The Gourmet Grouper was born out of a fruitful business partnership between veteran seafood-market owners John Shuler and Jason Arteaga, along with Christina Monas. The three set out to create a curated supermarket utterly unlike mega-groceries—one that could provide shoppers with a tailored selection of high-quality meats, seafood, and drinks from both distant climes and local markets. "We wanted to build a grocery store that we would like to shop at," John told the Beaches Leader. Along with his childhood friend and business partner, Jason, he procures gourmet goods from his network of local and worldwide farmers, fishers, and food artisans. The result is a smorgasbord of upscale groceries that tempt shoppers with fine cheeses, dry-aged Montana beef, Gulf stone crabs, and Louisiana crawfish. The goods are ideal for planning an elegant dinner party. Seasonal potatoes and vegetables can accompany lobster tails or Chilean sea-bass filets alongside craft beers and fine wines. The market even has artisanal snacking covered with gourmet pickles crafted by local picklesmith Tim Baker, who locks the fresh veggies' flavor into delicious stasis with careful brining and mild witchcraft.
Latin House Grill has a Caribbean feel, from its food—goat stew, plantains, and shrimp soup—to the beach scene and palm trees painted on the restaurant's walls. For those who want to substitute the Caribbean for Jacksonville's west side, the eatery offers open-air seating on a breezy porch. Here, diners savor tropical lunches and dinners, rounded out by pours from the full bar.
Alonzo Boschulte remembers his own stage fright when he guides beginning students onto the dance floor. With years of training, he grew from an amateur to a certified ballroom teacher and professional competitor registered with the National Dance Council. At Savannah Ballroom Dancing, he strives to echo this journey by transforming total novices into confident twirlers.
Lessons in more than 15 varieties of Latin and ballroom dance occupy the school's floor space. With pupils ranging in age from 6 to older than 80, the instructors stress the importance of mixing private, group, and practice classes to expose everyone to different dance scenarios. They also laud the fitness benefits of learning to dance, which hones one's sense of rhythm and muscular strength more safely than being at the bottom of a vertical conga line.
Glossy, tall tables and funky decorative woodwork on the walls make Daniel's Restaurant & Lounge feel like a ritzy nightclub lounge. The tapas is just as distinctive as the decor—tastes from all over the globe come together in each small plate made with locally sourced ingredients. Feel free to try Greek lamb sliders alongside tandoori chicken skewers. Or sample miniature sushi tuna pizzas alongside tender carolina crab cakes. The portions are more substantial than your typical tapas joint, too. Still, if you want something other than small plates, Daniel's also offers a more straightforward selection of steaks and seafood, including their signature surf and turf, NY strip steak, and slow-cooked, herb roasted chicken. After dinner hours, Daniel's transforms into a nightclub and hosts DJs and dance parties.
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is celebrating a decade of musical performances with a season of world-class concerts such as the June 8 show featuring the Grammy-award-winning sextet eighth blackbird. Attendees may pick up their two general-admission tickets at will-call before settling into their seats to take in a performance more mellifluous and theatrical than a troupe of circus cats harmonizing in the shower. Marvel at displays of mental and physical dexterity as eighth blackbird’s members harmonize through six pieces, often playing from memory on flute, clarinet, viola, cello, and piano. The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival will continue through June 19, with a full schedule of similarly inspiring and enjoyable performances, including chamber ensembles, tango and flamenco, American roots music, and jazz.