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Restaurants & Bars 6

Bistro Aix -- Jacksonville, FL

Marc | Nov 8, 200307:52 AM

How can I begin a rave about one of our favorite restaurants? I could start by talking about the wonderful ambiance of the space, or I could let everyone know about the attentive, but never overbearing wait staff, maybe I should mention the wonderful wine list, or the martini menu. Hmm... where to begin?

Last weekend my wife and I decided to have a nice dinner out. The decision of where to go is generally an easy one for us: if we are going out for a nice dinner it has to be Bistro Aix. We started eating at the wonderful foodery a few years ago after learning that chef Tom Gray drew a larger crowd than Bobby Flay at the Food and Wine Festival at Disney World. We have never been dissappointed.

We usually start our meals with a soup, I always go for the smoked tomatoe soup which is always served piping hot in a generous soup tureen. The soup is topped with a small dollop of creme frache and chopped chives. Each spoonful imparts a wonderfully smokey flavor with a deep bite of tomatoe. Definately a great way to to start any meal. My wife usually opts for the creamy french onion topped with a cruton. On our last visit she said that the soup was maybe a touch too salty but otherwise wonderful as always.

For entrees I like to vary my choice. I have been working my way through the menu and have always enjoyed the selections. Recently chef tom has added a few dishes and the menu does change periodicly. This time I chose the fettuchinni with braised lamb, asperagus and baby spinach. The dish arrived in a large bowl, the noodles swimming in an appatizing brown broth, fresh spinach leaves laid on top and a nice amount of lamb. I was quite pleased. My wife almost always orders the Shrip Tagliatelli. This is a wonderful dish consisting of a creamy tomatoe sauce, and sauteed shrimp topped with shaved parmigian cheese and fried parsley -- yes is said fried parsley. She loves it! And I must admit, I have gone back to it on several occassions.

The staff at Bistro Aix is wonderful. Our favorite waiter by far is Julian, though. He seems to have a sixth sense as to when yo need something. He is friendly and informative and remembers his clients between visits. Tell him the type of wine you like and he will offer several selections from the rather lengthy wine list. He always knows what is the best dish that day and is very willing to help you choose you meal. His recommendations are always perfect.

Chef Tom is wonderful as well. A local boy that has truely done an amazing job with this restaurant. On our visit last weekend he stopped by our table at my request and spent several minutes talking to us. We, of course, lavished praise on him for his accomplishments. He was very gracious and, like Julian, remembered us from previous visits.

Can I recommend this restaurant enough? No. I tell all my friends, business associates, and family to go to this restaurant. Go, go often, enjoy!

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