Dish Update – August 2010

by erin thursby
The bad economy isn’t just a drag- it’s an edible opportunity. Because of it, even upscale places such as Matthew’s are running specials while still offering quality dining. This is your chance to indulge in Matthew’s three-course prix fixe summer menu for $35. Start your meal with a selection of delicious appetizers, soup or salads. For your main course, select from chicken parmesan with spinach and Parisian potatoes ‘al Anglaise’, beef tenderloin tips served with roasted garlic gnoochi, grilled fish with Boursin whipped potatoes, or hand made pappardelle with duck confit and grilled summer vegetables. End your meal with a wonderful souffle’, crème brulee or Chef Matthews’ signature molten chocolate cake with fresh churned vanilla bean ice cream. Call 396-9922 to make reservations.
At Ocean 60 in Atlantic Beach, they’re running a three-course early bird special every day for $20 from 4- 6 pm. This time frame happily rolls right through their happy hour, which ends at 7 pm.
Not every deal out there is available to everybody, you have to know where to look or where to sign up. The fine dining experiences of Dwight’s, Marker 32, Bistro AIX have all had coupons on www.groupon.com. You can often buy gift certificates at half price but you have to check back daily or sign up for updates. WBOB also offers half priced gift certificates. Shula’s, Pusser’s, The Melting Pot, North Beach Bistro and more are part of the mix. You can either tune in or check out what they’ve got to offer on www.1320wbob.com/showcase.php. These online and radio offered steals have become more and more pervasive.
Want to eat for a good cause? You don’t have to wait for an event, just head to Orsay on Park Street and order some oysters. They’re donating 25 cents to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill fund for every Gulf Coast oyster sold.
The Raintree in St. Augustine has always been a favorite for a post-date dessert. They’ve revamped things with more outdoor seating, live entertainment and new menu selections. Price-points have come down a bit with specials ranging from about $10- 16.
Fuo Hao Bistro in Five Points is closed.
Last month Crazy Egg opened on the corner of Edgewood and Post.
Look for the wine and entertainment venue Underbelly to start serving vegetarian lunches soon.
Thursdays Affair in the Square San Marco Square restaurants, bars, boutiques and shops are all in on the affair. Stroll the square, enjoy live entertainment, sample special cocktails and appetizers at great prices, and shop late in an array of specialty boutiques and shops only found in the San Marco Square. 4pm- 9 pm
Fridays Sake 101 An introduction to Sake tasting. 5-8 pm Circle Japan, 12192 Beach Boulevard, Suite 1, 710-5193.
Fridays St. Johns Towncenter Market 3pm- 8 pm, sjtcmarket.com
Saturdays Riverside Arts Market www.riversideartsmarket.com/
Saturdays Orange Park Farmers Market 10 am-2 pm www.orangeparkfarmersmarket.com/
Sundays Mandarin Farmers and Arts Market Noon- 4pm, www.mandarinfarmersmarket.com
Wine Tasting Series at Zaitoon Mediterranean Grill Held on the First Wednesday of each month 6 pm- 8 pm, $15, 13475 Atlantic Blvd., Ste. 40 (located behind Fresh Market in the Harbour Village Shopping Center) www.zaitoongrill.com
August 4 Ice Cream Social to benefit the Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition of Jacksonville For a $5 suggested donation, the public can enjoy a frosty treat and support a good cause. Donations go toward a 50/50 raffle and remaining proceeds benefit ESHC’s advocacy and awareness efforts in Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. Noon- 2 pm. The Jacksonville Landing www.eshcnet.org
August 9- 22 Eat Up Downtown Each participating restaurant will offer a three-course fixed priced menu for $25. All you have to do is make a reservation! For reservations, call the restaurant of your choice directly. For more info and menus, visit www.eatupdowntown.com or call 451-3344.
August 13 Toast to the Animals If you love animals and you also love alcholic beverages, this is the party for you. Eat gourmet, drink what you please and know that your ticket price will help the local Humane Society. Tickets for designated drivers are available at a lower cost. 6- 9 pm, $31-67, Omni Jacksonville, 245 Water St. www.jaxhumane.org/events/toast-to-the-animals.
August 13 Island Hop Wine Dinner It’s always a pleasure to dine at Roy’s, but it’s even more pleasurable when they have a four course wine dinner. Soy charred sea scallops, creamy polenta cassoulet and beef with Maui onions are all on the menu, each paired with a wine. 6:45- 9 pm, $69.95 per person, not including tax and gratuity, Roy’s 2400 S. 3rd St., Jacksonville Beach. www.roysrestaurant.com
August 15 Mediterranean Cooking Class Series Get into the kitchen at Azurea and learn from Chef Ted Peters. It’s the first class they’re offering. Things kick off with canapes and champagne. You’ll receive an apron, chef’s jacket, menu packet and food to take with you. Learn how to create a summer Mediterranean menu, wine parings and menu planning. 1- 3 pm, $60, One Ocean Hotel Resort & Spa One Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach, www.oneoceanresort.com
August 28 Stir Fries, Curries and Sautes Gregarious East-meets-West Chef Dennis Chan will teach you the ins and outs of stir frying, making curries and saute techniques. Includes lunch and glass of wine or cocktail. 10 am- Noon, $38, Blue Bamboo 3820 Southside Blvd, www.bluebamboojacksonville.com
August 30 The Gourmet Slice Traditional pizza is a thing of the past. Learn the art of gourmet pizza-making by combining flavors you wouldn’t normally think of putting on a pizza. From Asian flare to Mexican spice, put a twist on this all-time classic and fall in love with it all over again. 6 pm, $35, Publix Apron’s Cooking School 10500 San Jose Blvd, www.publix.com

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