I finally made the short trip from Jacksonville to St. Augustine this weekend to try The Ice Plant for the first time! I was accompanied by my good friend and fellow blogger, Heather, of Outside the Den.
The restaurant and bar are housed in an old ice plant (hence the name) and as you ascend the staircase to the second floor, you immediately feel transformed to the turn of the century!
Don’t forget to look up or you will miss the massive original bridge crane on rails, once used to lift and load massive blocks of ice.
If you are with a small group, I suggest you dine at the bar instead of a regular table! That way you can see the mixologists in action, including the ice making!
We just went for drinks, or so we thought…
The Brooklynite ($8) was my favorite! I substituted agave for the honey and it was amazing!
Like spiked punch? You can order an entire punch bowl (Fish Camp punch or Just for Life punch) to share with your table! $50 (8 servings).
With everyone raving about their cocktails and awesome ice (and rightfully so), I just kept asking myself why have my friends failed to also mention the amazing menu here? I was so excited when I saw some vegetarian items printed and after a few questions to the bartender, I quickly discovered they actually have some extraordinary vegan options at The Ice Plant!
The veggie burger (sans the avocado dijonaise). ($11)
One of the best vegan burgers I have ever had! It’s accompanied by your choice of hand cut French fries (with homemade ketchup) or a house salad.
Mushroom Risotto with Tamari Broth (sans Parmesan cheese). ($13)
It’s not everyday you can find a place that can (or is willing to) “veganize” their risotto recipe. My complements to the Chef!
The appetizer section features Soft Pretzel Bread (sans truffle cheddar fondue, sub plain Dijon mustard). ($6) *Do not order these if you do not consume honey, other than the honey the pretzels are vegan.
There is also a Fall Market Salad, with Basil Vinaigrette ($7) on the menu, which we are saving for our next visit. With all of the quality farm to table vegetables they have on hand, I’m fairly certain the chef could even make you an off menu vegan special if you just asked.
The Ice Plant does not open until 5:00 p.m., so arrive early and tour the St. Augustine Distillery attached to the other side of the building. It’s free and very educational! (You also get to sample the Florida Mule made with their Florida Cane Vodka!)
They do however have the Florida Cane Vodka for sale! ($28 for one, or $50 for two) Made with locally grown sugarcane from KYV Farms!
Learn more about the St. Augustine Distillery on their Facebook page.