Jacksonville’s foodie scene has continued to expand and impress in the last few years. Incredible momentum and collaboration can be seen as well known chefs branch out on their own to create legacies that are sure to influence the palettes of the locals and draw visitors in for a taste of the First Coast.
What better excuse to explore the unique flavors of the Bold City than to plan a romantic evening out at some of the most notable dining destinations? Adventure into uncharted waters as you try new combinations. Don’t be afraid to let the chef be your guide at Salt where you can sit “In the Kitchen Seat” and get a first hand view of all the action.
To truly amaze your date reserve your tickets for The Legend Series. A super secret pop up dinner that happens two to four times a year. Find out the day of the event where the dinner takes place and experience pure magic as the best culinary, visual, and performing artists come together to showcase the level of talent Jacksonville is hailed for.
Looking to keep it casual? Royal Palms Village Wine and Tapas has a great social scene and produces some of the finest farm to table small plates in the city. At Mezza Restaurant and Bar you can enjoy live music in the lounge or sit outside and enjoy the sea breeze.
From ultra formal, to coastal cool, Jacksonville’s date night destinations are on point and keep impressing with award winning fare, friendly service, and intimate backdrops that invite you to connect over a shared passion for what’s on the plate. What could be more romantic than that?
Royal Palms Village Wine and Tapas
One of Jacksonville's best kept secrets in casual fine dining is Royal Palms Village Wine and Tapas. At Royal Palms you can enjoy not only great fare, but also a retail space where you can learn about and take home top rated selections of beer and wine from all over the world. Locally minded, the restaurant celebrates community sustainability and sources it's ingredients largely from local farms and vendors. The environment is rustic, and reminiscent of wine country where barrells become tables and diners are not afraid to get friendly. The menu gains inspiration from around the world with a great selection of Tapas like Polenta Cakes and Daily Flatbreads, as well as dinner-sized plates for larger appetites like Seared Black Angus Beef and Mayport Shrimp and Grits. For a casual night out in a social environment, enjoy Royal Palms Village Wine and Tapas for your next date night. ((904) 372-0052)
Mezza Restaurant and Bar
Mezza Restaurant and Bar is an ideal destination for romantic evenings out and offers a variety of backgrounds for you to select from. If you are looking for a more casual night choose the covered patio and take in the fresh sea breeze. For a little more entertainment hang out in the lounge/bar area and listen to live music while you get social. When the occasion calls for a bit more formality request the dining room and enjoy an intimate setting. Wherever you choose to dine at Mezza you'll enjoy the same great service and top notch fare. Choose from selections like Steak Frites, Pan Seared Scallops, and Wood Fired Pizza guests can't get enough of. Pair it with a vintage off Mezza's well rounded wine list to bring out the flavor of each dish, and don't forget to save room for seasonal desserts that will melt in your mouth. (904-249-5573)
Escape with your date to a private hideaway at Dwight's Bistro. Tucked away in a small strip mall, sits this locally praised fine dining establishment. From the moment diners arrive they are swept away to a Mediterranean paradise. Hand crafted mosaics created over the last eighteen years align the walls, complimenting elegant lighting and fascinating artwork. Chef/Owner Dwight DeLude's open kitchen in the main dining room is a guest favorite where you are treated to a first hand look of his creative process. The menu features Handmade Pasta including the "must have" Ravioli of the Day, Dwight's famous Crab cakes and classic selections like Filet, Sea Bass, and melt in your mouth Sea Scallops. Pair those decadent selections with the perfect vintage and your world class dining experience is complete. From the elegant surroundings to the upscale fare, an evening at Dwight's Bistro is one you won't soon forget. (904-241-4496)
Part chic lounge, part romantic dining room, Restaurant Medure is a popular date night favorite at the beaches. Come for the live music and get moving on the dance floor, or grab a booth and enjoy the trendy scene while nibbling off Truffle Fries, Ahi Tuna Tacos, and Bacon Wrapped Dates. If you are looking for something a bit quieter reserve a table in the dining room and experience the plush elegance of Medure's signature style choosing from tasty menu items like Bucatini Carbonara, Butter Poached Cod, and Medure's Meatloaf. Top the night off with the Souffle' of the evening, or delicious Mascarpone Cheese cake and your taste buds will be thanking you for weeks to come. At Restaurant Medure, service and style create a distinctive atmosphere to enjoy award winning fare, one you'll be ready to experience again and again. (904-543-3797)
