel brought out a basket of Asiago Rosemary Bread with homemade herb butter to nibble on while we checked out the menu and specials. I was eager to try some of Chef Courtney’s new menu items, beginning with Grilled Asparagus and Shrimp with Bleu Cheese Risotto. An appetizer, this dish is practically main-dish delicious. The shrimp were lightly seasoned with a citrus blackening rub, so it was flavorful, as well as rich and creamy. We also ordered Horizon’s newest salad: mixed greens with dried cherries, bacon, pear tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese. Everything about this salad is wonderful and fresh, but the smoky bacon added some real depth. The homemade sherry vinaigrette was crisp and acidic and quite nice.
We tried another wine to pair with our entrees: Fess Parker Cellar Reserve, a red blend that was full-bodied and paired wonderfully with my dish, Horizon’s Roast Rack of Lamb. Bruce ordered the special that night: a Hawaiian Sunfish fillet, which was served with rustic mashed potatoes, ratatouille vegetable medley, avocado salsa, and chardonnay beurre blanc. The special was fabulous, with the fish mild and moist, and almost buttery in taste. And the beurre blanc brought the dish to a new level of richness. But, for me, the lamb was out of this world. Pink and juicy, it was also served with rustic mashed potatoes. It was tender and juicy, and I especially loved the Dijon crust and rosemary au jus. With the rustic mashed potatoes and mint jelly, it was reminiscent of a very special holiday meal. Horizons’ portions are very bountiful as well, and I was happy to take home the leftovers for the next day.
Here’s a vital tip when dining at Horizons: be sure to order your dessert ahead of time, especially if you want their soufflé. It takes a while to prepare, so if you order it when you order your meal, it will be ready at just the right time. That evening the special was Raspberry White Chocolate Souffle, which Mel brought out for us to share. To serve, she poked a hole in the top and showed us how to pour some crème anglais into the soufflé before eating. Oh my goodness, what a treat! And I do believe that Horizons is the only restaurant on the island that not only makes dessert soufflés, but also excels at them.
Horizons offers a lot of extra dining amenities, like custom menus for parties and full-service catering. They have a lovely room upstairs for private events and they also do off-site events for any amount of people. The restaurant is charming, quaint, and what I consider one of the best on Amelia Island.