On the Menu: Southern Flare

Story: David Moore

Call it fine dining with a Southern flare, if you’d like, or maybe Southern cuisine with an upscale twist.

How else to describe the delicious fare you’ll find at the Ivy House, one of Ocala’s newest restaurants? You’ll come expecting the fine Southern cooking that’s been served the last 20 years at the original Ivy House in nearby Williston. Think Southern Fried Shrimp, creamy grits, fried green tomatoes and its famous Baked Krispy Chicken.

That is still being served at the Ocala location, but you’ll also find freshly cut tender filets of high-grade beef, fresh vegetables and fresh seafood, and daily specials like stuffed flounder or Filet Oscar, a steak served with asparagus tips, crabmeat and béarnaise sauce.

You’ll come for the homemade desserts the Ivy House is known for, like its Creamy Peanut Butter Pie, Blueberry Torte and Coconut Cake, all made fresh daily. But you may also like the new Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee, Bananas Foster and the Pecan Tulipe, a homemade praline ice cream served with fresh strawberries, chocolate ganache in a homemade praline shell.

The unique combination of flavors and offerings is the result of Ivy House owner Marjorie Hale, affectionately known as Mimi, bringing in talented chef Rick Alabaugh, a big name in the local culinary scene. Alabaugh has served as executive chef at Juliette Falls, Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club and Country Club of Ocala. And now he’s chef at the Ivy House of Ocala.

Take a look at an exclusive recipe David nabbed from the Ivy House in May’s 2013 issue.

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