Author Topic: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville  (Read 9368 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« on: August 04, 2015, 03:00:02 AM »
7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville



We've scanned Metro Jacksonville's forums for recommendations. Here's seven of the best Italian restaurants that Jacksonville has to offer. If you think we're missing few, let us know and we'll add them to the list!

Read More: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-aug-7-great-italian-restaurants-in-jacksonville

BennyKrik

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2015, 07:31:19 AM »
I don't think Enza's belongs on that list

Visited the restaurant recently. My bowl of pasta had a pint of water on the bottom.
Tiramisu looked like it was made by a kindergartner. Old gross silverware.
Perhaps they were good while back

Adam White

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 07:59:23 AM »
Years ago (probably 2002 or 2003) I went to a pretty good Italian restaurant - I think it was at the junction of (what is now) 295 and Baymeadows. Not entirely sure. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant.

This is a very helpful comment.
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Seihaku

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 03:38:06 PM »
I don't think Enza's belongs on that list

Visited the restaurant recently. My bowl of pasta had a pint of water on the bottom.
Tiramisu looked like it was made by a kindergartner. Old gross silverware.
Perhaps they were good while back

They're hit and miss, and have been for as long as I've been here. I'll admit though, after Picasso's moved from service counter to full restaurant I've been primarily going there... but man do they need to renovate.

simms3

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2015, 05:10:27 PM »
I've been to a few of these.  Wasn't there some mega-size Italian restaurant on Beach near the beach that closed in the 2000s?

Also, I notice that for most if not almost all of these restaurants, the commentary is that "they have all the Italian dishes", or something along those lines.  I think that would be a turn off.  That, to me, is like going to a Chinese restaurant and seeing a menu "with all of the Chinese dishes", which is something you see in non-Asian oriented cities/areas and clearly isn't all that authentic, if at all.

There are very different regions of Italy...what I like about the older cities that attracted a lot of Italian immigrants is that you really get to tell the various regions apart via accents and food, and ways of life.  For instance, the Italians that settled in Philadelphia are very very different from the Italians that settled in San Francisco (there is a reason SF never had a real Italian mob connection/history), though both cities have large enough Italian populations/histories where they got all types from all regions.  But the food in Philly is definitely noticeably different than the food in SF, as are the family names and the accents.  You get more "red sauce" food on the E Coast, and more "white sauce" foods in SF.

It would be nice if some of that authenticity made its way down to NE FL?  I equate it to a restaurant that serves Dim Sum, Hunan, Kung Pao, and "all those Chinese dishes" on some mega menu, versus a Cantonese restaurant in a Cantonese neighborhood that focuses on Canton cooking by itself and may or may not even have a dim sum menu.  I realize Jax doesn't have an Italian history/large population, but surely there are restaurants that do have a bit of focus and an owner/manager/chef with connections to a particular region of Italy?  That would be intriguing.  Or maybe there isn't the audience for that in Jax and people want to ensure that there will be Veal Parmigiana or beef bolognese or chicken piccatta or something along those lines on the menu...
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BennyKrik

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2015, 06:57:08 PM »
Anyone can vouch for Primo Piatti?
Been living in this area for several years and the place always seem empty.

coredumped

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2015, 07:57:09 PM »
I've never been to the Santionis in Fleming, only the one in Mandarin, are they the same owner?
I really like the one in Mandarin.
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Sandyfeets

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 04:13:05 PM »
Anyone can vouch for Primo Piatti?
Been living in this area for several years and the place always seem empty.

It's one of those quite places, but service and food are consistent.   It's more Northern Italian, than Southern in it's cuisine.   The Chicken Francese was very good, as was the Linguini Gamberi Scampi with Shrimp. 

Sandyfeets

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2015, 04:15:20 PM »
Joseph's on Main Street.   It's been around so long that my grandmother was a waitress there in the late 1950's and early 1960's when it was owned by a man named Vince (who sold it to Joseph.)   
The food is good, the pizza outstanding.   I live in Arlington, my sister and mother on the Westside, but we all gather at Joseph's for a Saturday lunch now and then.   
Family owned and it shows in all they do.  Friendly and quality.

Adam White

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2015, 04:16:11 PM »
Joseph's on Main Street.   It's been around so long that my grandmother was a waitress there in the late 1950's and early 1960's when it was owned by a man named Vince (who sold it to Joseph.)   
The food is good, the pizza outstanding.   I live in Arlington, my sister and mother on the Westside, but we all gather at Joseph's for a Saturday lunch now and then.   
Family owned and it shows in all they do.  Friendly and quality.

I think the best pizza I ever got in Jax was from Joseph's on Main Street. Amazing. That was over 10 years ago, though (so I can't vouch for how it is now).
“If you're going to play it out of tune, then play it out of tune properly.”

Sandyfeets

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2015, 04:30:11 PM »
Joseph's on Main Street.   It's been around so long that my grandmother was a waitress there in the late 1950's and early 1960's when it was owned by a man named Vince (who sold it to Joseph.)   
The food is good, the pizza outstanding.   I live in Arlington, my sister and mother on the Westside, but we all gather at Joseph's for a Saturday lunch now and then.   
Family owned and it shows in all they do.  Friendly and quality.

I think the best pizza I ever got in Jax was from Joseph's on Main Street. Amazing. That was over 10 years ago, though (so I can't vouch for how it is now).

It's still amazing, I was just there 2 months ago after the Historic Springfield Cruise In.    I have a family member that is gluten sensitive and they have GF pizza.   It made her day completely to eat at an old family hang out and have pizza. 

redgiant

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2015, 04:00:31 AM »
Since I still get these email updates, I'll throw in my memories even though I haven't lived in Jax for 20 years.

This is a blast from the past of course.

Joseppi's was a great little very Italian spot (dark, mood lighting with wax-dripped chianti bottles, red/white checkered table cloths. They were on University Blvd about a mile south of Memorial Hospital on the right end of that strip of stores that also had the old Florida Beauty Academy on the left end.

Patti's was well-known on Beach Blvd right in the shadow of where the Hart Bridge expressway ramps down to ground level. White table cloths, staff always dressed in their blouse/skirt or jacket styles. The women all had that green ribbon-cap in their hair. Their chicken parm and pizza were a big deal growing up around there. Lots of folks hit their take-out too. Easily as well-loved as the old Beach Road Chicken spot on Atlantic near Episcopal HS.

Debbie Thompson

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2015, 10:03:36 PM »
My hands down favorite for hearty red sauce Italian lasagne is Luigi's on University Blvd between Beach and I-95, across from Winn-Dixie.  It's not a fancy place, and you won't find fancy dishes with a swirl of balsamic on the plate, sprinkled just so with parsley.  But the lasagne is amazing.  The meatballs are about the size of baseballs.  And the homemade blue cheese dressing, while admittedly served on a simple lettuce salad, is really good.

ssky

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2015, 05:46:04 PM »
We had heard so much about Mama Lucia's that we decided to check it out last Saturday night. It was pretty late for Jacksonville (read: after 9 p.m.) so we just headed over without calling for a reservation or anything. Imagine our dismay upon seeing that Mama's doors were permanently shuttered! We didn't want to go all the way into the Beach for dinner at that point, so we took a chance and called La Cena. To our delight, the hostess said they would be happy to see us whenever we arrived. We got there around 10:15, enjoyed a lovely, leisurely meal and finished just after midnight wondering why we ever left downtown to begin with!

MEGATRON

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Re: 7 Great Italian Restaurants in Jacksonville
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2015, 09:46:32 PM »
Don't show up at La Cena without a reservation. The owner will seat you then treat you like persona non grata.
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