On a hot Florida summer day, also our 16th wedding anniversary, we took a drive down south on A1A to have dinner at The Reef. Having driven this state route between Jacksonville and St. Augustine numerous times, I consider getting to The Reef a treat in and of itself. A quick glance out of the car window and I am treated to some of the most scenic coastal views around the entire southeast United States. Pelicans flying overhead, waves crashing on the shore line, much of the road bordered by a coastal reserve––it’s a breath of fresh air to drive through so much nature at its absolute finest.
Besides Vilano Beach, The Reef is one of the very few eateries to stop at when enroute between Jax and the nation's oldest city. There’s only about one other place to dine (Cap’s), which requires a turn off of A1A heading toward the intracoastal, as well as a gas station and convenience mart. So naturally, The Reef is in quite an ideal location to catch all of the many passersby and tourists who are hungry and aching for a break from the car.
Pulling off of the coastal highway and into the sandy parking lot overlooking the dunes and straight out onto the Atlantic, it never really gets old to see such a sight. The ocean water was changing color quickly that afternoon, along with the abruptly changing weather. Then, gazing upon The Reef, one must not be fooled by its low-key and rough exterior. The weathered, gray board and batten structure's exterior provides a casual, laid back and beachy vibe; however, walking in was a different story. The interior is really a place much fancier than I expected. The hostess took us to our seats and we walked past tables adorned with cloth napkins and table cloths, and for a moment wearing my sundress, I didn’t know if I was dressed appropriately? Was I underdressed?
We were seated at our table outside, as requested, on the waterfront. The location: most ideal. Service was quite normal––no rush, and not too slow either. The views: priceless.
I quickly stopped worrying about what I was wearing once outside. As more people were seated, some were dressed up a bit, and some dressed very casual. We began our meal with drinks and a shrimp cocktail. Cheers to another year of marriage!
While sipping our drinks the weather turned very quickly. The skies darkened and a brief late afternoon Florida rain storm came upon us. The staff suggested we move inside before dinner and right as our meal was served it started pouring.
We watched the storm chase people off the beach from the window of our new candle-lit table. Our main courses were steaks with seasonal vegetables. The meal itself was a bit pricey to me for what we got but no real complaints at all. We ended with a very tiny vanilla ice cream scoop and a key lime pie tart to share for dessert. While sipping our coffees we witnessed the sky turn blue and clear up just in time to watch the sun go down.
While the restaurant was a little expensive in my view, the drive to get there was definitely worth it to pull over and enjoy a meal on the coast any day. And sometimes a restaurant experience actually isn’t about the food itself or how much we paid, or how good the meal was; it’s about the experience of getting there after sixteen years of marriage and dreaming of what’s to come next after that shared meal together.
