Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Sautéed Chicken with Shallot-Herb Vinaigrette

Sautéed Chicken with Shallot-Herb Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2/3 cup grated shallots (about 5)
  • 4 teaspoons plus 7 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
  • 2 cups minced shallots (about 10)
  • 1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Recipe Preparation

  • Place chicken, grated shallots and 4 teaspoons oil in large bowl; toss. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours.

  • Bring 1/3 cup minced shallots, vinegar and 2 tablespoons water to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until shallots are soft, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in 5 tablespoons oil, parsley, cilantro, honey and 2 tablespoons water. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining minced shallots; sauté about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, add chicken to skillet; sauté until cooked through, adding more oil if necessary, about 6 minutes per side.

  • Transfer chicken to cutting board. Cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Divide chicken among 6 plates. Sprinkle with sautéed shallots. Bring sauce to simmer. Spoon over chicken and serve.

Reviews Section

Sautéed Chicken with Shallot-Herb Vinaigrette - Recipes

Photo courtesy of Lauren di Matteo

Sunday night is a time to relax with family and friends, take stock, and steel yourself for the week. Learn about nine Los Angeles restaurants that serve special prix fixe menus on Sunday afternoons and nights, in many cases dialing up the value in an effort to provide a gateway drug for future meals. [Belcampo photo courtesy of Lauren di Matteo]

Numbers on the map correspond to listings below and appear in alphabetical order instead of order of preference.

At the Santa Monica branch of Belcampo, the vertically integrated meat company from Anya Fernald and Todd Robinson, you’ll find a weekly three-course prix fixe Home Cooked Sunday Supper menu for $35 per person. Head Chef Caleb Orth offers at least three choices per course, with the option to upgrade to steak frites (butcher’s choice) for an $8 supplement.

STARTER – CHOICE OF ONE
• BEEF TARTARE: cornichons, shallot, citrus greens, Belcampo yolk, grilled bread
• FRENCH DIP ECLAIR: roast beef, pate a choux, horseradish, bone broth jus
• FRILLY MUSTARD GREEN SALAD: cucumber, shaved carrot, sherry vinaigrette

ENTREE – CHOICE OF ONE
• GRILLED HALF CHICKEN: crispy farro, pomegranate, pickled grapes, sungold tomatoes, Meyer lemon vinaigrette
• LINGUINE BOLOGNESE: house pasta, guanciale, parmesan, parsley
• BELCAMPO BURGER: 1/2 lb grass-fed beef patty, caramelized onions, butter lettuce, house sauce, fries

DESSERT – CHOICE OF ONE
• CITRUS OLIVE OIL CAKE: citrus glaze, candied citrus, vanilla bean ice cream
• GOAT CHEESECAKE: Graham cracker crumble, creme fraiche, strawberries, pistachio
• DARK CHOCOLATE BUDINO: salted caramel, chantilly cream, hazelnut, olive oil


Chef-owner Tim Carey and business partner Santos Uy have created a wine-friendly seafood restaurant in Old Pasadena. Their three-course, $35, prix fixe menu is available starting at 5:30 p.m. A recent menu consisted of the following dishes:

• Early Fall Salad: apple, pomegranate, mustard frill, pistachio, pecorino, golden balsamic
• NZ King Salmon, zucchini, tomato, squash, salsa amarilla OR
Barramundi, delicata squash, kale, dandelion greens, tarragon fumet, prosciutto
• Pot de Crème, butterscotch, cajeta

Photo courtesy of Matt Duggan

Suzanne Goin literally wrote the book on Sunday Suppers. Her book with Teri Gelber – Sunday Suppers at Lucques: Seasonal Recipes From Market to Table – captured some favorite recipes from her family-style meals on Melrose, which now costs $52 per person. The seasonal menu changes weekly and typically includes a set starter and dessert and choice of entree. Their December 10 menu consisted of the following:

• wild mushroom toast with Taleggio, grilled torpedo onions and hazelnuts

• pan-roasted skate with kong’s sprouting cauliflower, anchovy butter and Meyer lemon OR
grilled hanger steak with winter squash pudding, goat cheese and horseradish gremolata

• Kir Royale vacherin with cassis sorbet and a splash of Champagne

Executive Chefs and Co-Owners D. Brandon Walker, Jill Davie, and Jorge Rivas now run Mar Vista’s most ambitious restaurant. Their Sunday Supper menu changes weekly and costs $35 per person.

The most recent Sunday Supper menu is as follows:

• HEIRLOOM TOMATO BISQUE: burrata, crunchy olives, fried sunchokes
• HOPE RANCH MUSSELS: pearl pasta, saffron carrot ginger sauce
• PECAN PIE: vanilla ice cream, spiced Chantilly cream

Bonus: children 12 and under eat for free on Sunday nights from the Kids Menu.

A blue and white arrow points the way to Nook Bistro in the back corner of a West LA strip mall. Chef Andy Zavala aims to “amaze diners” three courses for $25. The menu changes weekly and included the following on December 10:

• FIRST: Lentil Salad with Feta, Carrot, Roasted Shallot, Herb Vinaigrette
• THEN: Red Wine Braised Beef Shoulder, Sweet Potato Puree, Kale, Mustard Crema
• AND: Deconstructed Cheesecake, Graham Cracker Crumbs, Macerated Berries

Photo courtesy of Ocean Prime

At Ocean Prime, a seafood- and steak-leaning restaurant from Cameron Mitchell, chef Geoff Baumberger presents Surf & Turf Sundays. Each three-course meal costs $60 and includes a choice of starter, side, surf, and 8-ounce filet mignon.

First Course Options:
• French onion soup
• Caesar salad
• house salad

Surf Selections:
• shrimp scampi with white wine garlic sauce
• crab cake with succotash and corn emulsion
• sea scallops with seared spinach and cabernet jus

Side Dish Selections:
•jalapeño au gratin
• creamy whipped potatoes
• truffle mac & cheese
• steamed broccoli
• chophouse corn
• creamed spinach

Photo courtesy of The Pikey

At The Pikey, the British-inflected Hollywood restaurant from Jared Meisler and Sean MacPherson, executive chef Jack Hotchkin serves Sunday roast starting at 3:30 p.m. Each $22 plate includes stuffing, roasted Potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.

• Roast Short Rib with Beets & Horseradish Cream
• Slow-Roasted Pork Belly with Caramelized Apples & Parsnips

SOCA, the globally inspired Sherman Oaks, CAlifornia from Boneyard Bistro chef-owner Aaron Robins, offers a three-course, $36 menu from 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Select bottles of wine are half-price. The menu changes weekly and might star herb-roasted half chicken or petite New York steak served with sautéed wild mushroom demi-glace. Here’s a recent edition, with two choices for each course:

START
• Aviator Caesar: hearts of romaine, house-made croutons, raw egg garlic anchovy dressing
• Laundry Salad: arugula & frisée, fennel, onion, goat cheese, pears, walnuts, tarragon vinaigrette, orange zest

ENTREE
• Al Pastor Chicken Breast: Spanish fried rice, avocado salad, guajillo sauce
• Petite New York: sautéed wild mushroom demi, mashed potatoes, heirloom carrots

DESSERT
• Triple Chocolate Cake: Valrhona chocolate mousse, chocolate Devil’s food, chocolate glaze
• P.O.G. Pavlova: passion fruit pate de fruit, orange curd, meringue, guava sorbet

Photo courtesy of Wilshire Restaurant

Now that Brendan Collins is executive chef after closing Birch, he’s brought a British-style Sunday Roast to Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica. From 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., he serves three different main courses with a whopping seven trimmings: Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, roast potatoes, cauliflower & cheese, gravy, and Yorkshire pudding.

