On the Menu: Ocala’s Romeo’s Restaurant and Juliette Falls

Story By: Kelli Fuqua Hart
Photography By: Chris Redd

Set between a stretch of luscious green fairways, preceded by a long, curling scenic drive, Romeo’s Restaurant & Juliette Falls is a perfect location for romantic dining, casual cuisine or a simple brunch with friends.

Romeo’s Restaurant at Juliette Falls is not just known for their award winning cuisine. The name Juliette Falls was inspired from a peaceful farming village called Juliette, one of the first English settlements in western Marion County. The origins date back to 1854, very near to the present site of Juliette Falls.

The name Romeo derived from the Romeo Rail-Line. Where the driving range is now, existed an intersection of the historic Juliette Line and the Romeo Line. On Saturdays, these two rail lines would meet and exchange livestock, dairy, produce and baked goods.

Today, Romeo’s Restaurant carries on this tradition by providing some of the finest cheeses, meats and produce to their dining patrons. Inside a gorgeous room with a view, guests can enjoy any one of the exquisite menu items Romeo’s offers.

Under the leadership of Chef Mark Cressman, Romeo’s Restaurant is undergoing a spectacular transformation. While continuing to serve menu favorites, Cressman is adding fresh items that are unique in flavor and sure to please the palate.

One of Romeo’s signature dishes is their fresh Atlantic Cod. Cressman begins with a foundation of vibrant rice pilaf, blanketed with oven-roasted beefsteak tomatoes and topped off with a bright white, fresh portion of oven-broiled Atlantic Cod.

Like a knife through butter, your fork will melt through this tender fish filet. Prepared in white wine and seasoned with lemon and garlic, the aroma and the flavor are a ten. The large, ripe tomatoes burst with flavor and the pilaf adds just the right touch to the sensational dish.

Another mouth-watering dish is Romeo’s Sauteed Lemon Chicken. Cressman sautes twin chicken breasts until they are perfectly tender and juicy. The chicken is arranged over rice pilaf and smothered in a delicious blend of white wine sauce, artichoke, mushrooms and hand-picked capers.

Cressman uses only the finest ingredients in his dishes. Capers, for example, although not new to the culinary world, are sometimes dismissed by chefs because they are an expense. Growing capers is arduous. Because of their size and how delicate they are, capers must only be harvested by hand. Cressman understands the uniqueness of such fine ingredients and does not ignore the intricate details of each of his dishes.

In addition to their posh dining options, including entrees such as Cracker Encrusted Haddock, Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna, Chicken Francaise and their Romeo’s Signature Prime Rib, guests can choose from an All Day Menu and, if you’re an early bird, a Breakfast Menu.

Romeo’s All Day Menu is available from 11 am until close. This extensive menu includes familiar favorites such as chicken wings, flatbreads, a classic club sandwich, burgers, fish and chips, a New York Style Rueben and much, much more.

Romeo’s All Day Menu offers classic, familiar items but they are all still prepared with the same precision and attention that Cressman and his staff give to the fine dining entrees.

Romeo’s burgers are handmade, thick and juicy, served on fresh bread. Likewise, the flatbreads are embellished with freshly grated cheeses, sliced fresh veggies and tender, marinated meats. From the salads to the sandwiches, everything Romeo’s offers is fresh, made to order and delicious.

For those with an early tee-time, or those wanting to start the day with a delicious breakfast, Romeo’s Restaurant offers a diverse morning menu ranging from healthy veggie omelet options to hot, fluffy buttermilk pancakes dripping with sweet maple syrup.

Breakfast selections also include maple and cinnamon batter-dipped french toast, a piled-high breakfast sandwich on your choice of bread or, what Romeo’s calls their Dog Bowl, which includes three eggs, layered with home fries, chorizo sausage, crisp bacon, onions, peppers and finished off with Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese. It’s a heavenly combination of the morning’s finest foods.

No matter the time of day or the caliber of the event, Romeo’s Restaurant at Juliette Falls offers a complete menu to celebrate the occasions. And not only does Juliette Falls live by the mission of providing its members and guests with a friendly, professional atmosphere in an environment of quality and service, but Romeo’s Restaurant does as well.

With an open floor plan, guests can enjoy the overall culinary experience while being confident in the cleanliness and technology of the kitchen. Inside the dining space, as the warm sun peaks through the surrounding windows, guests can relax and enjoy the many amenities Romeo’s has to offer. From the large, tropical fish aquarium  and live, green foliage to the many fabrics and textures that frame the room, diners will be cozy and comfortable in an elegant, quaint setting.

On cool days, Romeo’s has a roaring fireplace to keep their guests warm. On game days, there are two large flatscreen televisions to help guests keep up with the score. And on any given day, guests can enjoy their meal outside on the canopied lanai.

When is comes to quality, scenery and professionalism, Romeo’s Restaurant at Juliette Falls has the entire package. From culinary cuisine and luxurious living to the pristine course and the historic phosphate sites that have been preserved and incorporated into that course, it’s hard to top the experience and quality Romeo’s Restaurant at Juliette Falls has to offer.


Chef Mark Cressman

Cressman started working in the restaurant industry at 15 years old at River Ridge Resort, located on Lake Ontario, New York. He started out as a dishwasher and later got moved up to salad / pantry area where Cressman spent 3 years making dressings, desserts and salads. Soon, he was promoted to saute cook. There, he spent 3 years preparing multi-pan dishes for high-volume dinner service. Cressman enrolled in a culinary hospitality and tourism program for 2 years. He moved to Florida in 2006, where he started working in Citrus Hills. He worked there for 3 years leading all areas of the kitchen. Cressman left for brief time working at Juliette Falls, but later returned as sous chef. He ran daily kitchen operations for almost 4 years. Cressman has a passion for cooking and loves the high temp pace the industry brings.

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