Need a quick getaway from Orlando? Try Hammock Beach Resort.
Fully 50 percent of Hammock Beach Resort's summer visitors are from the Orlando area about 90 minutes south. So who was I turn down a night's stay and a seven-course dinner? Here's what I found.
Hammock Beach Resort is an enormous getaway at the end of an elusive sliver of Palm Coast. It has a bunch of elements: a 20-room hotel called The Lodge, 305 one- to four-bedroom condo-style suites in the main building, a lazy river, quiet and active outdoor pools, a beautiful indoor pool and even a putt-putt course.
Hammock Beach Resort suffered damage during Hurricane Matthew awhile back and is in the process of rebuilding and renovating. The Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course will reopen for golfing in October, and the Atlantic Grille restaurant is up and running. Hungry guests will also find a gastropub, a sushi bar a grill, a pool cafe and a lobby coffee bar that morphs into a bar-bar later in the day. Did I mention free bicycle rentals? You'll need the two-wheelers after all that dining.
Here are some highlights from a multicourse media dinner with wine pairings. Please note that actual portion sizes are much larger. With seven courses -- after that shellfish platter pictured above -- mini plates were plenty for us.
Below, clockwise from top left, are macadamia-crusted corvina, a seared scallop with horseradish-tomato confit (delicious, but blurry photo; argh), warm chocolate "falling cake" with chantilly cream and raspberry sauce, a salad of spiralized vegetables, charred octopus with sunchoke Bariguoule (essentially a warm salad with a wine sauce), and a pineapple mojito.
The food was quite good, and the location is easy to get to assuming I-4 is behaving during your drive. I'd go back.