After a visit to the Delegal Dining Room at the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort, it is easy to see that executive chef Jeff Kaplan has made it his mission to bring “Southern” back to the South. Diners are introducing the finest Georgia products – pecans, peaches, shrimp, blue crabs and Vidalia onions on the menus of the restaurants located at the acclaimed resort in Saint Simons Island, Ga. Kaplan’s culinary experience of more than 25 years from New York to Miami takes hold of this charming oceanfront historic hotel with a quaint island setting.
Kaplan believes in cooking with local ingredients and supporting local farmers and businesses. His initiative to bring fresh and seasonal ingredients to the island has completely transformed the menu at the resort. He personally visits the Saint Simons Island Farmer’s Market and picks up produce to cook with, then orchestrates them into a Southern culinary symphony. The dishes are enhanced by locally sourced honey from the Savannah Bee Company, peaches from Lane Southern Orchards, and wild Georgia shrimp from City Market Seafood.
There are two great ways to sample the very best of what the chef has to offer while visiting the island. At $34.95 per person, the Friday night seafood buffet served at the King and Prince’s Delegal Dining Room makes you feel like you have stepped back in time and are a special guest at a royal banquet. The elegant dining room fitted with English colonial-style chandeliers, fireplace and wall paintings also features a series of eleven original stained glass panoramas depicting scenes from Saint Simons' rich history. The resort was first constructed in 1935 and many of the original fixtures are still intact.
On the menu is the best of coastal Georgia. All-you-can-eat steamed crab legs, chilled shrimp, sole with peach butter, fried oysters and shrimp, oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon, and fried catfish are only a few of the entrée selections. Pair them with southern-style cornbread, steamed green beans, mashed potatoes and Georgia grown fresh watermelon, for the most scrumptious Southern seafood dinner you may ever have. You certainly can’t leave the South without tasting some good old-fashioned finger-licking key lime pie, pecan pie and bread pudding, which are key instruments in the chef’s plan to bring back traditions.
Even though the buffet has a varied selection of items, every single dish is carefully prepared and paired with the right sauces and seasonings. It is also comforting to see that the moisture and temperature of the chafing dishes are regulated so that the food tastes like it just came out of the kitchen.
The second not-to-miss dining experience is the Southern Charm Sunday Brunch. If you like Southern cuisine, you are in for a treat of a lifetime. The buffet brunch offers many of the favorites including buttermilk fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, fried okra, biscuits and gravy, Low Country shrimp and grits, hickory smoked BBQ ribs, Cajun meatloaf, lemon pepper grouper, pot roast, collard greens, sweet potato soufflé, peach crisp, carrot cake and more.
Take mama’s home cooking and multiply it by a factor of 10. The selections are endless and the flavors comforting. The Sunday brunch costs $21.95 per person and is served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. with a calming backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.
Delegal Dining Room at King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort is located at 201 Arnold Road, St. Simons Island, GA, 31522. For more information, call 912- 638-3631 or www.kingandprince.com.
Photo credit: Leigh Cort Publicity