For the cooks at Lila's Seafood & Steaks, no imitation seafood can ever compare to the real thing. That's why they never rely on imitation crabmeat; instead, they sell real snow crab legs by the pound and stuff mushrooms with actual blue crab and crab stuffing. Crab only skims the surface of Lila's selection, which ranges from conch fried into fritters to mussels coated in housemade seasoned butter.
Equally choosy about beef as they are about seafood, the cooks shape certified Angus cuts into half-pound burgers and 16-ounce T-bone steaks. To end feasts on a sweet note, the culinary team creates several housemade desserts, including peanut-butter pie, a more satisfying dish than peanut-butter cups that you pretend are tiny pies.
After fresh river winds have breathed adequate life into your senses, apply your revitalized vision to Benny's tempting menu of salads, soups, and surf-and-turf specialties. Put some power behind your search for the perfect entree with an order of fried gator tail served with rémoulade ($8.95), or warm up your tongue with a serving of mussels milanese with garlic, shallots, mushrooms, basil, capers, and lemon-chardonnay brown-butter sauce ($8.95). Chef’s specialties include the ginger-sesame-seared ahi tuna, served with jumbo lump blue crab in a cucumber and pickled-ginger salad ($31.95), and the classic chicken florentine, served over garlic spinach and topped with a shrimp-alfredo sauce ($19.95). To get your hands on some prime turf without having to move in with your mayor, ask your server for a 10-ounce center-cut filet mignon ($34.95) or a roasted rack of lamb coated with a fresh-mint demi-glace sauce ($27.95).
ESPETO is an authentic Brazilian Steak House or "Churrascaria" with "gauchos" providing continuos table side service of 14 different cuts of mouthwatering rotisserie cooked meat complemented by an upscale and fresh salad bar.
III Forks in the Tapestry Park area is a classic chain steakhouse, offered in only a handful of cities in the country. The modern Jacksonville outpost of this semi-casual eatery is stylish, energized and swank, with a tasteful menu that includes beef, freshly caught seafood and locally-sourced ingredients. With wood floors and gleaming walnut furnishings, III Forks has several dining rooms to choose from across the sprawling facility, including the Trophy, Poker and Wine Room – the latter is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass walls that house over 1,500 bottles. Each is the epitome of classic, romantic, business and casual-elegant dining, with recessed lighting fixtures and varying wall and floor décor. Filet mignon, double cut pork chop and Chilean sea bass are top picks here, with sides like sautéed spinach and roasted mushrooms. Texas Pecan cake and chocolate ganache round out delectable meals.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House, located in the heart of Riverside inside the Crown Plaza Hotel, is the epitome of chophouse luxury. From its white linen tablecloths to its spectacular view of downtown Jacksonville and the Intracoastal River from the walled glass windows, the elegant tray ceilings, recessed amber lighting and deep brown leather booths speak to a style and class few restaurants possess. Whether you’re after a business dinner or a birthday, Ruth’s Chris won’t disappoint. Start with the signature Chop Salad, a julienne of iceberg lettuce, baby spinach and radicchio that’s tossed with red onions, mushrooms, green olives, bacon, eggs, bleu cheese and more. Signature steaks include the petite filet, ribeye or New York strip cooked to perfect doneness, while pescetarians can go for the Caribbean lobster tail or fish of the day.
Music ricochets off the walls as a live band jams out on Burro Bar’s stage. The bar swells with noise as the music from the band mingles with the socializing guests sipping craft beers from breweries such as Bold City Brewery, Intuition Ale Works, and Green Room Brewing. A calendar of events keeps a rotating list of musical guests on the roster, averaging about four shows a week.