• Roast Beef, horseradish cream ($27/person)
• Roast Half-Chicken, sage and onion stuffing ($24/person)
• British-Style Veggies in the Hole ($16/person)


What's for Dinner? 24 Weeknight Dinner Recipes Perfect for July

Summer is the time of year when produce really gets to shine. Between Fourth of July parties, graduation celebrations, backyard barbecues, and weekend getaways, July is one of the best months for delicious food. While most of your summer weekends are bound to be full of platters of grilled meat and glorious sheet cakes, you may want something a little lighter&mdashand definitely something quicker&mdashduring the week. Here, we're sharing 24 dinner ideas (one for every weeknight this month!), and it all starts off with the Chicken Bolognese with Tagliatelle that's pictured here.

Meatless Monday isn't just for vegetarians. Join in if you want to serve something a little healthier (but still totally tasty) or just try something different one night out of the week. We're sharing recipes that make the most of seasonal vegetables like Grilled-Eggplant Parmesan and Pressure-Cooker Corn Risotto.

Nothing says summer like seafood. Sea Scallops Over Shallot-Herb Pasta is a genius, crowd-friendly way to serve fish and pasta together. Plus, it doesn't hurt that it looks stunning, either. Another seasonal star that just so happens to cook in only 25 minutes is Grilled Whole Fish with Lemon and Thyme. Serve with this colorful Tomato-Beet Salad for a stunning, colorful dinner.

For nights when you want a comfort food dinner recipe, make an inspired pasta dish. Gnocchi with Peas and Egg or Bucatini with Roasted and Fresh Tomatoes are so much better than spaghetti covered in marinara sauce&mdashyet they're both super simple to make. Bonus: Both dishes take under one hour to prepare, so they're great on busy nights.

Stick to our recipe schedule, or mix it up based on what ingredients you're craving and have in the pantry. These family-friendly dinner recipes are sure to please no matter when or where you serve them.


Seafood Recipes That Are Great Options for Entertaining

Serve seafood at your next meal that brings together hungry friends and family, and make it the appealing focus of the shared table. Why should you serve snappingly fresh fish, like the plump fillets of sautéed seabass pictured here, and crustaceans, both freshwater and salt? There are two compelling reasons: They are delicious, and they are good for us.

But there are many more reasons to entertain with these proteins: Fish and shellfish tend to sit more lightly in our tummies than their land-based, grazing brethren because their proteins are easier to digest&mdashwe rise lighter from a fishy table. Wild-caught mollusks and fish tend to be seasonal, and that's especially true if you like to shop locally and sustainably. There is something intrinsically satisfying and celebratory in knowing that you are enjoying a food whose season is fleeting. And for farmed fare (like salmon and branzino), it is reassuring to know that your favorite way of preparing them is unaffected by the time of year.

Visiting your local seafood and farmers' market is always an education in what is available locally (and when), and instant connectivity makes checking the sustainability of a particular catch or briny crop a cinch. If that's not an option for you, we recommend Monterrey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch, to check on what seafood options are most sustainable at your local grocery store.

From a refreshing salad of raw Arctic char "cooked" simply in citrus juice and grilled oysters drenched in brown butter the most simple, seared fillets of sole and a satisfyingly ample pot pie of salmon, here are our top pescatarian picks to feed a crowd deliciously.


Jonathan's Worldly Eats: Confessions of a Foodie - Sticks & Stones - Greensboro, North Carolina

Pizza is the essence of the gods. Originally created by a humble baker in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy and later perfected by Frank Pepe pizza is one of the most appetizing and consequently, indispensible foods on Earth. It is a common-denominator that is enjoyed world over, regardless of age, race, sex, or religion. But despite its popularity, people generally eat abominable pizza pies. Whether it has sixteen different types of cheese-product exuding from the crust or was drowned in some red shellac-like excuse for sauce made from something that used to resemble a tomato: good pizza has become an elusive delight. The key to a proper pizza is in the crust. It has to have character, to crack like glass when you bite down into it and then culminate in a chewy, pillowy center. Such a crust comes from quality grains, patience in the fermenting process, and most importantly: really hot and really dry, wood or coal fueled ovens. Big pizzeria chains such as Pizza Hut and even the local guys like Tate Street’s New York Pizza use electric or gas ovens that create pedestrian, greasy, and doughy pies which I find impossible to enjoy. Jaded by the tomato pies of Pepe’s and Rome’s Pizzeria Baffetto, I went searching for a slice of heaven in the Gate City and miraculously found a pizzeria with rock-solid fare.

Sticks and Stones Clay Oven Pizza succeeds where so many other eating establishments fail. They have masterfully taken traditional peasant dishes of Italy and infused them with modern flare and elegance without being cliché or over-the-top. In addition, their strong dedication to natural ingredients from local farms and dairies paired with a true devotion to producing the best possible cuisine make dining at their Walker Avenue restaurant an indulgence. Upon first glance of Sticks and Stones seasonal menu, one will notice that each dish has an ingredient inspired name. Delicious and unique options range from classic starters such as the “Gold” (the richest and creamiest mozzarella I have ever had, fried and served with marinated tomatoes and homemade pesto) to more exotic options like the “Rescue Blues” (rosemary garlic fries) and “Bar Lights” (marinated roasted local vegetables with olives, cured meats, and cheeses). The “Peaceful Valley” salad (local organic greens, sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, toasted pumpkin and flax seeds, served with a homemade roasted shallot & herb vinaigrette) is exciting enough to make even a carnivore like me cave in and enjoy raw vegetables.

The pizza menu further demonstrates the chef’s artistry and talent of triumphing over culinary risks when paring unconventional ingredients. The “Sweet Carolina” is a pork lover’s dream with Cane Creek Farm’s all natural sweet Italian sausage complemented with roasted chili peppers, spinach, mozzarella, fresh ricotta, parmesan, and a sauce of crushed local tomatoes. The “Mockingbirdsing” is another stunning example of ingredient coupling with its roasted Ashley Farms Chicken and sautéed fennel which is further enhanced with fresh tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, and gorgonzola. For those looking for a slightly more placid pie, Sticks and Stone’s “To be the One” is a gorgeous cheese pizza topped with fresh basil. It is simple, fresh, and unforgettable.

Sticks and Stones’ starters, salads, pizzas, and desserts exemplify stellar Italian dining. Their recognition of the importance of eating and buying sustainable, local, and organic foods further adorns this hidden Greensboro gem. To boot, they also boast an extensive beer and wine menu, all at reasonable prices. Put the Dominos triple layered, taco lovers, hot dog and cheese stuffed crust, cookie dough topped pizza down and head to Sticks and Stones to atone for your pizza sins.

