So…this time out for dinner, it was up to the wife. Being that I started doing website reviews, we are trying to hit more local businesses/restaurants and see if we can find any hidden gems. Well, the wife broke out her iPhone and used the Urbanspoon.com app and found a little Italian restaurant in the Southside area. Let’s give it a shot!
11380 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville, FL. 32246
Location: It’s right on the corner of St. Johns Bluff and Beach Blvd in the shopping center with Winn-Dixie in it. It’s right next to the vacant Blockbuster Video on the corner. Hard to believe my kid will grow up not know what a Blockbuster is. Dang, I’m old.
Food: This is usually where I break down the food and only the food but this time I’m going to deviate a little bit and just do most of the write up here because it was a pretty unique experience. So, we walked in around 5pm and were immediately greeted by what ended up being the owner. In a heavy Italian accent he asked if we had reservations. I thought he was kidding because we were the only ones in the restaurant lol.
Later as we were waiting on our food, I could see that tables were reserved for other customers later in the day. Being that we didn’t have reservations we felt lucky that they fit us in (I say this in a sarcastic humorous way, they were great people). We didn’t have a ton of time, we had a movie to catch so we skipped an appetizer. They did bring out fresh baked bread and a garlic butter spread which was nice. After perusing the menu, we settled on our choices and the waitress (I’m guessing it was the daughter) came right over.
I went with the Spaghetti E Gamberetti and the wife went with the Penne Mamma Lucia. The Gamberetti for $16.95 is sauteed shrimps with garlic and parsley in a white wine butter sauce over pasta. The Penne Mamma Lucia was $15.95 and came with ham, smoked bacon, mushrooms, white wine and heavy cream. Both dishes were average, bordering on good. I was a little dissatisfied with my serving size but the wife’s order was a decent size. To be brutally honest, the dish tasted no different than something you could get at Olive Garden or something along those lines. They did have a dish that I want to try sometime where they use the ink from squids to die the noodles black.
I can’t lie, that intrigues me. He has to go to great length to get the ink and actually gets it shipped from the motherland especially for this. So, if you stop by here, try it out and get back to me and let me know how it was if I don’t beat you to it. After dinner, we tried out the homemade Tiramisu for $9.00. The owner promised it was the best we will ever have. As you can see in the picture, it is a decent size and it was pretty good but I think they went overboard on the powdered cocoa and probably could have left off the green cake decorations, it took away from the presentation. Overall, the food was pretty good but the price was just as expensive if not more than a chain restaurant. So take that in consideration if you want an alternative to Olive Garden.
Extra Info: It appears the mom and dad own the place. The dad runs the front of the house, the wife runs the kitchen and the daughter is the wait staff. Very friendly people and you can’t get more authentic Italian than these guys. If you have a minute while waiting on your food, make sure you ask the owner about the black pasta, it’s a pretty good story.
-Fresh made pasta
-Not a big dining room so you might have to wait