We took a quick day trip down to St. Augustine this past weekend to check out Gravity in IMAX 3D (a must-see!) and make a macaron stop at Bon Ami Confections. That evening, we decided to meet up with friends at new cocktail bar The Ice Plant. I’ve been following them on Twitter for a few months now, intrigued by a place that promised decent-sounding food and craft cocktails in such close proximity (though Jax does have its own noteworthy cocktail bars now too).
The old warehouse really was an ice plant at one point, and though the new owners gutted the space and added a large bar in the center of the room, some of the old ice making and moving equipment remains. The Ice Plant is modeled in speakeasy style and should really be considered more of a bar than a restaurant. We tried a few cocktails (though not nearly all of the menu) and the favorite of the night was the Florida Mule (Cane Vodka, Ginger Syrup, Lime, Soda):
After waiting an hour at the bustling bar for our table, we were famished and immediately put in an order for Pretzel Bread (Truffled Cheddar Fondue, Dijon Sauce). We immediately dug in and therefore didn’t get a photo, but the bread was warm and salty and the truffled fondue was a hit. I think we all wished more than 2 rolls came with the order.
Our mains included the Shrimp & Grits (Herb Grit Cake, Corn Bread Puree, Tomatillo Relish), Daily Catch (redfish), and 2 Ice Plant Burgers (Grass Fed Georgia Beef, Bacon-Chive Aioli, L.T.O., House Pickle) with sides of fries & housemade ketchup:
I found that the shrimp & grits needed a hit of salt and asked for the shakers to be brought over (is this a pet peeve of anyone else? Assuming no one will need to salt/pepper their meal and leaving the shakers off the table?). After some seasoning, I enjoyed the grit cake and the large shrimp. The bite I got of Mario’s burger was quite good. The beef’s flavor reminded me of a backyard cookout, but elevated. My only nitpick was the subpar housemade pickle.
Our visit to The Ice Plant made for a fun evening with great cocktails and surprisingly good food. This will definitely be a regular St Augustine stop for me.