Sticks & Stones
2200 Walker Avenue
Greensboro, North Carolina 27403
336.275.0220


Sautéed Chicken with Shallot-Herb Vinaigrette - Recipes

Restaurant Hours:
Dinner:
Wednesday- Sunday 4:30-9pm
Happy Hour:
Wednesday-Friday 3:30-5:30pm
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays

A 4% surcharge will be added to all Guest checks to help cover increasing costs and in support of the recent increases to minimum wage and benefits for our dedicated Team Members.

Main
$4 Select Draft Beer $5 House Wine $5 Sangria (white or red) $6 Bartender's Choice Cocktail
crispy brussel sprouts
pancetta, parmesan, balsamic drizzle
$6.95
salade maison
arugula, bleu cheese, toasted walnuts, heirloom tomato, cucumber, red onion, champagne vinaigrette
$6.95
caprese flatbread 1/2
fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, pesto oil, lemon arugula, balsamic drizzle
$6.95
calamari
panko crusted calamari strips, lemon-caper aioli
$6.95
wagyu beef slider
garlic aioli, onion-bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, brioche, frites
$6.95
flat iron
chimichurri, frites
$16.95

A 4% surcharge will be added to all Guest checks to help cover increasing costs and in support of the recent increases to minimum wage and benefits for our dedicated Team Members.

Kids Menu (12 And Under)
Mac and Cheese $8.95
Chicken Tenders $8.95
Cheeseburger $8.95
Cheese Flatbread

A 4% surcharge will be added to all guest checks to help cover increasing costs and in our support of the recent increases to minimum wage and benefits for our dedicated team members

Dessert
Coconut Crème Brûlée
fries berries
$10.95
Twisted Elvis
fresh banana bread, caramelized bananas, buttered rum, vanilla bean ice cream
$10.95
Mud Pie
coffee ice cream, oreo crust, almond brittle, chocolate ganache
$10.95
Tiramisu
ladyfingers, mascarpone, toasted hazelnut, salted caramel
$10.95
Chef's Selection of Sorbet
seasonal fruit, waffle nest
$10.95

A 4% surcharge will be added to all Guest checks to help cover increasing costs and in support of the recent increases to minimum wage and benefits for our dedicated Team Members. // gf = gluten free v = vegetarian gf*, v* = can be prepared gluten free or vegetarian upon request.

SOUP & SALAD
French Onion Soup
gratineé gruyere, ciabatta
$10.95
Island Prime's Lobster Bisque
brioche crouton
$15.95
Salade Maison
arugula, bleu cheese, toasted walnuts, heirloom tomato, cucumber, red onion, champagne vinaigrette
$10.95
BO beau Beet
panko herbed goat cheese, watercress, spinach, arugula, spicy pistachios, white balsamic
$12.95
Caesar
hearts of romaine, shaved parmesan, brioche croutons
$11.95
SHAREABLES
Calamari
panko crusted calamari strips, lemon-caper aioli
$15.95
Crispy Brussel Sprouts
pancetta, parmesan, balsamic drizzle
$14.95
Garlic Shrimp
fresh herbs, shallots, toasted ciabatta
$14.95
Escargot
shallot herb butter, puffed pastry
$14.95
FLATBREAD
Caprese
fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, pesto oil, lemon arugula, balsamic
$11.95
Pancetta
herb goat cheese, caramelized onion, tomato jam, fresh herbs
$13.95
Smoked Salmon
herb crème, capers, red onion, garlic chips
$13.95
BISTRO CLASSICS
Mary's Smoked Chicken
smashed fingerling potatoes, haricot verts, horseradish vinaigrette
$26.95
Pork Shank
romesco, caramelized onion-bacon mash
$31.95
Burger Royale with Cheese
wagyu beef, gruyere, onion-bacon jam, frites, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli, brioche
$17.95
Prime Steak Frites
flat iron, bleu cheese butter, frites
$32.95
Prime New York
jalapeno-fresno chili chimichurri, herb potatoes, charred asparagus
$37.95
MOULES
Mariniéres
white wine, shallots, garlic, ciabatta
$16.95
Ginger-Lemongrass
bamboo shoots, scallions, coconut cream, ciabatta
$17.95
Chipotle Cream
pancetta, tomato, cilantro, ciabatta
$17.95
Pasta
Artichoke Bucatini
capers, sun dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, basil, shallots, garlic butter, ciabatta
$22.95
Prawn Pappardelle
pesto cream, charred asparagus, roasted cherry tomatoes, ciabatta
$27.95
Spinach Gnocchi
spring peas, prosciutto, herb cream, ciabatta
$24.95
SEAFOOD
Chef Deb's Sesame Ahi
forbidden rice, mango-pineapple salsa, soy-ginger, wasabi
$32.95
Roasted Salmon
parsnip puree, sautéed patty pan squash, cherry tomatoes
$29.95
Whole Crispy White Fish
sea beans, roasted pearl onions, saffron rice, red chili vinaigrette
$34.95
Spanish Paella
mussels, shrimp, calamari, whitefish, pancetta, spanish peas, chipotle aioli, basmati rice
$32.95

Sign up with our e-Cuisine Club and stay informed on
"what's cook'n" at the Cohn Family of Restaurants.


Jonathan's Worldly Eats: Confessions of a Foodie - Sticks & Stones - Greensboro, North Carolina

Pizza is the essence of the gods. Originally created by a humble baker in honor of Queen Margherita of Savoy and later perfected by Frank Pepe pizza is one of the most appetizing and consequently, indispensible foods on Earth. It is a common-denominator that is enjoyed world over, regardless of age, race, sex, or religion. But despite its popularity, people generally eat abominable pizza pies. Whether it has sixteen different types of cheese-product exuding from the crust or was drowned in some red shellac-like excuse for sauce made from something that used to resemble a tomato: good pizza has become an elusive delight. The key to a proper pizza is in the crust. It has to have character, to crack like glass when you bite down into it and then culminate in a chewy, pillowy center. Such a crust comes from quality grains, patience in the fermenting process, and most importantly: really hot and really dry, wood or coal fueled ovens. Big pizzeria chains such as Pizza Hut and even the local guys like Tate Street’s New York Pizza use electric or gas ovens that create pedestrian, greasy, and doughy pies which I find impossible to enjoy. Jaded by the tomato pies of Pepe’s and Rome’s Pizzeria Baffetto, I went searching for a slice of heaven in the Gate City and miraculously found a pizzeria with rock-solid fare.

Sticks and Stones Clay Oven Pizza succeeds where so many other eating establishments fail. They have masterfully taken traditional peasant dishes of Italy and infused them with modern flare and elegance without being cliché or over-the-top. In addition, their strong dedication to natural ingredients from local farms and dairies paired with a true devotion to producing the best possible cuisine make dining at their Walker Avenue restaurant an indulgence. Upon first glance of Sticks and Stones seasonal menu, one will notice that each dish has an ingredient inspired name. Delicious and unique options range from classic starters such as the “Gold” (the richest and creamiest mozzarella I have ever had, fried and served with marinated tomatoes and homemade pesto) to more exotic options like the “Rescue Blues” (rosemary garlic fries) and “Bar Lights” (marinated roasted local vegetables with olives, cured meats, and cheeses). The “Peaceful Valley” salad (local organic greens, sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, toasted pumpkin and flax seeds, served with a homemade roasted shallot & herb vinaigrette) is exciting enough to make even a carnivore like me cave in and enjoy raw vegetables.

