The night was waning but there was still one more course to go. Six plates in, no one was in particularly dire anticipation. The delicacies had come pouring out of Oceanside’s kitchen earlier. First there was a chilled spiny lobster with edamame and habanero paired with a 2012 Far Niente Chardonnay from Napa, followed by a grilled corn and hominy salad with sweet peas and local mushrooms that sparked a delightful bout of nostalgia for old Nintendo 64 videogames. Later there was milk-poached chicken with white beans and cracklin,’ with which none of us had been able to use much restraint. By the time the sixth dish had been cleared the majority of us were sipping our port ready to call it dessert.
But Daven Wardynski, executive chef at Omni’s Amelia Island Resort and the overseer of our meal, wasn’t quite ready to call it a night. In a final dish that was part campfire, part gourmet mousse, part entertainment, he brought out a chocolate mousse cake on a delicate bed of graham cracker, with peanut brittle and mini marshmallows. In a word: S’mores. Beside the marshmallows was a miniature cast iron skillet, complete with shavings and kindling, which to the dinners delight, was lit right before our eyes.
Watching the flames roast our marshmallows, the sight of the beach long since diminished with the setting of the sun, we summoned up our inner foodies, reclaimed our forks, and went in for one last bite.