Bonjour, y’all! Candy Apple Cafe has rolled out some new delights this season. Their food, if you haven’t guessed from the greeting I’ve stolen from their press materials, is a fusion of down home Southern American and French. We got a taste at their media dinner. Starters include a well-presented and delicious beef tenderloin tartare, buffalo chicken croquettes for those who like it hot. In salads they’ve got a pretty little wedge, and gruyere for their rich French onion soup. On their brunch menu, don’t miss their version of shrimp & grits. Meat eaters can go for their lush short rib pot-au-feu, while those less inclined to an animal-based meal can go for the savory wild mushroom risotto during dinner. As usual they’ve crafted their cocktails with care. Verdict’s In ($12) is a great choice to drink with your appetizer course. It’s got a bit of a bite to it, with mezcal, pressed lemon juice, blackberry-raspberry puree and housemade jalapeno simple syrup. You can also opt to drink dessert with their Bourbon S’Mores ($12), but don’t expect to be the one driving home if you do!
We’re proud to say that Jacksonville made a list of surprising foodie cities in Forbes magazine! Lots of area hidden gems were mentioned (Jenkins, Clark’s Fish Camp) but they also mentioned the recent influx of celeb chefs and established chefs choosing Jacksonville as a place to roost, a la Sbraga & Co.
Jerry Moran’s La Cena, known for its handmade pasta, upscale, white-tablecloth Italian downtown, is closing their doors. Moran plans to open a new La Cena in September at 911 Edgewood Ave. South. Cowford Chophouse is experiencing some delays in construction, so the tentative open date has been moved from late summer to fall. Brixx Wood Fired Pizza opens June 6 at 220 Riverside. Chomp Chomp opened in their new digs as expected, late last month in the Fairfax neighborhood. Find them on Herschel, where the Hungry Howie’s used to be. Expect more of a dine-in experience (but still casual) at the new locale. Richard’s Sandwich Shoppe, on Oak Street in Five Points, is closed and has been sold. The owner, Richard Abboud, had sold sandwiches there for over 30 years.
Despite protests from the neighborhood, rezoning for a 150-seat restaurant called the Roost went ahead this past month. It’s slated to go in the old Deluxe Dry Cleaners space on Oak Street in Riverside. Residents worry that the parking and traffic will be disruptive to their neighborhood.
Although this deal is far from closed, word is that the long-empty space at 9th and Main in Springfield has an interested tenant in the form of Bono’s BBQ. They also plan to have a separate tap room in the space.
The Famous Toastery will be soft opening on June 15th on First Street in Jax Beach. The restaurant will be serving breakfast and lunch–specialty omelets and sandwiches.
M Hospitality, the restaurant group from celebrated Chef Matthew Medure and his brother will be opening up two more concept restaurants: Mbque, a barbecue joint set to open in St. Augustine and Rue St. Marc, an Ameri-French fusion concept, which will be going in the San Marco location they already own (currently the parking lot is used to house their food truck on days they aren’t set for another locale).
There’s always a lot going on at Hemming Park these days, and while Jaxon’s Night Market is always on my list, this month the 2nd Annual Asian Food Festival (June 18) caught my eye.
If you haven’t been paying attention to jaxrestaurantreviews.com, it might be time to start. This month they have a great line-up of foodie-type events, including a Cuban foodie adventure at Tapa That (June 16), a multi-course, all dessert event at Orsay (June 20), and a Vegan dinner at Ocean 60 (June 27).
Wherever you decide to sate your hunger, keep it local, and keep it fresh.