The pizza menu further demonstrates the chef’s artistry and talent of triumphing over culinary risks when paring unconventional ingredients. The “Sweet Carolina” is a pork lover’s dream with Cane Creek Farm’s all natural sweet Italian sausage complemented with roasted chili peppers, spinach, mozzarella, fresh ricotta, parmesan, and a sauce of crushed local tomatoes. The “Mockingbirdsing” is another stunning example of ingredient coupling with its roasted Ashley Farms Chicken and sautéed fennel which is further enhanced with fresh tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, and gorgonzola. For those looking for a slightly more placid pie, Sticks and Stone’s “To be the One” is a gorgeous cheese pizza topped with fresh basil. It is simple, fresh, and unforgettable.

Sticks and Stones’ starters, salads, pizzas, and desserts exemplify stellar Italian dining. Their recognition of the importance of eating and buying sustainable, local, and organic foods further adorns this hidden Greensboro gem. To boot, they also boast an extensive beer and wine menu, all at reasonable prices. Put the Dominos triple layered, taco lovers, hot dog and cheese stuffed crust, cookie dough topped pizza down and head to Sticks and Stones to atone for your pizza sins.

Sticks & Stones
2200 Walker Avenue
Greensboro, North Carolina 27403
336.275.0220


DINNER MENU

Serving from 5:30pm until 10:00pm Daily

Chef’s Soup du jour $7

Commodore Seafood Chowder $9

Salads

Blue Cheese and Bacon Salad $12
Baby Spinach, Tomatoes, Onions and Crumbled Cheese.

The Boatswain’s Baby Leaf Lettuce Salad $14
Arugula, Green Apple, Hearts of Palm, Pickled Red- Onions, Toasted Almonds, Mango with a
Citrus Mango Dressing.

Table Side Caesar Salad $15
Baby Romaine, Anchovies, Garlic Croutons, Grated Parmigiana Reggiano, Cooked Eggs.
Add Chicken $5 Fish $7 Shrimp $9

Chef’s Salad $15
Kale, Mix Greens, Roasted Squash, Avocado, Ripe-Banana, Golden Raisins with a Greek Yogurt Dressing.

Commodore Duo Seafood Salad $16
Poached Shrimp, Char-Grilled Calamari, Smoked Salmon on Baby Leaf Lettuce, Crispy Wontons
with Passion Fruit Dressing.

The Captain’s Lobster Salad $20
Avocado, Pickled Onions, Citrus Segments, Seaweed in a Light Dressing.

Appetizers

The Shipmate’s Seafood Ceviche $12
A Fresh Fish Specialty, popular in the Caribbean.

Crispy Calamari $12
Scotch Bonnet and Dark Rum Remoulade.

Governor’s Baked Brie $14
Port Wine poached Pear, Sorrel Chutney and Raspberries.

Cayman Cracked Conch $14
Shaved Fennel, Julienne Apples, Micro Greens and a Citrus Coulis.

Saltwater Fresh Black Mussels $16
Steamed in a light White Wine Saffron Garlic Broth with Garlic Croutons.

Seafood

The Admiral’s Surf and Turf $45
6 oz. Lobster and 6 oz. Fillet Mignon grilled to Perfection.

Caribbean Lobster Tail $45
16oz Lobster Tail served with our Chef’s special Citrus Herb Butter.

Commodore’s Seafood Medley $38
Fresh Lobster, Shrimps, Mahi-Mahi and Clam in a Bouillabaisse sauce.

Tips and Scampi $38
Sautéed Tenderloin Tips in Marsala sauce, topped with Shrimp Scampi.

Stuffed Fillet of Snapper $32
Stuffed with Crabmeat and served with a Coconut Seafood sauce.

Jumbo Tiger Shrimp $32
Split and Grilled, Served on Mini Greens with Garlic Parsley Butter.

Crispy Skin Atlantic Salmon $30
Broiled to perfection and served with a Citrus Beurre Blanc.

The Fisherman’s Catch of the Day $28
Local Caught Fish, Prepared to your liking.

Pasta

Jerk Penne Pasta $15
Asparagus, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Cream
Add Chicken $5 Shrimp $8 Lobster $12

Vegetable Tagliatelle Pasta $20
Sundried Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic, Spinach, Kalamata Olives and Edamame Peas in a Basil Pesto Sauce.

Design Your Own Pasta
CHOICE OF LINGUINI OR PENNE
ADD YOUR SAUCE: Alfredo, Marinara, Pesto $15
Add Chicken $5 Shrimp $8 Lobster $12

Vegetarian

Stuffed Red Pepper $18
Sautéed Mediterranean Vegetables with Pesto Sauce and Feta Cheese.

Meats & Steaks

The Commodore uses Certified Angus Beef for all Steaks

The Captain’s Porterhouse Steak $16 oz $45
Charred and Roasted, served with Sautéed Onion and Mushroom sauce.

Admiral’s Rib Eye Steak $16 oz $45
Pound of Boneless Prime Rib Eye Steak, served with Shallot Herb Butter.

Officer’s Filet Mignon $8 oz $45
Center cut Filet of Beef Tenderloin, Accompanied with Béarnaise Sauce.

Shipmate’s New York Sirloin Steak $16 oz $45
Seared to seal in the juices, broiled to perfection.

Choose from our selection of House Made sauces for your steak
Peppercorn Bernaise Blue Cheese Cream

Add Oscar $10

Braised Lamb Shank in Merlot $30
Served with a Rosemary Pan Jus.

Bone-in Pork Chop $25
Grilled served with Apple Sauce and Fig Demi.

Grilled Breast of Free Range Chicken $20
Served with a Roasted Garlic, Rosemary and Sundried Tomato Relish.

Sides

All Entrees Are Served with House Salad or Fresh Garden Vegetables

Your Choice of Mashed or Duchess Potato, Island Sweet Potato Stuffing, Rice, or Yucca Fries
All Prices are in Cayman Island Dollar. CI$ 0.80=US$1.00
For your convenience a 15% Gratuity will be added to the Bill.

Tapas

Tuna Tartar $10
With Avocado Salsa.

Hummus and Tapenade Platter $10
With Pita Bread.

Fried Shrimp $10
With Spicy Sweet Chili.

Chorizo and Shrimp Skewers $10
With Mango Salsa.

Caprese $10
On Garlic Toast.

Pool Party Dip $10
With Corn Tortillas.

Pizza

Pancetta $10
Pancetta, Blue Cheese, Poach Pear, Asparagus, Pepper Jack Cheese.

Smoked Salmon $10
Caper, Cream Cheese, Oven Dried Tomatoes, Jalapeños, Black Pepper,
Mozzarella Cheese.

Blackened Shrimp $12
Caramelized Onions, Avocado, Poach Pear, Arugula, Mozzarella Cheese.

BBQ Chicken $10
Mushrooms, Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper, Yellow Squash, Cheddar Cheese.

Pepperoni $10
Mozzarella Cheese, Parsley.

