Bistro Aix Jacksonville Restaurant Review

The famed Bistro Aix…Everyone knows of it, most have eaten there, some are worried about spending the money and not liking it and there are some that are maybe a little intimidated by the place. I’m not going to lie, the first time I went there, I felt out of place. The fancy food, the options and frankly…I didn’t understand some of the things on the menu. If you’re like me, a middle class type of guy, it’s hard to bring yourself to eat at a place like this. My review breaks it all down, just like my review of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. One of the most common ways people find my review of Ruth’s Chris is by googling “What can I wear to Ruth’s Chris” lol. Here is my Restaurant Review Video montage of Bistro Aix:

1440 San Marco Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32207
(904)398-1949

Location: Remember where all that road construction was in San Marco for what seemed like 10yrs?  That’s the area, right down the street from JOI.

Disclaimer: First off, let me put this out there.  This was a free tasting even for bloggers and media people to try out their new items.  As you know, free food doesn’t equate to a free pass when it comes to my reviews. With that said, on to the food!

Bistro Aix Review 1 Jacksonville Restaurant Review 1

Food: They have several new cocktails that they wanted everyone to try out but I got caught up running my mouth with other people and only snagged a Aixoise (Menu Description: Bombay Gin or Russian Standard Vodka, slightly dirty with anchovy, stilton blue cheese and jalapeno olives) I don’t have the price on this item and before I forget, the portion sizes in the pictures and the video are just sample sizes. There is no way I could eat regular portion sizes of all the stuff they wanted to feed us. Ok, back to the martini. It was good, but I’m not even remotely a connoisseur of martinis at all. I probably should have tried something else. I’m sorry, I have failed you in the beverage tasting department.

Next up was the Mussel Frites (Menu Descrption: steamed in garlic, thyme and white wine). A normal sized portion is priced at $15. These were pretty good, I don’t often eat mussels, but after trying these, I should probably add them into my routine. The flavor profile (I have to step it up on this review) was great. I would try these again.

This is going to sound weird and show how unsophisticated I actually am, but the next thing I tried, Blue Cheese Chips (Menu Description: house-made potato chips w/warm stilton and blue cheese) were my favorite. I could eat these all days. As you can see, it wasn’t just dry crumbles that roll off the chips when you try to eat them, these were nice and creamy and just the right amount on each chip. The chips were cooked perfectly. I could probably just eat these as a meal, they were that good. There are two portion sizes, $6 and $9, I don’t know the size ratios for the appetizers.

I also tried the Grilled Cheese (Menu Description: Cheddar, provolone and tomato). This is priced at $9.50. I just thought it was ok, nothing really special about it. Definitely not $9.50 great though. Everyone else seemed to like it. But like I said, it was ok. Just didn’t seem like something I couldn’t make at home for 1/4 price. When I’m coming to a place like this, spending this kind of money, I don’t want to leave there thinking “I could probably get close to that item in my kitchen” Don’t get me wrong, they have amazing chefs here and I couldn’t possibly do what they do…but it’s just a grilled cheese.

Restaurant Reviews Jacksonville 1 Best Restaurant Jacksonville 1

Burger time! Le Grande Cheeseburger (Menu Description: double quarter pounder, 2 pickles, onions, cheddar, local lettuce and secret sauce) This is going to cost you $13. Great burger, loved it. It was slightly pink on the inside, which is the way I like it. The bun was fresh, along with all the other stuff. The sauce was all kinds of awesome. One suggestion to the people at Bistro Aix, use a better description than “secret sauce”.

Fries are next. Truffled Parmesan Fries (served with garlic aioli). These are priced at $10. I guess I’m more of a French Fry Heaven kind of guy when it comes to fries.  This is going to show how I’m pretty different than most other food bloggers.  I don’t care for truffles.  There, I said it. Go ahead and unfollow me.  I know I should be embarrassed, but I just don’t like truffles.  It gives it a really odd taste.  This is bizarre but it almost taste chemical to me.  I’m sure Bistro Aix uses the finest truffles but I haven’t been a fan of them at other restaurants either.  Now, Parmesan I’m a big fan of.  $10 fries? I think I will pass.

