Located in Jacksonville Beach, Eleven South Bistro offers fine dining in a fun casual atmosphere. They offer seasonal ingredients, the freshest local produce, and influences by cuisines from around the world. The menu includes a host of mouthwatering options. A few standouts you might consider are the Black grouper, goat cheese saltimbocca and the hand cut steaks. Each of the main entrees is accompanied with its own unique set of vegetables and flavors. Unlike most restaurants you rarely see a vegetable repeated as an accompaniment for more than one main course on the menu. This is the kind of place where you can get fantastic high end food without having to worry about what you’re wearing when you’re walking through the door. This is the sort of thing you’ve gotta love about laid back fine dining in a beach town.
Food: The first thing you notice when you open the Eleven South menu is it’s pricey…for Jacksonville anyways. The average entrée runs you just under $30. We kicked off the evening with a 3 cheese plate ($15) with local honeycomb ($2), Marcona Almonds ($1.50), and strawberry balsamic jam ($2). I’m not super price sensitive but getting nickel and dimed is a bit irritating. Charging separately for accoutrements that normally come included with a cheese plate is a bit irritating. If my appetite didn’t make all of my decisions for me I’d have probably skipped the cheese plate out of principal. They’d be better off raising the price of the cheese plate a couple bucks and including 2 options of your choice. The cheeses we selected were d’Affinois double crème- soft brie, rich slightly intense, cow’s milk, France. Fresh Chevre peppered- soft, creamy, tellicherry pepper crust, goat’s milk France. Spring Brook tartenaise- hard, carmelly, spice and pineapple notes, grass feed cow’s milk, Vermont. The d’Affinois was very creamy mild and fairly bland. The Chevre was very peppery. If you really like pepper you’ll probably like it but for us it was a bit overwhelming. The Tartenaise was incredible. It almost tasted as if you started with a mild cheddar sort of base and then subtly built a wonderful mix of flavors on top; each of which you can taste without it being overpowered by another.
Hand cut steaks sounded too good to pass up so we went with the 18oz hand cut ribeye ($34) plus blue cheese crumbles ($5). Most restaurants tend to serve a ribeye bone in this one came without the bone. It had just enough fat to have tremendous flavor without having so much that you constantly had to fight your steak to eat it. You’ll love this steak if you’re in the mood for red meat. The other entrée we tried was the Mongolian beef and Singapore noodles ($32)- slow braised English cut short rib, wok fried rice noodles with Thai curry & Asian vegetables. They gave you a steak knife but I don’t know why. You could have eaten the meat with a spoon. It was that tender! It almost had a hoisin flavor to it. The dish had a nice sweetness to it. The noodles were very soft and the vegetables gave the dish a nice savory quality to complement the sweetness of the sauce. When we were deciding what to order the waiter shared that it was one of his personal favorites and we can see why. For sides we tried the whipped potatoes ($4) and the grilled asparagus ($5). The sides come with enough to share. They were easily the best value on the menu. The potatoes were fairly smooth although maybe not quite as smooth I would expect or prefer from whipped potatoes. The flavor was amazing. They tasted like butter, creamy smooth butter. Maybe they dumped an entire stick into the bowl. I’m not sure how you could make something taste so wonderfully buttery. We loved them and couldn’t stop eating them. The asparagus was well cooked. I prefer thinner asparagus but as far as thicker asparagus goes this was very good.
Service: The service was impeccable. Our waiter was extremely knowledgeable about the menu. He took time to share with us what he felt the tastiest dishes were. He anticipated our needs. You couldn’t ask for more.
- Good hand cut steaks
- Great laid back atmosphere
- Impeccable service
- Pricey for Jax
- Accompaniments for the cheese plate cost extra