5 Cheeses $10
Feta, Mozzarella, White Cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano, Pepper Jack Cheese.

Veggie $10
Zucchini, Roasted Garlic, Sundried Tomatoes, Red Onion,
Yellow Pepper, Wild Leaf, Mix Cheddar Cheese.

Jerk Pulled Pork $10
Pineapple, Mozzarella Cheese, Asparagus, Green Onion.

Bacon $10
Green Pepper, Cherry Tomatoes.

Weekly Specials

Early Bird Special
Come in between 5:30 and 7:00 pm nightly for a three course meal of Soup of the Day or Commodore House Salad, your choice of pasta with either Bolognese sauce or Chicken Alfredo and dessert
$19.95

Lobster Night
All You Can Eat Lobster every Friday Night!
5:30 until 9:00 pm
$44.95

Prime Rib Night
Enjoy our Certified Angus Prime Rib with a free glass of house wine
Every Saturday Night from 5:30 to 9:00 pm
8 oz. $24.95 10 oz. $27.95


Top 25 Restaurants 2011

It goes without saying that picking “best” or “top” restaurants is a subjective exercise. Because no two diners have exactly the same preferences and tastes, compiling a one-size-fits-all list of favorite eateries is not a scientific endeavor. What it is, however, is extremely labor intensive, sometimes contentious, often rewarding and always challenging.

No matter a diner’s preference for flavors and spices, we believe our readers can agree on a few features and amenities that separate the good restaurants from the great. These are the things Jacksonville Magazine looks for when settling upon eateries to highlight in our annual list. For example, an establishment’s attention to cleanliness is always appreciated. In addition, aspects such as pleasing decor and atmosphere, perceived value (regardless of the price for entrées), consistent food quality, creativity and innovation, professional and attentive service elevate the best above the rest. Then there are other intangibles, including how the staff handles a mistake or a complaint from a customer, if the bartender remembers your favorite drink, if the busboys retrieve plates, silver and glasses quietly, and if the manager or chef stops by the table to converse with guests.

As you review and digest this year’s Top 25 list and the various side dishes that accompany them, we anticipate you will see some old neighborhood favorites as well as a few restaurants you have yet to visit. We know there won’t be universal agreement with our choices. And that’s okay. We believe you will agree that the story is arguably the most thoroughly researched and informative article on fine dining and good eats served in Northeast Florida.

Aqua Grill
950 Sawgrass Village Dr., Ponte Vedra Beach, 285-3017

Many Ponte Vedra restaurants have come and gone over the two decades since Aqua Grill opened its doors. An unpretentious atmosphere and a consistent focus on seafood and meat-and-potatoes staples with a twist may explain some of its longevity. From pork osso buco to braised beef shortribs to herb-crusted tofu, the menu covers lots of ground. Some regulars stick to the classics like the fried seafood platter with panko-coated fish, lump crab cake, scallops, shrimp, fries and cole slaw.

Most Expensive Entrée: Wild mushroom smothered grilled filet mignon with horseradish whipped potatoes, grilled asparagus and fried onion straws, $34
Least Expensive Entrée: Eggplant parmesan “To Die For” with plum tomato sauce, three cheeses, and sautéed angel hair pasta, $17
Jax Mag Recommends: Day’s catch prepared First Coast Hemingway-style coated in parmesan, herbs, sesame seeds, sautéed crispy, with a sun-dried tomato mornay sauce and rosemary red potatoes, $22. Aqua Grill knows fish.


bb’s

1019 Hendricks Ave., San Marco, 306-0100

A few of bb’s dishes have been on the menu since day one, including the Mediterranean chicken salad and mozzarella bruschetta. The grilled pizzas—white truffle, marinated artichoke, Thai bbq and jambalaya—are perennial favorites. However, arguably the best way to go when ordering are the daily chef specials, a collection of dishes that really allow the chefs to stretch their creativity. Seating in the bistro is snug and it can get loud. Arrive late for lunch and the only seat available may be one at the short bar near the door. Sit and enjoy, though don’t leave before checking out the dessert case near the back.

Most Expensive Entrée: Black Angus filet of beef with bacon and shallot potato gratin, asparagus, boursin cheese, red onion marmalade, toasted hazelnuts and sauce bordelaise, $31
Least Expensive Entrée: Orecchiette pasta with spicy Italian sausage, Swiss chard, roasted baby carrots, sundried tomatoes, shaved parmesan and herbs, $21
Jax Mag Recommends: White truffle pizza with wild mushrooms, shaved parmigiano, mozzarella, prosciutto and arugula, $12 And the dessert case. Just pick one of anything here. The slice will be big enough to share.

Biscottis
3556 St. Johns Ave., Avondale, 387-2060

Upon entering Biscottis, check out the big blackboard above the bar to see what the week’s specials are. The dessert case will be a distraction, so be sure to peek inside it before the bill comes. The Avondale favorite offers all items one expects from an exemplary cafe, including terrific soups, salads and sandwiches (try the ancho honey glazed salmon BLT or open-faced meatloaf sandwich). Back to the dessert case—triple chocolate cake, red velvet cake, white chocolate raspberry cheesecake… oh, where does one begin?
Most Expensive Entrée: Tortilla-crusted cod sandwich, $12 (daily blackboard specials are pricier)
Least Expensive Entrée: 8-inch free range chicken pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, $10
Jax Mag Recommends: The mozzarella bruschetta, $10, is a tiny loaf filled with fresh cheese, baked with olive oil and lots of garlic, plum tomatoes, basil, pine nuts and cracked pepper. Two, please!

Bistro Aix
1440 San Marco Blvd., San Marco, 398-1949

For a decade now Bistro Aix has been among the city’s most popular fine dining establishments. Stylish without being stuffy, the restaurant earns raves for consistently delicious food, including innovative seasonal specials and classic menu favorites. Creamy French onion soup, house-made bacon and brie pizza, lamb short ribs, roast chicken and fresh pasta dishes—the menu is diverse, but all the while pays homage to the Southern French cooking roots favored by executive chef Tom Gray.
Most Expensive Entrée: Angus beef filet mignon with green beans, shallots, Stilton bleu cheese and au gratin potatoes, $36
Least Expensive Entrée: Three-cheese wood-fired pizza with tomatoes and basil, $12
Jax Mag Recommends: Steak frites bistro “onglet” steak with green beans, red wine shallot sauce and French fries, $23. The next-door Onyx Bar is a chic spot in which to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail.

Blackstone Grille
112 Bartram Oaks Walk, Julington Creek, 287-0766

The River City has too few white tablecloth dining spots. Count Blackstone among those few. Chef Charles Wang characterizes his cuisine as “modern American fusion.” Diners who frequent the attractive Bartram Oaks restaurant just call it good. Blackstone features an impressive collection of wines, capped by bottles of Opus One Meritage, $240. From grilled quesadillas to flambéed quail and vegetable dumplings to lobster ravioli, deciding upon what to eat can be a challenge.
Most Expensive Entrée: Grilled rack of lamb with dill sour cream sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spinach and asparagus, $32.95
Least Expensive Entrée: Grilled vegetables on a bed of linguine pasta with tomatoes, basil garlic and olive oil, $17.95
Jax Mag Recommends: Tea-smoked duck breast topped with apricot shallot demi glaze and served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, spinach and asparagus, $20.95. Unusually delicious.

