Thursday, October 28, 2010

Review: Taverna San Marco

I'm lucky enough to get emails from Groupon on a daily basis, alerting me to special deals around Jacksonville. One afternoon, I saw that they had a deal going on for Taverna so I grabbed it and made plans to visit with an old friend of mine.

I made reservations for 8:00pm on a Friday night, which may have been a crazy mistake of mine.... the San Marco area on a Friday night has a serious lack of parking! After a few rounds up and down the boulevard (cue "Don't Stop Believing here) I finally found some parking and made my way in. So just a heads up if you plan to visit, get there way ahead of schedule so you can find parking.

The decor is very nice, the bar has rustic wood accents, the lighting is chic, and the layout is cozy. Our waitress came right out to present us with the charcuterie and cheese menu, along with the dinner menu, and described to us the specials of the day.

After a good look on the menu, my friend and I decided on the Gambas al ajillo ($9) (Prawns with garlic and chili), and the House-made mozzarella, Prosciutto di Parma, grilled peasant bread platter ($14) to start with.


The prawns arrived in a mini skillet, and were perfectly cooked. The tender shrimp were covered in a chili dry rub, then cooked in a sauce of sliced garlic, chili oil, and a squeeze of lemon. These were a great choice, and both of us used the rest of our peasant bread to soak up the rest of the juices.


Our platter came out on an aged wooden board, and was artfully presented. The slices of fresh mozzarella were drizzled with olive oil and smoked sea salt. The peasant bread was grilled and had a slight smoky flavor to it. The platter was even served with dried figs, which was a key element. The combination of these flavors with the silky prosciutto were marvelous.


My friend ordered the Skirt Steak a la Plancha ($22) for his entree. This skirt steak was served with roasted fingerling potatoes and a chimichurri sauce on top. This steak had such incredible flavors going on, with a bit of chili rub on the potatoes and steak, and the chimmichurri sauce was delicious.


I ordered the fish special of the evening, which was Tuna, so I got it Pesce style ($28). The tuna was seared, and then served with haricot verts, fennel, fingerling potatoes,
nicoise olives, tomato confit, fresh picked herbs. I chose to leave out the olives, but all of my other veggies were so fresh and amazing. The crisp fresh green beans and a perfectly seared piece of tuna was a good choice.


Not to be missed are the Patatas Bravas ($5), which are fried fingerling potatoes with spicy paprika served with a garlic ailoi. I would have been so happy having just these and the platter as my meal. Their garlic aioli is to die for, and if you want more to dip in, just request it and they will gladly bring you more!

We finished off the evening with a glass of Sorracco for me and a Sam Adams Oktoberfest Brew for him. An overall great evening trying out a new place that will definitely be added into a rotation for me!

Taverna on Urbanspoon


The Chef In My Head said...

YUM! It all looks too good! I love Groupon! ~LeslieMichele

Buy RevitaDerm said...

It all looks too good! I love Groupon