When I think of romantic restaurants I think of cozy candlelight, romantic garden settings, and Italian food. You can find all three in my list of the best romantic restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida.
1314 Prudential Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Dinner: $7 – $36, Monday – Saturday, 5 – 10 p.m.
Prix Fixe Menu: Friday and Saturday Evening
Lunch: $7 – $21, Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Even the name of this restaurant evokes thoughts of fine dining and romantic evenings and the Wine Cellar in Jacksonville definitely lives up to its billing. As to be expected there are dark walls and little dining nooks in this restaurant as well as more expansive areas – and even a beautiful outside garden area for dining, which is underutilized, in my opinion. The menu is weighted to local seafood – and they do it well – with special favorites including the crab and lobster bisque,. But you will find the lamb chops, duck, filet mignon and surf n’ turf selections equally appealing. Salads are also a favorite here.
Consistently rated one of the Top 25 Restaurants in Jacksonville, the Wine Cellar also offers a Prix Fixe menu on Friday and Saturday evenings for $29 that many people enjoy. One of my favorite times to go to the Wine Cellar is for lunch. You’ll find the lunch menu equally satisfying and priced very reasonably.
Regardless of whether you go for lunch of dinner, the Wine Cellar is tops in downtown Jacksonville for romantic restaurants with a scenic view.
4260 Herschel Street
Jacksonville, FL 32210-2246
Dinner: $5 – $30 Wed. – Thurs. 6 – 9 p.m.; Fri. – Sat. 6 – 10 p.m.
Prix Fixe Menu: Wednesday and Thursday
Lunch: $5 – $15 Tues. – Sat. 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
If gardens say romance to you, then do not skip Pastiche or you will miss your opportunity to dine outside in a cottage garden atmosphere complete with canvas awning for a cozy environment (and to protect you from the occasional weather “inconvenience”). Indoor dining is available, too, but most people enjoy the garden.
Be sure to sample the artichoke appetizers or the roasted stuffed dates. In fact, you could easily make a wonderful meal just from the selections on Pastiche’s appetizer and salad “starter” menu. Standout entrees include the flank steak and grilled grouper. There is also a Prix Fixe menu on Wednesday and Thursday nights and lunch selections include pleasant surprises such as a duck confit and salmon filet tandoori style.
1161 Beach Blvd.
Jacksonville Beach FL, 32250
Dinner: Monday 6 – 9 p.m.; Tues. – Thurs. 5:30 – 10 p.m.; Fri. – Sat. 5:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Italian inspired menus and romantic evenings seem to go hand in hand and Giovanni’s in Jacksonville is no exception. You’ll find Giovanni’s often praised as the most romantic restaurant in Jacksonville by its fans. From the simple spaghetti and meatballs to more sophisticated dishes such as varied versions of veal scaloppini, you’ll find something to please your palate. I have to admit a fondness for the Chicken Marsala and the Pesto Cornish Hen. There is also a small plate menu full of cold and hot dishes if you have a smaller appetite. Hint: don’t skip the Tiramisu.
Giovanni’s is a consistent member of the top 25 restaurants in Jacksonville, has received a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, was named Most Romantic Restaurant and Best Italian Food by citysearch.com, and has been a locally owned mainstay in Jacksonville for over 38 years, so you know this is a restaurant you can depend on for your special night out.