Blue Bamboo
3820 Southside Blvd., Southside, 646-1478

They don’t come any nicer in the restaurant biz than chef/owner Dennis Chan, a UF and CIA grad and author of Hip Asian Comfort Food. The title of his first book jibes perfectly with his popular Southside eatery and his preference for accessible Asian fare like peanut lime chicken salad, fried soft-shell crab, chile mango salmon and shrimp pad Thai. For something new, try a lycheetini cocktail from the bar.
Most Expensive Entrée: Javin dusted lamb rack with samosa potato patties, grilled bok choy, $38.95
Least Expensive Entrée: Singapore street noodles, $9.95 (add chicken, tofu or shimp, $3.50)
Jax Mag Recommends: Red curry shrimp and grits with peppers and onions, $21.95, is a fun Asian twist on a Southern classic. And Friday and Saturday nights the kitchen goes Deep South with dishes such as peachy chicken and waffles and chicken pot pie, $17.95

The Blue Fish
3551 St. Johns Ave., Avondale, 387-0700

Florida is prime seafood country, and nowhere is that captured better than Blue Fish. The casually hip eatery satisfies meat-and-potatoes patrons, but the menu really shines with its fruits of the sea. Peel-and-eat shrimp, seafood gumbo, seared diver scallops, crab cakes, pan-steamed mussels, fried clam strips, stone crab claws—we could go on and on. The bright blue color scheme is fitting and fun. Check out the bar upstairs for a nightcap.
Most Expensive Entrée: Roasted New Zealand rack of lamb with garlic, herbs and red wine demi, $32
Least Expensive Entrée: Chicken picatta sautéed with lemon, capers, garlic and white wine, $19
Jax Mag Recommends: When Apalachicola oysters are in season, there’s nothing better. Raw, stuffed, whatever—just order them. The fried calamari is tasty, too.

Dwight’s Bistro
1527 Penman Rd., Jacksonville Beach, 241-4496

Dwight’s is a shining example that a Beaches restaurant need not be anywhere near the sand and surf to attract a loyal following. Offering perhaps the shortest menu in the city, chef Delude doesn’t look to impress with countless variety and gargantuan portions. No, he prefers outstanding ingredients and tried-and-true preparation. Lamb chops with mint jelly, escargots with garlic and shallot butter, spinach greens with bleu cheese and pancetta—what’s not to like? The restaurant itself is charming and kind of funky with splashes of tile and color everywhere.
Most Expensive Entrée: Mixed grill of lamb, quail, fish and tenderloin of beef, $40
Least Expensive Entrée: Angel hair Putanesca with Calamata olives, capers, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies and hot pepper, $25
Jax Mag Recommends: The fresh mozzarella with vine ripe tomatoes and olive oil is a simple delight, $18 the chef is a pasta-lover at heart so the ravioli of the day, $27, is never a bad choice.

Eleven South
216 11th Ave., S., Jacksonville Beach, 241-1112

How about a plate of grilled bone-in pork chops with potato and pumpkin smash, sautéed spinach, pomegranate onion jam and port wine jus? Or perhaps the grilled North Atlantic salmon with sweet potato, mushroom and cippolini hash, broccolini, white wine butter sauce and crispy parsnips? Both dishes give one an insight to the creativity being churned out of Eleven South, a Beaches restaurant with a decidedly upscale aura. Crisp linens, soft earth tones throughout and bright white plates ensure that nothing distracts from the presentation of the night’s meal.
Most Expensive Entrée: Mesquite grilled Angus 18-oz. ribeye with locally grown greens and cara-melized cippolini and bleu cheese crumbles, $37
Least Expensive Entrée: Parmesan pappardelle, hand-cut pasta with portobello mushrooms, roasted roma tomatoes, asparagus and cippolini in a parmesan cream sauce with grilled chicken, $24
Jax Mag Recommends: The seafood martini with Ahi tuna tartare, lump blue crab, Mayport shrimp, avocado, mango salsa and citrus aioli, $17, is an Eleven South classic for good reason. The lobster mac and cheese…yum!

J.J.’s Liberty Bistro
330 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach, 273-7980

The enormous Eiffel Tower replica informs diners at J.J.’s of two things. First, you have arrived. Second, all things French is the order of the day here. Vichyssoise, jambon fromage, croque monsieur—you get the idea. The French countryside mural on the wall continues the theme. Part-restaurant and part-marketplace offering baked goods, coffee, bottles of wine, cheeses and gourmet to-go eats, the chef-owned establishment (yes, there is a real J.J.) has been a Ponte Vedra landmark for more than 15 years. A second J.J.’s operates in the Shops at Village Walk, 7643 Gate Pkwy. (996-7557).
Most Expensive Entrée: Grilled veal tenderloin topped with a lobster medallion and finished with crevette sauce, $34
Least Expensive Entrée: Vegetarian trio with mushroom risotto, chef’s daily ravioli and pesto grilled vegetables, $18
Jax Mag Recommends: The daily soups are sure bets. For an entrée, fish is always a good choice, in particular, the rainbow trout à l’oscar with crab and asparagus and hollandaise sauce, $27

Marker 32
14549 Beach Blvd., Intracoastal West, 223-1534

This waterside favorite earns high praise from fans for truly professional service and an ever-changing menu that leans slightly toward seafood with dishes including cracked conch with spicy red pepper aioli, blue crab cakes with crushed new potatoes and shrimp and andouille fettucine with smoked pepper tomato sauce. It’s not all fish and crustaceans, however. Molasses glazed pork short
ribs with sweet corn slaw and seared sirloin with shoestring potatoes and brandy peppercorn demi sauce highlight the meat offerings.
Most Expensive Entrée: Wood-grilled beef tenderloin with truffled mascarpone grits, greens and brown butter Hollandaise, $26
Least Expensive Entrée: Farmer’s risotto featuring a daily selection of local produce, $13
Jax Mag Recommends: Unusual desserts such as warm almond and olive oil cake with cracked pepper goat cheese ice cream and strawberry jam, $8, and brioche doughnut with honey five spice ice cream, $8

Matthew’s
2107 Hendricks Ave., San Marco, 396-9922

The high-backed booths near the rear of the restaurant provide the best vantage point to enjoy the chic sophistication that is Matthew’s. A seat at the small counter in front of the kitchen is the ideal spot at which to take in the culinary magic happening in the kitchen. Some 2,000 bottles of wine are kept close at hand in the cellar, ensuring that every dish is paired with an appropriate glass. The bar bites menu in the lounge is an inexpensive alternative (all plates are $6) to a meal in the main dining room.
Most Expensive Entrée: New York strip with roasted portobello mushroom, braised arugula and cauliflower purée, $36
Least Expensive Entrée: Fairytale eggplant Napoleon with sautéed spinach, goat’s cheese and tomato coulees, $18
Jax Mag Recommends: First, don’t be timid. The ever-changing menu at Matthew’s is all about exploring new flavors, so dive into dishes such
as Francaise grouper with lemon braised spinach, mint and shallot herb broth, $26, or diver
scallops with butternut squash purée and celery
truffle apple salad, $29. You’ll thank us later.

