Fine Dining In An Historic Setting

The Rose Plantation in Fruitland Park offers an epicurean “experience” like no other in Central Florida

Poised like a regal queen among acres of towering oaks and lush landscaping, the elegant and historic Rose Plantation offers a serene place for respite. As one enters the century-old lakefront mansion, which is now an upscale boutique restaurant, the ambiance and décor welcome you to revisit an era of gentility and grace. 

The Plantation, on Fountain Lake in Fruitland Park, was established in 1917 by Massachusetts newspaper publisher William Dwight as a winter retreat in which to enjoy halcyon days amid the property’s citrus groves. He and his wife Minnie were famous for their galas, socials and garden parties, including during the avant-garde days of the Roaring ‘20s. 

The venue is now owned by David and Diana Andrews, who have lovingly preserved the mystique and charm of the residence while incorporating modern amenities such as a commercial kitchen. The eatery offers palate-pleasing meals for lunch and dinner and serves as a social gathering place for such events as Rhythm and Hues on Wednesdays and Happy Half Hour on Tuesday and Thursdays. Patrons also may indulge in The Rose Plantation 3 Course Prix Fixe Menu and specially designed monthly wine dinners.

Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, pianist Joe Mankowski tickles the ivories of the grand piano in the main room, creating a perfect backdrop for enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine. 

David Andrews is an affable host who enjoys sharing the history of the Rose Plantation. 

“We have a plaque here on the front of the house that designates it as an historic place,” he shares during a tour that includes the ultra-elegant former private study of Minnie Dwight, which now serves as an intimate private dining area. 

Seating also is available in the expansive main dining room, on two climate-controlled porches with vista views of the property and lake, or in three gazebos nestled among the greenery. 

Andrews is quick to credit his wife Diana for the elegant décor and says that guests relish coming there for the beauty, the menu and the genteel aura. 

“People come here for a dining experience,” Andrews offers. “There are many places that have good food, but where else do you get the setting, the ambiance, the history, the service and the food quality? That’s who we are. We create that package. Our goal is that if people want to talk about us, they would say we are the only fine dining period restaurant in Central Florida.”

The Rose Plantation

200 Rose Ave.

Fruitland Park

(352) 805-4340

www.theroseplantation.com

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