Ovinte (Southside) – The Chef Selects

Chef-Selects_headerHere at EU Jacksonville, we want to spread the word about everything tasty here on the First Coast. We’ve talked to some of our area’s chefs about what they think you should order at their restaurants this season and why.

By Erin Thursby, EU Food Editor & Executive Director of GastroJax

Ovinte, Chef Selects, EU Jacksonville, St. Johns Town CenterOvinte

(Southside) One of two locally owned restaurants in the St. Johns Town Center, Ovinte is definitely a place you should be dining if you’re shopping on the Southside. There’s a lot of small plate and tapas action on their menu, so it’s the kind of place you can take a group for some upscale nibbles. We love lounging on their velvet couches, indulging in a post-work cocktail or wine, though they do have more traditional seating in other parts of the restaurant, as well as outdoors on the patio.

Chef Ian Lynch serves up some of the finest meals Jacksonville has to offer. His choice for this season is the duck, or as we like to call it, Duck Done Ovinte. Duck is one of those tricky dishes that, when done properly, is divine, but when bungled, seems a terrible calamity. Chef Ian does it right, so know that if you order it at Ovinte, you won’t be disappointed.

Ovinte, Chef Selects, EU Jacksonville, St. Johns Town Center

The seared duck is served over lovely little English peas, Cipollini onions,a sweet-tart balsamic sauce with figs, and topped with micro-greens from local farm Veggie Confetti. It’s served with a savory bread with leeks and spanish goat cheese inside, that is almost like a delicious somewhat sweet quiche rather than a brioche, perhaps because chef’s secret ingredient: succotash.

Chef Ian recommends the duck at Ovinte because it’s “a treat” and when it comes from his kitchen, he knows how important it is that it’s done correctly. “Sometimes,” says Chef Ian, “I  just crave duck.” We think that once the word’s out, duck lovers will flock to try a taste.

Find the rest of the Chef Selects here.

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About Erin Thursby