Mezza Luna
110 N. 1st St., Neptune Beach, 249-5573

The wood-fired pizza oven and tasty selection of pasta entrées lend a decidedly Italian vibe to Mezza Luna. But don’t expect checked tablecloths and candles stuffed in chianti bottles. Instead, look for crispy calamari with lemon basil and marinara, sea scallops with truffle cauliflower purée, roasted mushrooms and baby carrots and grilled Ahi tuna and fingerling potatoes with smashed basil and lemon oil. The interior is cozy with aged red bricks, mustard walls and lots of stone and wood.
Most Expensive Entrée: Filet mignon with slow roasted tomatoes, spinach and sweet garlic herb butter, $29
Least Expensive Entrée: Spaghetti pomodoro with tomatoes, sweet garlic, olive oil, basil and parmesan, $15
Jax Mag Recommends: The selection of pasta dishes is top-notch. The black pepper fettuccine with pancetta, parsnips and black garlic is hearty and ideal for a cool winter evening. Also, the wood-fired pizzas are longtime faves. Try the four-cheese white or the spicy Mayport shrimp.

Nineteen
TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, 273-3238

Club members and PGA Tour players are treated to exclusive dining spaces. The rest of us, however, are welcome to enjoy the impressive TPC Sawgrass clubhouse and its signature restaurant, Nineteen. The entire building is a showplace to the prestige of the Tour and pro golf—literally. Volunteer docents will give you a tour, if you wish. The menu continues the golfing theme with
dishes named in honor of champion players. Phil Mickelson’s lobster ravioli comes with sautéed spinach, corn and tomato basil cream sauce.
Most Expensive Entrée: Pan-seared grouper with julienne vegetables, soba noodles, lobster, lemon grass, miso broth, $33
Least Expensive Entrée: Tim Clark’s lamb T-bone, with mint demi-glaze, eggplant and white bean salad, spinach, tomato and pesto, two chops, $19
Jax Mag Recommends: The house burger, $15, a 10-oz. patty served with a toasted brioche bun, all the fixings and a tangy sweet barbecued Vidalia onion jam. It’s a toss-up which is better as a side, the French fries or the housemade kettle chips.

North Beach Bistro
725 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach, 372-4105

Back in 2008, the idea behind the launch of North Beach was to build something of a small, neighborhood hangout but one with top-shelf food and cocktails. The live music acts, seasonal parties and events, and drink specials account for some of the “where everybody knows your name” spirit. A menu laden with lump blue crab cakes, nightly pasta creations and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin takes care of the really good food part.
Most Expensive Entrée: Char-grilled prime ribeye with ditalini mac and cheese, shallot jus and onion straws, $32
Least Expensive Entrée: Chef’s nightly vegetarian plate prepared with seasonal vegetable sautéed or steamed, $16
Jax Mag Recommends: The seafood bouillabaisse is
a rich melange of Mayport shrimp, sea scallops,
mussels, calamari and fish in a white wine broth, $22

Ocean 60
60 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach, 247-0060

The interior of this 11-year-old Atlantic Beach gathering spot is clean, warm and welcoming, the kind of place where diners feel comfortable dressing up or going casual. The adjoining Martini Room features live music and flowing cocktails. The menu changes frequently and is often spiced with subtle Asian accents. Flavorful nods to island cuisine come through in items such as plantain chicken nachos with chorizo black bean chili and cilantro-lime creme fraiche and whole fried pompano with citrus greens and seasonal vegetables.
Most Expensive Entrée: Grilled filet mignon topped with a garlic and port wine cheese fondant served over parmesan potato dauphinoise and finished with caramelized onion demi glace, $31
Least Expensive Entrée: Crisp fried eggplant layered with a black olive, sun-dried tomato and feta tapenade, served over tomato romesco,
drizzled with herb oil, $14
Jax Mag Recommends: Can’t go wrong with the nightly specials, particularly the seafood choices (such as Asian style soft shell crab). The artisan cheese plate with cured meats, house-made dips and sun-dried tomato tortilla chips is terrific.

Orsay
3630 Park St., Avondale, 381-0909

Sophisticated without being pretentious is a suitable way to describe the general vibe at Orsay. The restaurant is a Slow Food proponent and a big supporter of local purveyors and sustainable farming operations (Black Hog Farm, Twinn Bridges, and others). We’ll raise a glass of IPA to that. The menu hits a home run from the roasted oysters to the yellowfin tuna nicoise to the homemade s’mores dessert. Enjoy a French pear martini on the small patio or in the lounge.
Most Expensive Entrée: Lobster pot pie with Maine lobster, mushrooms, peas and carrots,
biscuit crust, and roasted lobster reduction, $38
Least Expensive Entrée: Quiche, prepared with Black Hog Farm eggs, roasted mushrooms, spinach and gruyere with a small salad, $12
Jax Mag Recommends: Prince Edward Island mussels prepared with white wine, garlic butter and thyme, pommes frites on the side, $20. The French green bean salad with roasted hazelnuts, and creme fraiche vinaigrette, $8, is terrific. And the lobster pot pie… oh, stop…

Ragtime Tavern
207 Atlantic Blvd., Atlantic Beach, 241-7877

Long before most of us had ever heard the term “craft brewer,” the folks at Ragtime were pouring draughts of Dolphin’s Breath Lager and Red Brick Ale from the tanks of their in-house brewery. In addition, the restaurant was far ahead of the curve pushing Cajun and Creole eats. And we’re all better for it. With an open-air patio, live music, late night menu and jumping bar, the establishment is as much a nightspot as restaurant, albeit one that serves Key lime shrimp and lobster, blackened fish and po’ boy sandwiches.
Most Expensive Entrée: Grilled 8-oz. New York strip steak and crab cakes combo with mashed potatoes and vegetables, $24.95
Least Expensive Entrée: Ragtime shrimp, rolled in flaked coconut and fried, with honey mustard sauce, red beans and rice and veggies, $13.95
Jax Mag Recommends: When in season, the Louisiana crawfish boil (market price) is a spicy, buttery, messy treat the beer flight is a nice way to sample all the house beers without having to consume a full pint.

Restaurant Medure
818 A1A N., Ponte Vedra Beach, 543-379

Many who visit Restaurant Medure are happy to skip the dining room and settle in at the lounge. The dining room is contemporary and stylish, as is the lounge. The all-around chic space entices with an expansive and frequently changing menu. Starters such as tuna tartare on marinated cucumbers with seaweed salad and fried wontons and entrées such as pistachio basil crusted salmon with cous cous and stuffed olives demonstrate the chef’s desire to step outside the box.
Most Expensive Entrée: Domestic lamb rack with whole grain mustard crust and red wine mushroom glaze, $37
Least Expensive Entrée: Gnocchi with marinara and grated parmesan, $14
Jax Mag Recommends: Meat-and-potato lovers will appreciate innovative dishes like braised Painted Hills short ribs with sweet potato cake and roasted turnip glaze, $27. For dessert, just ask for the night’s souffle, $8. It takes time to prepare but is well worth the wait.

