For some reason, for my wife, a vacation to Jekyll Island is
like the starting bell for a steeplechase. She sprints from the gate, and it's Katie-bar-the-door
from there on out.
I can work up a hearty appetite just trying to keep up with
So when Martha decided to slow down long enough for lunch, I
suggested we try one of the island's newest eateries - the Wharf Restaurant.
The Wharf is part of the re-branding of the Jekyll Island Club Resort. The facility is situated on the historic Jekyll
Island Wharf fronting the Intracoastal
Waterway. Hurricane Matthew did a number on the old Latitude 31/Rah Bar
restaurants that used to occupy the space, and the Jekyll Island Club Resort
bought the property with the intention of renovating it into a first-class
It's a goal I believe they not only met, but exceeded.
Casual Dining on the
The restaurant is named for the old Jekyll Island Historic District Pier, where millionaire J.P. Morgan and other moguls used to disembark from their yachts on trips to the island paradise. The structure actually extends out into the water, and is still a working pier, where sail and power boats tie up while their crews come ashore for some island time.
From the Historic District, you'll stroll down a broad boardwalk to the renovated building. Inside, the main dining room is light and airy. White walls compliment minimalist, modernistic furnishings of blonde wood and brushed aluminum, a surprising and welcome change over the tired nautical themes most seafood restaurants seem to adhere to almost as a default decor.
In fact, the only things in the Wharf Restaurant smacking of the nautical are several tastefully done photos of shrimp boats, and a few strategically placed faux-Japanese glass fishing net floats.
Wide windows offer stunning vistas of the river and adjacent marshland. Needless to say, we requested a window table.
We had barely been seated when our friendly waitress
approached and asked for our drink orders. Drinks were served promptly, and we
ordered our lunch from an extensive menu - shrimp and grits for Martha, fish
and chips for me.
Food, Glorious Food!
We skipped the appetizers, but the menu offered many
choices. Here are a select few:
The food was hot, filling and delicious, and I couldn't stop
glancing out the window, hoping to spot a dolphin cruising by, or a sailboat
chugging along under auxiliary power.
Prices are a little on the high side for us, but food quality was excellent. And you can't beat that view!
If you really want ambiance, think about eating out. Outside, that is. The Wharf's dining area extends outdoors, onto the pier proper. Roomy tables offer fantastic views of the water and marsh.
Listen to the Music
Arriving for dinner? You're in for a real treat. The sunsets are gorgeous here, painting the Intra-coastal Waterway in tints of gold and fiery crimson. The Wharf books weekly live entertainment, so you can usually enjoy your seafood and sunset combos to the music from one of the many indie bands that seem to flourish on the Georgia coast. Pig out on seafood, and enjoy the music of bands like Island Kings, Backstreet Boulevard, and the Wharfratz.
The Wharf Restaurant can be reserved for wedding receptions or other
events, and is available for parties of up to 50 people. Call 912.635.3612 for
All in all, we enjoyed our Wharf experience immensely. On your next trip to Jekyll Island, the Wharf should definitely be one of your first stops for scrumptious seafood.