3 days in Jax. A review
So we were in Jacksonville last weekend for the Jaguars game (don't want to talk about that). I was born there, but now live in NC. I have had great experiences at Bistro Aix and Crush(RIP) so wanted to try something new. Saturday night we headed down to san marco for some appetizer hopping. Started at The Grotto. We loved this place. Great ambiance, knowledgeable staff. The food offerings were a bit slim, so we opted for a cheese plate. Three cheeses of our choice (the aged Gouda sticks out) served with dried fruit, nuts chorizo. Would definitely return. Next, at the bartender from the grotto's recommendation, we headed over to BBs. The restaurant was packed. The hostess greeted us with a tone of panic, and we could tell the place was in chaos. The menu was not appealing to us either. We walked across the street to Simon's wine bar. This place is undergoing an identity crisis. outside loud techno music was being pumped into the parking lot, while inside was a pianist, who in all honesty wasn't very good. The pianist, combined with a lackluster menu and only a few patrons led us to believe we would be better off elsewhere. So, we headed to Aix. I knew it would be good and it was. They were as packed as BBs, but they were clearly used to it, and we promptly found a seat at the bar. I had the mussels, and my SO a pizza with fresh mozz, basil and tomato. All prepared incredibly. The bartender was also great. Sunday morning we walked to Biscotti's Yummy. I had a frittata with sundried tomatoes, proscuitto, parm and truffle oil. My SO had the french toast. Both were scrumptious and the service was prompt, friendly and professional. Monday for lunch we tried Chew, downtown. I don't know why this place has not been mentioned on Chowhound before. The ambiance is very minimalist chic. We started with fried green tomato app. I had a pressed sandwich with fontina, mushroom and truffle. can't recall what my companions had but remember their delight. Took a peek at the dinner menu and remember regretting not going there the night before. If you live in Jax, you must check out this restaurant. lastly on tuesday we decided to hit Biscottis again for lunch. It was like a totally different restaurant. My companion got the salad special: sea bass on a bed of mixed greens with a mango pineapple salsa and jalapeño creme fraiche. I had the Thai chicken salad, and my other companion had half sandwich and cup of chicken soup. The sea bass sald was pretty awful. It was as if something was forgotten, extremely bland, absolutely no hint of jalapeño. When it was brought to our server's attention, she replied "let me get the manager".. The manager came over and we told him the problem. His response was "well can I get you something else?" "no" I told him, I just want it prepared correctly. He removed the dish and brought it back a few minutes later, soaked in dressing. My thai salad was equally disappointing. The chicken on top was in too large pieces and ice cold. Also my SO's chicken soup had rice cooked "al dente". The whole experience was a let down. from the amature service and management to the sub par food. Too bad since they obviously have the capacity to get it right. Anyway, all you jax foodies ( I know your out there) check out Chew! on west adams street, you won't be disappointed.