I also tried a slice of the Italian Sausage Pizza (Menu Description: House-made sausage with caramelized onions and spicy harissa) for $15 and the Mushroom Fontina (Menu Description: Hen of the Woods and white truffle oil) for $14.  I LOVED the Italian Sausage one, absolutely loved it and I think it might be up there with Pele’s Wood Fire I just wish I knew what a full serving size looked like.  The Mushroom Fontina had truffles on it, so you can imagine, I didn’t care for it.

And the final thing I tried was the Bananas Foster (Menu Description: None) for $10.  I would get this again for a couple of reasons.  First off, the show that comes with it.  Who doesn’t like fire at their table?  And secondly, they kept to the basics and it was perfect.  Nothing fancy, just fresh ingredients cooked to perfection.  I would end every meal there with that as the dessert.

Extras: You can wear jeans here, just not jean shorts.  Really, you shouldn’t be wearing jean shorts anyways but I digress.  Most of the people I saw here were in slacks and button up shirts and the occasional person wearing designer jeans and a nice polo.  The place is dark inside, so clothes aren’t that important.  The focus seems to be on the food and the experience.  Don’t worry about the clothes too much.  I would suggest reservations though, the place was packed.

The Good:
– Innovative food
– Everything is fresh
– Nice ambiance

The Bad:
– A couple of the items you can get elsewhere or make at home for less than half the price
– Parking is a disaster

 

Bistro Aix on Urbanspoon

jaxfoodcritic

I love food and I love to make people laugh. This blog started out as a place for me to just vent about some crappy food and turned out that I stumbled into some good food along the way. I'm a father of 2, husband, and master of nothing.

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8 Comments

on “Bistro Aix Jacksonville Restaurant Review
8 Comments on “Bistro Aix Jacksonville Restaurant Review
  1. Just a mention about your ruth’s chris comment, I’ve seen people in shorts and a hawaiian shirt there, so apparently they don’t turn anybody away at ruth’s chris and you can wear what you want.

  2. I agree that the mussels are pretty good and those chips are addictive. It’s very sophisticated as long as you stick a pinky finger out while grabbing a chip.

    I used to eat here frequently and in my experience the appetizers were always better than the entrees though their tuna is quite good. It was a nice place to go for happy hour and share 2 or 3 appetizers with a friend. One thing is that the restaurant is enormous with seating capacity around or over 200(I believe) so outside of happy hour I mostly went on Sundays when they were not busy. It’s very difficult to deliver the kind of consistency I want at that price point when you are so large. I think one time I had a decent meal ending with curdled creme brulee and I was over it. I am however happy to hear that Bananas Foster is a permanent part of their dessert menu.

    • Yeah, that place is much bigger than it appears from the outside. I haven’t been overly impressed with it, considering the price point like you said. I would rather go somewhere else and save some money and get the same experience.

  3. Bistor Aix is really nice. I have had a good dining experience whenerver I went.

    I also think that Bebe’s should be reviewed. you have to get their calamari appatizer and their Braised short rib if they have it.

    Mezze’s is a new place with killer chicken Kabobs and rotating craft beers. It’ on Hendricks where Layla’s used to be. they have middle eastern fare with brick oven traditional style pizza also. If you ask them to make their mushroom and hummus on flat bread appetizer you will NOT be sorry (it’s NOT on the menu and don’t forget the lemon and extra “angel dust”)! You can also smoke hooka and it is outside so the smokers and the eaters don’t have to share the air.

    I don’t see a review for European Street. Their beer chees soup and their beef and Bousin or Knock and Pastrami sandwhiches are winners everytime. Skip the potato chips and sub in german potato salad for something different (and better IMO).

    Lastly, Mathew’s is amazing and if you can only afford to get one thing, get their signature Foie Gras. It is probably going to be one of the best things you every eat in you life.

  4. We went a few weeks ago and I was not impressed. It was our first time so we ordered a few appetizers, two different soups, and two entrees. For $120, I’d rather go to III Forks or Taverna. The service was less than stellar- our waiter didn’t come to take our order for about 15 minutes after we were seated. For a “just okay” meal, we definitely won’t return. It was also really really loud in there which made any conversation pretty difficult.

    This is going to be a random suggestion but if you want to try some really good mussels, get them at Al’s. I know, I know, I doubted it too but I swear! They’re really good. I think they have an option of a red sauce or a garlic sauce- go with the garlic and shake some red pepper flakes on them. The garlic butter toast they serve them with is perfect.

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