Collage Fine Dining in St. Augustine

Aristotle is credited with saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.”   Last weekend, I experienced the bliss of a meal whose individual parts are carefully arranged to be enjoyed as one splendid whole.  Our dinner was unhurried, the staff attentive and unobtrusive, and the food exceptionally flavorful and fresh.  I was introduced to the artful, global dining experience of Collage restaurant in St. Augustine.

It’s typical for restaurants to start the evening with a basket of warm bread.  Collage elevates this tradition with the addition of a roasted bulb of garlic which, when spread on the bread and drizzled with basil-infused olive oil, hints at the culinary adventure ahead.  We had hoped to find a romantic restaurant to celebrate our anniversary… before even ordering dinner I knew we found one!

My hubby and I opted to start our evening with Tenderloin Bruschetta ($9).  It proved to be a little messy to eat, but we each tried one so we laughed about it together.  A bite of the tender meat revealed it to be perfectly seasoned.  The horseradish cream I drizzled on top was well balanced; the smoked tomato and bacon relish topping the bruschetta was tasty… but together!  A masterpiece!

Our server brushed the table free of crumbs after the bread course, refolded my napkin as soon as I got up, and generally went the extra mile to make our romantic dinner an experience.  We were completely unrushed- no need to place your dinner request alongside the app here.  It’s an evening to enjoy and the staff encourages you to linger over each course.  These special touches alongside delicious food earn Collage the status of finest dining experience in St. Augustine- a city of many amazing restaurants

Next we shared the Smoked Salmon Salad special ($9).  Our server plated it on two separate plates; no reaching across the table or fighting over the house-smoked salmon!  {Umm… not that I’ve ever swiped my hubby’s food or anything…}

A pleasant surprise awaited us between the salad course & entree.  We were served palate cleansing mango sorbets!  Mine was refreshing but more than that, it was another special touch to set our evening at Collage apart.

I love dining with my man.  We always pick our two favorite items on the menu and share tastes.  After 14 years of marriage, it’s usually easy for us to predict what the other is going to order.  Not this time!  We vascillated between Hangar Steak with port wine reduction, Grouper, Lamb, and their popular homemade Lobster Ravioli.  Check out Collage’s Menu and see how many other favorites you’d have!

Chris decided on the Fresh Black Grouper Filet ($32)- their menu describes it as “Lightly coated in a parmesan, pecan & brown sugar crust then baked.  Finished with a buerre blanc.”  Chris described it as, “Mmmmm.  Wow.” ;)

The Lamb Chops with Sherry Green Peppercorn Sauce ($34) were my choice before we even arrived.  I’d heard from my friend Kim, who also introduced me to Barley Republic, that Collage’s lamb was delish.  She was right.  My favorite part of the dish was actually the green peppercorn sauce.  I’ve never had a green peppercorn before but I adore peppers in general.  These were tender and much more mild than a dried, black peppercorn.  I love new food experiences!  But the peppercorns weren’t my only new food experience that night…

I tried foie gras.  I can’t decide whether that’s bragging rights or confession- maybe a little of both.

I wouldn’t have ordered something this… umm… special just anywhere.  I wanted to try it where I knew it would be fresh and well-prepared.  I was quite surprised- it was rich, buttery and flavorful!  The way it was prepared made it a little crisp on the outside- a nice contrast to the velvety texture otherwise.  I don’t think I’ll start making Foie Gras Omelettes, pates or creme brulees, but I did enjoy trying it.  That’s one more thing off my culinary bucket list!

Speaking of trying new things- I’m also excited to try the owner’s latest restaurant venture- Black Fly Restaurant just over the Bridge of Lions.  If it offers even a fraction of the service and beautiful, memorable food we enjoyed during our evening at Collage, I’m certain it will be great.

Collage presented one creative, memorable experience after another.  {View Collage video review here.}  Chef Alex and the team have taken their craft and elevated it to an art form.  Bon Appetit!

Collage
60 Hypolita Street
829-0055
Reservations are suggested for dinner, which is served daily from 5:30 p.m.

Collage on Urbanspoon

Collage was a delightful, memorable experience.  We were guests for dinner but all comments are my own.

2 comments


  • Will be dining in January 2015 and can’t wait to enjoy the event. Savoring every word you have written!

    June 19, 2014
    • You’ll love it! Michael has put together an amazing team. Please tell me how it goes! ~Allie O.

      June 23, 2014

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