The First Coast keeps attracting high-level chefs. Matt Lauer’s former personal chef, Chris Polidoro plans to open a 34-seat restaurant in Neptune Beach, in the space where Tama’s Sushi recently closed (Tama retired this past March). Attracted by our food scene, Polidoro will be bringing a New York city sophistication to his menu, with a definite mix of Florida beach vibe. Look for an early summer opening for Doro. We’ll keep you posted!
Late last month, The American Gator Club opened at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa. The restaurant overlooks the water at the 13th hole of the the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, featuring an outdoor patio. There are lots of Florida-themed delights on the menu, from alcohol (Gator Punch!) to Gator Nugget Tacos and Citrus Spiked Peel & Eat Gulf Shrimp.
Also newly opened in Ponte Vedra on A1A is Flavor Palette. It’s all about gourmet sandwiches, homemade gelato and sorbets.Ovinté, one of the few local non-chain restaurants in the St. Johns Town Center has rolled out their spring menus, including a new menu of $5 plates for happy hour (between 4-6:30pm daily). We’re especially intrigued by a new dessert selection: a manchego cheese cake.
Get ready for something new/old in San Marco! We’ve heard a lot about the development of the historical San Marco Train Station on Hendricks Avenue, which currently houses Post to Post Links II error: No post found with slug "Panera". Another one of the spaces, set to open soon, will be Puerta Vallarta, a more upscale restaurant concept from the folks who brought Jacksonville La Nopalera. Many of the menu items will be much the same as La Nop, and the owners plan to close down the current location La Nop locale in San Marco so they won’t be competing with themselves. Among the amenities will be balcony seating, a floating bar, and greenery under the expansive skylight running down the center of the space.Kitchen on San Marco is celebrating their one year anniversary. If you haven’t been there yet and you’re into small farm fare, we can particularly recommend the gazpacho soup. (Full disclosure: it’s one of the things we tried at their Thank you Media Brunch). It’s not normally something I would order, but when it comes to cold soups, KoSM has me convinced I like them now, because every time I have tried one there I have fallen in love! Features heirloom tomato, cucumber, micro basil and Georgia olive oil. Chomp Chomp is leaving Downtown. We aren’t sure when the doors will be closed for good, but word is that they plan to re-open sometime in May or later this spring on Herschel Street in the Fairfax neighborhood (between the more well-known neighborhoods of Avondale and Ortega). The Jacksonville Suns have rolled out a series of new menus at the baseball stadium, which we tried at their media event. As usual, they have great dogs (those buns are on POINT!), sausages and the usual stadium fare, but they also have chicken and waffles, dessert selections and spicy chicken bites served in a waffle cone.
O’Brothers in Five Points has closed, but a new restaurant, Five Points Tavern is expected to open in the space in May. They’re looking to hit that slightly swanky but ultimately casual sweet spot, so that it becomes a go-to favorite for American cuisine. There’s been quite a bit of development in Five Points in the past few years (and more to come!) as far as eateries are concerned.