River City Brewing Co.
835 Museum Cir., Southbank, 398-2299

Perched tight against the St. Johns River, River City’s proximity to Downtown and its many concert and special event venues makes it a go-to spot for pre- and post-concert meals and cocktails. It’s a big place, with some 320 seats, nearly all of which come with terrific views of a small marina and the St. Johns River. The menu covers lots of ground but with a focus on local seafood, steaks and pasta. Not surprising given its name, the house specialty is beer—Jackson Pale Ale, Jag Light, Red Rooster Ale and Riptide Porter—courtesy of the giant brew kettles adjacent to the lounge.
Most Expensive Entrée: 18-oz. garlic and herb grilled Angus ribeye served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus, $31.95
Least Expensive Entrée: Jerk chicken penne pasta with sherry, sweet onions, sun-dried tomatoes, cream and green onion, $17.95
Jax Mag Recommends: The house gumbo is made with Andouille sausage, seafood, okra and rice and is a top-seller. Also, the day boat seafood choice of the day is literally fresh off a local dock.

Sorrento Italian Restaurant
6943 St. Augustine Rd., 636-9196

This Jax Italian food mainstay represents a family run restaurant in the true classic sense. The interior is pleasing, not fancy. The moderate prices make it a family-friendly establishment with plenty of buttered noodles ready and waiting. All the traditional Italian favorites are represented, including roasted peppers, fried calamari, baked manicotti, spaghetti and meatballs. A dozen pasta dishes are offered and the day’s catch may be ordered with seven different preparations.
Most Expensive Entrée: Zuppa di pesce, fish, shrimp, calamari, clams and scallops in a light tomato broth, $23.95
Least Expensive Entrée: Ravioli, stuffed with meat or cheese in red sauce, $10.95
Jax Mag Recommends: The chicken parmigiana, $15.95, is tender, topped in melted mozzarella and drenched in red sauce. Don’t pass on the tiramisu for dessert.

Taverna
1986 San Marco Blvd., San Marco, 398-3005

There’s not a bad seat in the house at this San Marco Square gathering spot. The seats out front on the patio are pretty nice, too. The cuisine is laced with Spanish and Italian influences. Butternut squash risotto, marinated olives, skirt steak with chimichurri, olive oil-poached artichokes—menu selections flow with the seasons however, regulars know to expect consistently delish fare and picture-perfect presentations. The upper level provides a birds-eye view of the restaurant, including the long bar and pizza oven. The patio is great for people-watching.
Most Expensive Entrée: Pork shank osso buco with parmesan and herb polenta, Eden Farms bacon and braising greens, $27
Least Expensive Entrée: House-made fettuccine in a tomato cream sauce with basil, $18 add chicken ($6), shrimp ($7) or scallops ($8)
Jax Mag Recommends: Paella with chorizo, chicken, shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari, artichokes and peas, $27. Also, the Neapolitan style pizzas, $15-$17, are a house specialty.

‘Town (closed in May 2012)
3611 St. Johns Ave., Avondale, 345-2596

A local leader in the farm-to-table food movement, ‘Town excels with innovative cuisine and a dedication to the freshest seasonal ingredients. And no restaurant in Jax packs more flavor onto a small plate, whether it be an entree of hanger steak with parmesan-herb fries or a side of brussel sprouts with cherry smoked bacon. A seat at the counter overlooking the open kitchen puts diners at arms-length from all the action. Enjoy the show—and a bowl of rosemary potato soup.
Most Expensive Entrée: Bouillabaise with Florida lobster, local shrimp, fish and mussels in a fennel butter broth, $30 ($17 for a half-plate)
Least Expensive Entrée: 7-oz. ’Town burger with wild mushroom spread and gruyere, $16
Jax Mag Recommends: Black truffle tater tots with caramelized onion fondue and white truffle oil, $8 duck confit with lentils and house-smoked bacon, $22 and the sugar doughnuts with milk chocolate fondue for dessert.

Tree Steak House
11362 San Jose Blvd., Mandarin, 262-0006

A lot of traditions can develop over four decades. And Tree Steak House, open since the late 1960s, is one Jax restaurant that holds fast to its traditions, including its hearty salad bar and rib-eye steaks cut to order tableside. Red meat is the house specialty, of course. Prime rib, New York strip and filet kabobs are top-sellers. Grilled pork tenderloin, blackened salmon, rack of lamb and fried fish and chips round out the entrée menu. Veggie sides like steamed broccoli, sautéed spinach and sliced tomatoes are served à la carte.
Most Expensive Entrée: Two, 5-6-oz. lobster tails with choice of baked potato, steak fries, garlic mashed or rice pilaf, and salad bar, $38
Least Expensive Entrée: 10-oz. marinated and grilled double chicken breast, $18
Jax Mag Recommends: The filet mignon melts in the mouth like butter and can be ordered in portions ranging from six- to 10-ounce, $25-$33. For dessert, the Key lime pie, $7, and the crème brulée, $9, are longtime Tree favorites.

Wine Cellar
1314 Prudential Dr., San Marco, 398-8989

Thirty-eight years in operation is an eternity in River City restaurant circles. That’s the track record the Wine Cellar boasts. Apparently customers thoroughly enjoy dishes such as Creole style crab and lobster bisque, crispy roast duckling with orange liqueur peppercorn sauce, and almond encrusted halibut. The three-course prix fixe menu, $36, is a popular option during the work week. And the enclosed garden area is in demand for both lunch and dinner. Not surprisingly, the wine list is second to none in Jacksonville.
Most Expensive Entrée: Grilled filet mignon and fried or grilled cold water lobster tail, $57
Least Expensive Entrée: Sautéed grape tomatoes, baby spinach, mushrooms, garlic and white wine served over angel hair pasta, $17
Jax Mag Recommends: Wine Cellar has been grilling lamb for decades and they are darn good at it. Try the Moroccan dry rubbed New Zealand lamb chops with fresh mint and basil pesto,
potato mash, and vegetable du jour, $29

Editor’s Note: Menu items were selected and verified in late November and early December. Restaurant menus and prices are prone to change, so the listings posted here are merely representative of the food offered at each location, and specific dishes may or may not be offered on your next visit. Restaurants must be in business for at least a year to have been considered for the 2012 Top 25 list. All phone numbers are in the 904 area code.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 beef tenderloin steaks (1 1/2 inches thick)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon deli-style brown mustard
  • 1 cup Swanson® Beef Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Pat the steaks very dry with paper towels season both sides with salt and pepper. Allow steaks to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes while the oven pre-heats.

Heat a 10-inch cast iron pan over medium-high heat for about one minute. Add the oil to pan and swirl to evenly distribute the oil. Place the steaks in the pan, allowing room between steaks. Cook without moving steaks for 2 minutes. Using tongs, lift the steaks and flip them over. If properly seared the steaks should release easily, without sticking to the pan. Immediately place cast iron pan into the hot oven.

Cook steaks until firm and reddish-pink and juicy in the center, about 7 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 130 degrees F (54 degrees C). Remove skillet from oven and transfer steaks to a warm plate lightly tented with foil. (The internal temperature of the steaks will increase by about 5 degrees while resting.)

Melt unsalted butter in the same skillet over low heat add diced shallots. Cook and stir, releasing the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Stir in the deli mustard.

Increase the heat to medium-high. Whisk in Swanson® Beef Stock and Worcestershire sauce, continuing to scrape up browned bits from the pan. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Whisk in the cream simmer until sauce clings to the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley, chives, thyme, and oregano.


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