As discussed in this previous article, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort recently opened two of its on-property restaurants to the public: Sunrise Cafe and Oceanside. In other words, people from Jacksonville and surrounding areas no longer have to stay at the resort to visit the restaurants. This is an exciting proposition, because both of these restaurants are impressive in their own right. We at Jacksonville Fine Dining Examiner recently had the opportunity to spend some time at the resort and we will be featuring reviews on Oceanside, Verandah, and Marche Burette in the coming months.
This particular article will focus on the Sunrise Cafe, located in the Sunrise Wing of the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. Sunrise Cafe focuses on breakfast with its "Art of Breakfast" buffet served daily from 6:30am through 11am, but it also serves dinner Wednesday-Saturday from 5pm-11am. Here are our thoughts:
Sunrise Cafe is essentially positioned on the second floor of the hotel (even though it is technically on the "Lobby" level). The semi-casual restaurant features spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean along with an overhead view of the 6th green on the Ocean Links Golf Course. Decor in the restaurant is minimal, but anything that would detract from the incredible view is unnecessary in our opinion. The restaurant features outside seating that may make the view even more enjoyable on a nice day. The combination of golf course and ocean views make the ambiance at Sunrise Cafe difficult to beat.
As far as hotel breakfast buffets go, this may be the best we've ever seen. First off, the presentation of is impressive, featuring driftwood accent pieces, small hand-written signs for the foods and various spreads, and a natural honeycomb dripping natural honey into a jar. Speaking of honey, the "Art of Breakfast" breakfast buffet at Sunrise Cafe features approximately seven different honey varieties, including orange blossom (recommended), cinnamon, and Wild Flower. Next, there are a large variety of cereals in stainless steel metal contains and a delicious fruit spread. We were especially impressed with the produce at the resort, especially the strawberries and pineapple. The next station includes some typical and not-so-typical breakfast items like pancakes, eggs, multiple types of sausage, and even sticky buns! In the center of the room is uncut bread that you cut and toast on the spot. The raisin bread was quite good and the natural fruit spreads and honey made it even better. There were also large cinnamon buns available that were delicious. The most impressive part of the buffet however, were the homemade omelets and the amount of specialty ingredient options. Of course, the usual ham and cheese are there, but diners can also try shrimp, chopped sausage, and multiple different types of hot peppers including habanero, jalapeno, and serano. The omelets and breakfast as a whole were so good that we visited the Sunrise Cafe for breakfast three times during our visit and we'd highly recommend that you try it.
Nothing too special to note here. The orange juice was very good and the coffee was good but not noteworthy. In other words, the drinks are good, but there weren't any specialty drinks that would bring this score up to the 4 or 5 range. We would however, strongly recommend the poolside drinks and wine selection at the Verandah and Oceanside, but that is for another article!
On the days we visited Sunrise Cafe, we were always promptly greeted by the hostess. There was a slight wait on one day, but it was Memorial Day Weekend, so that is understandably. Once seated, our waiter quickly asked what we would like to drink and kept our drinks refilled throughout the meal. They were also extremely friendly and we had several nice conversations. In fact, one day our waitress notified us that it was last call for breakfast and they actually delivered our omelets to the table. Other people of note are Ms. Donnie, who makes a fantastic omelet and was especially pleasant to talk to. The management of Chris and Colleen(?) is also top-notch. This restaurant is very well-run and we believe the service deserves high marks.
In our opinion, Sunrise Cafe offers one of the best (if not the best) breakfast buffets in the Jacksonville area in terms of food. When you combine the top-notch food with the panoramic golf and ocean views, Sunrise Cafe is easy to recommend to our readers.
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