All 2020 9/11 A1A Acrylic On Canvas Alan Roberts Al Carius Amanda Moon Art Amelia Island America Angeletti Cookies Angies Grom Angies Subs Another Broken Egg Cafe Appetizer Art Atlantic Beach Atlantic Ocean Autumnal Equinox Autumn In Florida BabylissPro Hair Straightener Bacon Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts Beach Boulevard Beach Diner Beach Diner Ponte Vedra Beach Beaches Art Fest Beaches At Vilano Beaches For Australia Beaches Go Green Beaches Green Market Beaches Museum Beaches Oktoberfest Beaches Town Center Beans Baking Series Beans Basement Bash Beans Best Award Winner Beans Coffee Shop Challenge Beans Recipes Beef Stew Before And After Beignets BEPREADY Black Friday Blue Angels Blue Bloods Blue Orchid Thai Cuisine Breakfast Review Breezy Coffee Shop Brewery Review Bryan Pieper Cafe Du Monde Cantina Louie Cat Cafe Celebration Celebration Florida Cell Phone Chaunies Coffee Truck Chicago Food Chicago Pizza Chili Recipe Chocolate Chip Cookies Christmas Decor Christmas In The South Christmas Pop Up Bar Christmas Tree Cinottis Bakery Jax Beach City Of Jacksonville Florida Special Events Civil War 2.0 Clover Coffee Coffee Plantation Cafe College Comfort Compass Corinne Crabtree Corona Coronavirus CoVid19 Crane Island Crock Pot Cross Country Cummer Cafe Review Cummer Museum Cummer Museum Of Art & Gardens Daily Activity Danny Reagan Daschund Daylight Savings Time Deck The Chairs Delicomb Dessert Dining In Atlantic Beach Dining In Jax Beach Dining In Ponte Vedra Beach Dining On The Water Dining Review Dining Review Vilano Beach Disney Springs Dog Days Of Summer Doggie Stroller Dog Life Donuts Driftwood Jax Beach Dunkin Donuts Easter Edens Leaf Naturals Eleven South Review Endless Summer Every Damn Day Fitness Facebook Faith Fall In Florida Family Traditions First Watch Floating Generation Florida Florida Cold Front Florida Cracker Kitchen Florida Winter Flowers Frank Reagan Grape & Grain Exchange Guy Fieri Hampton Inn Happy Holidays Happy New Year Hawkers Asian Street Fare Hemingway Holiday Holidays In Jax Beach Holidays In Neptune Beach Holly Berry Hotel Review Ice Cream Intracoastal Intuition Ale Works Review Ireland Isle Of Eight Flags Jacksonville Jacksonville Beach James Bond Jamie Reagan Jarboe Park Jarboe Park Christmas Tree Jax Beach Art Walk Jax Beach Coffee Shop Jax Beach Vintage Flea Market Jerusalem Jesus Jimmy Johns John Glaude Joy Key Largo Key West Key West Half Marathon Krispy Kreme Life Before Facebook Lifestyle Lime Bubly Love Lumi Bean Candles Manatee Massive Action Mayo Clinic Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Florida Mayo Clinic Pain Rehab Clinic Mayport Cats Metro Diner Mexican Food MFPMilestones Millennial Generation Minestrone Soup Mourning A Loss Muffins MyFitnessPal Nemo Park Neptune Beach Never Forget New Orleans New York City Nine Eleven NOLA Obese To Beast Oceanfront Dining Olivia Shore One Ocean Resort Orlando Overseas Highway Pain Rehab Clinic Palm Sunday Palm Valley Palm Valley Outdoors Bar And Grill Pasta Pasta Party Pastries Peanut Butter Bubbles Peterbrooke Chocolatier Petes Bar Petes Bar Thanksgiving Morning Gathering Pet Friendly Pet Loss Phit-n-Phat Phone Call Pink Lemonade Pollyanna Ponte Vedra Beach PRC Pumpkin Spice Race Expo Recipes Red Sauce Restaurant Review Ritas Jax Beach Riverside Rockaway Garden Routine Sago Coffee Jax San Marco San Marco Bookstore San Marco Town Square San Pablo Island Sea La Vie Jax Beach Seaside Sculpture Park Sea & Sky Jax Seinfeld September 11 Shamrock Shell World Sheltie Social Media Sous Chef Southern Grounds Southern Living Idea House Southern Swells Statue Of Liberty St Augustine St. Augustine St. Augustine Nights Of Lights Staycation St. Johns Town Center St Patricks Day Sugar Cookies Super Bowl Sunday Supper Club Take Out Dining Teresa Echols Thai Food Thankful The Boathouse The Caffeinated Cat The Dis The Mini Bar The Reach Resort Key West The Reef Time Savings To Do Downtown Jacksonville To Do In Celebration Florida To Do Jax Beach Tonys Turkey Trot Review Train Ride Twistee Treat Uber Ugly Cupcake & Muffinry Ulta Products Universal Endless Summer University Of North Florida Valentines Day Vilano Beach Vlogmas Volunteer V Pizza V Pizza Jax Beach Walt Disney World Weight Loss Weight Loss Success Weight Maintenance White Christmas Whit's Frozen Custard Whits Jax Beach Wicked Lick Williams Sonoma Winter Meals World War 19 World War II Year In Review YouTube