The King and Prince Golf and Beach Resort rests on the shores of St. Simons Island, one of Georgia’s famed Golden Isles. The name comes from the colorful reflection of the sun on lowland Spartina or marsh grass. If you’re lucky to catch the view at sunrise and sunset, the amber glow sparkles like a chest of jewels.
AOL Travel ranked St. Simons one of the ten best US islands and the King and Prince is considered the island’s finest lodging choice and only beachfront hotel. Multi-generational families have been returning to vacation here for decades.
While the resort, build in 1935, is listed on the Historic Hotels of America registry, a hotel can’t rest on its laurels. So, just like the shifting tides on the barrier island, the King and Prince rolls with change. About a year ago Vinny D’Agostino became the resort’s new food and beverage Director and shall we say, he rocked the boat. His passion for top of the line local ingredients resulted in significant improvements to the menu. Only Georgia shrimp (which are far healthier and sweeter than imported shrimp) are used in the new rendition of Shrimp and Grits with Tasso sauce. The difference in taste is truly notable.
Another example of D’Agostino’s love of Georgia culinary fare are the seasonally produced cheeses like Aztec Cheddar, a Canadian style layered cheddar, Colby cheese laced with Vidalia onions, chives, and red pepper from Flat Creek Lodge, a Swainsboro Georgia creamery. Then, there are peaches From Lane Orchards and honey from Savannah Bee Company and chocolates from Sugar Marsh Cottage.
D’Agostino shook up the drink menu as well. New coffee machines were placed in guest rooms and Prohibition style cocktails are now stirred at the bar. These libations incorporate fresh juice (from King and Prince fruit trees when possible) plus Southern Corn Whiskey, Plantation Vodka, or Southern Gin by 13th Colony Distilleries in Americus Georgia. In addition, you may ask and perhaps be lucky enough to taste Vinny D’Agostino’s house made limoncello. See his recipe at the end of this article.
Recently, another step in the culinary renaissance at the King and Prince took place. Jeff Kaplan arrived as the new Executive Chef. His career spans many renowned hotels, restaurant and resorts from New York to Miami. He grew up in family catering and deli restaurants, so his transition into the kitchen was his destiny. One of his first positions was under the direction and watchful eye of Chef Joe Eisenbuchner (formerly of Le Cirque, NYC). The twenty-five year journey took him to highly respected establishments that included The Inn at Great Neck (Long Island), The White Elephant Resort (Nantucket), and Sawgrass Marriot Golf Resort and Spa (Ponte Vedra Beach).
Kaplan’s philosophy and passion combine ‘nature and nurture’ embracing the Farm to Table Movement. This strong connection only enhances D’Agostino’s insistence on fresh local foods. Together this team will truly deliver meals fit for a king, prince and princess. But, you don’t have to be royalty to dine at the King and Prince; however, you will be treated that way.