If you are seeking a French inspired restaurant dishing out great fare in a chic location, you will love Orsay. Created with the French Bistro in mind, Orsay ditches the pretentiousness you might expect, and replaces it with friendly service and Southern hospitality. You'll recognize southern influences in the menu as Orsay combines regional nuances with French classics. Cozy up in the rustic dining room, or have a drink in the chic lounge. Love to brunch it up? Orsay makes brunch the "it" meal of the week with healthy servings of Quiche, Steak & Eggs, and Bourbon & Orange French Toast. What's more, if you're into Raw bars, then you will be delighted with Orsay's wide selection. Truly Orsay is the total package. What more could you ask for in a romantic night out? How about a talented pastry chef serving up iconic favorites? Yeah, they have that too. (904-381-0909)
III Forks - Jacksonville
As you walk into III Forks spacious interior you'll be impressed at once by it's modern design. III Forks elevates the classic steakhouse ambiance by it's tasteful use of earth tones and natural elements, seamlessly creating a sophisticated sense of place. Up to date not only in design but also in technology, III Fork's menu is more interactive as you muse your choices on an Ipad. Choose from the choicest USDA Prime Steak or enjoy fresh seafood made to perfection. You can't miss the glass encased wine room as you enter the restaurant showcasing upon entry the extensive selection of vintages III Forks houses. Choose from this selection or request your server choose the ideal pairing for your meal. From start to finish a night at III Forks is truly a fine dining experience you won't soon forget. (904-928-9277)
Eleven South Bistro & Bar
Wine and dine your date at one of Jacksonville's best kept secrets. Eleven South Bistro and Bar features an award winning menu, and wine list worthy of the most selective connoisseur. New to food and wine pairing? The knowledgeable staff is trained to help you compliment each dish with a vintage that suits your taste and enhances the flavor of each ingredient. You'll have no problem cozying up to your loved one in the sophisticated dining room, eating al fresco on the patio, or getting social at the bar. After partaking of the Mediterranean and European inspired fare, make sure to save room for a sweet finale with selections like Vanilla Creme' Brulee, Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, and Coffee and Doughnuts to complete your romantic evening. (904-241-1112)
Tucked away in Jacksonville's historic San Marco neighborhood is date night favorite, Taverna. Serving up seasonal European fare, Taverna's popularity recently led to an expansion in space. Pair selections from the award winning wine list with decadent dishes created with fresh local ingredients. Specialties include wood fired pizzas, fresh scallops, and hand crafted pastas. The setting is a contrast of warm woods, and clean modern lines with intimate dining area, bar seating, as well as patio seating for a view of San Marco square. Visit Taverna for a distinctive menu and signature flavor combinations that will stimulate the senses. (904-398-3005)
Impress the one you love at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island as you savor award winning fare at it's ocean-front restaurant Salt. Nationally applauded for it's sophisticated elevation of every day classics, an experience at Salt is like no other. Reserve the ultimate night out and sit "In the kitchen seat", a private room built into the kitchen. You and your guest will enjoy an insiders look at how Salt's creations come to fruition, while still enjoying the intimacy and quiet of an evening together. Salt's knowledgeable wait staff are expert at identifying which salts, provided on the table, pair best with each menu item. From the elegant setting, to the world class menu, a night at Salt is guaranteed to be one to remember. ((904) 277-1100)
The Legend Series
If you're you're looking to turn your romantic evening into an experience full of shock and awe, then The Legend Series is your ticket. One of the most exclusive and secretive events in Jacksonville, The Legend Series are renegade pop up dinners that happen two to four times a year in the most unexpected locations. The top chefs in the region come together to prepare an adventurous menu unique to the location while talented visual and performing artists wow your senses. Locations that have stood out in the past include an abandoned factory, a parking garage, an historic cemetery, and even the stage of the Florida Theatre. Each event is unique and magical in it's own way and the extraordinary lengths the entire team go to to achieve excellence are an inspiration to all. (904-683-7720)
About Amy West
Jacksonville, FL based Amy West is the creator of amywesttravel.com, a travel and lifestyle brand including TV show "Like Love Want Need".
New Zealand, China, Malta, Germany, and Brazil all find pins on Amy’s world map amongst other exotic destinations she's visited.
Amy regularly appears as a guest on several media outlets including WJXT News 4 Jax, Daytime Talk Show "The Chat", NPR Radio show “First Coast Connect”, and Jax Moms Blog. Look for Amy on "Amy West Travel the Blog" where she posts reviews on her exciting adventures.
Read more about Amy West here.
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