by erin thursby
Who says Irish pubs can’t be upscale? Certainly not the folks at the Sawgrass Resort in Ponte Vedra. In the former Champs location V. Kelly has opened as what Jeff Kmiec, director of sales and marketing for Sawgrass describes as “a warm and friendly Irish tavern that fits beautifully into the luxury golf theme that plays out so prominently at Sawgrass.” Expect traditional Irish food, flat screen televisions, specialty drinks and more. Visit sawgrassmarriott.com for more information.
The long awaited Orsay had its soft open last month and opens officially this month, so if you’re looking to try the new, chic French bistro, call (904) 381-0909 to make a reservation!
Bungalow on Park opened its doors last month, serving simple but fresh fare in an art saturated setting. Check out our Ghetto Gourmet review on Page 17.
Out in the Southside Blvd. area, where original eateries are an oasis in a desert of branded chains, Bella’s Bistro has replaced Dick’s Wings in Tinseltown. Not that we don’t love Dick’s, but we’re hungry for anything that isn’t a franchise on that side of town. Eron Dorsett, one of the partners in the venture, says that “Bella’s Bistro is going to fill that niche for consumers looking for bold flavors, hearty Italian fare with an urban ambiance that won’t break the bank.” Check out their martini bar too! For more info visit bellasbistromartinibar.com or call (904)996-8117.
Sundaes in the Neighborhoods – Every Sunday in September
The Neighborhoods of World Golf Village presents Sundaes in The Neighborhoods, a free home tour to be held every Sunday afternoon in September from noon-4 pm. The event will include complimentary ice cream sundaes provided by Murray Bros. Caddyshack and tours of four beautiful homes at World Golf Village. Attendees can also register to win ice cream makers and accessories. Sponsors for the event are The Neighborhoods of World Golf Village, Davidson Realty, WJXT Channel 4 and Murray Bros. Caddyshack. Info: (904) 940-5000 or worldgolfrealestate.com
MOSH’s 7th annual X Cuisine- Friday, September 12
Celebrity Chef Richard Blais, best known for his recent appearance on the hit BRAVO TV show, Top Chef, will be whipping up a gourmet tasting menu, imaginative drink mixology and delectable dessert. Expect live entertainment.Tickets: $125 Jr. X Cuisine (21-35 years old) passes are $75. Info: themosh.org or (904) 396-MOSH
SHINDIG for Sanctuary – Friday, September 12
Benefiting the Sanctuary on 8th Street and the Lynn Philips Sanctuary School, expect appetizers, dinner, entertainment and a silent auction. The Sanctuary on 8th Street provides after school programming, summer camp, and a small school to inner city children. 6 pm- 9 pm. Tickets: $50. Garden Club of Jacksonville. Info: email [email protected]om or call (904) 356-3588
Sulzbacher Center’s 10th Annual Transformations – Thursday, September 18
Tickets to this event, which benefits the homeless, includes a family-friendly, upscale tailgate party held at 6 pm on Forsyth Street. Meet Jaguar players, eat appetizers and bid on vacation packages, while listening to live entertainment from the Carlisle Group. Food will be provided by Chew, Primi Piatti, Ruth Chris, Biscottis, the Brick and the Casbah among other local notables. At 7:30 pm ticket holders will go to the Florida Theatre to enjoy a tribute program about local members of the homeless community, whose lives have been transformed by the Sulzbacher Center. Tickets: $50 adults, $25 kids and students. Info: Transformations2008.org or (904) 394-8084.
FOCUS Cummer Kickoff Dinner – Friday, September 19
The opening event of the FOCUS Cummer season, held at the River Club downtown from 4:30 pm – 9 pm to coincide with the Cummer Museum’s exhibit, “Jacksonville Through the Eyes of a Painter,” a collection of impressionist paintings of our city by Phil Sandusky. FOCUS Cummer supports local art education programs. The event begins in the garden of the Cummer Museum with the re-dedication of the restored Diana statue and an opportunity to view the Sandusky exhibit. Guests will then proceed to the River Club for an open bar cocktail hour with hors d’ oeuvres followed by a plated dinner with wine. Tickets $70. Info: call Nancy Spadero at (904) 543-7717 or focuscummer.org
Hallmark Partners Tailgate Kick Off to a Cure – Sunday, September 21
Combining two of Jacksonville’s favorite pastimes: food and football. In its 9th year, Hallmark Partners Tailgate Kick Off to a Cure is presented by Southern Oak Insurance Company. The Stadium is the place to see the Jacksonville Jaguars battle the Indianapolis Colts on 34 big screens TVs while you enjoy live and silent auctions, an open bar and 30 of the area’s top chefs preparing the most impressive tailgate spread you’ve ever tasted! Doors open at 3:30 pm. Proceeds to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Tickets $100. Sponsorship and group packages available. Info: (904) 733-3560.
Margarita J-Ville – Friday, September 26
This Key West-themed event, benefiting Big Brothers/Big Sisters, begins at 6:30 pm with fabulous Caribbean cuisine, free-flowing margaritas, beer and live entertainment. It’s a fun-filled, relaxed, Jimmy Buffett-style atmosphere at TPC Sawgrass, where everyone comes dressed in their favorite island attire. Tickets: $100. Info: bbbs.org or (904)727-9797 ext: 252
Single wine enthusiasts looking for love can check out the action at the Wine Bar’s (1515 Prudential Dr., 904 346-0605) Lock and Key event on Saturday, September 20th at 8:00. Every dude gets a key, every chick gets a lock. The goal, of course, is to match the right lock with the right key. Visit the website lockandkeyevents.com/jax for more information or to register. Cost is only $20 and includes a free glass of wine or beer, appetizers and a chance to win great prizes and meet other singles.
For the wine challenged or beginners who are intimidated by the world of wine, check out Wine Tasting 101 on September 5th at the Historic Bayfront Hilton in St. Augustine (32 Avenida Menendez, 407 791-7626). Three or four wines will be sampled and executive Chef Brad will create an incredible appetizer for you to re-create at home. Cost is only $10! They’re going to make it a monthly event, so call if you miss this one!
It’s not always just about wine. Sometimes it’s about tea. High tea and tiny sandwiches. If that’s what you’re into, try High Tea at the Row (1521 Riverside Avenue 354-5080) Afternoon tea is served from 1 pm- 3 pm on Friday and Saturday. For ten or more, the afternoon tea can also be served Monday through Thursday. Afternoon tea is $15 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required in all cases.
notable classes and demos
Some of the best cooking starts with fresh veggies, and nothing can be fresher than vegetables straight from your own garden. For some tips on how to grow your own, you might want to attend the Duval County Extension Office workshop on growing cool season vegetables on Saturday, September 20th from 10 am- noon. Cost is $5; please call Jeannie at 387-8850 to pre-register.
Blue Bamboo’s (3820 Southside Blvd., 904-646-1478) Dennis Chan will be holding a class on Italian cooking on September 13th. Just a few slots are open, so be sure and call to reserve!
Two of the standout demo classes at the Apron’s Cooking School, (10500 San Jose Blvd. 904-262-4187) are the Chocoholics Anonymous demo ($35) on September 13th and the Lobster Lover’s demo ($55) on September 27th.
dish update + events
by erin thursby