The red and black ship cuts through the waters of Matanzas Bay, its sails waving in the wind. On deck, members of a pirate crew call one another by names such as Oly Mackarel, Jaybird, Anastasia, Clipper, and Dirty James as they cavort between bow and stern, dazzling their audiences. Their ship, the Black Raven, was designed as a floating live performance theater—and accommodates more than 120 passengers as a crew of performers in full buccaneer dress produce interactive and dynamic plays in the spotlight. The actors work the crowd with a variety of rehearsed but unscripted skits, geared toward audiences of all ages, and may change their performance to engage specific audience members.
With a dizzying worldwide selection of craft beers and wines, J.P. Henley's fuels a traditional neighborhood-pub atmosphere augmented by a menu of indulgently inventive eats. Parse through the eclectic holdings of 50 custom-designed beer taps and 24 wines by the glass, and begin your gastronomic grub hunt with shrimp and mushroom empanadas ($8.95) or chevre crostini, piled with roasted grape tomatoes, warm goat cheese, and sweet-basil pesto ($6.95). A Voga pinot grigio pairs well with JP's Moroccan eggplant salad ($8.95), and a Brooklyn Black Ops Imperial Stout keeps pace with a hearty Harvest Moon sandwich, an autumnal feast of roasted turkey, sliced apples, provolone, and cranberry aioli ($8.95). Ward off carb-weary vampires with a Rising Sun sandwich, a rooster-certified fusion of grilled ahi, marinated tomatoes, and wasabi cream dressing dressed in spring greens and perched between slices of herb foccacia ($9.95).
Owned by Jack Holleran and Kristin Orr, the garage-themed neighborhood bar churns out hot-pressed grilled panini sandwiches crafted atop house-made pizza bread and washed down with domestic and specialty microbrews. The cash-only Jackson's Garage Bar refreshes patrons' knowledge of dead presidents and keeps a keen focus on specialty import and craft beer. When not squeezed fresh from the tap, brews flow freely from their aluminum casings, which rein superior over glass bottles because they filter out sunlight, lock in flavor, and provide a more structurally sound building block for beer pyramids.Inside the industrial setting, stools line up along a wooden bar decorated with sheet metal, and wall-hung road signs guide brews into glasses as working traffic lights keep motorcycles from popping bar-top wheelies. A leather couch seats patrons at a magazine-riddled table, and patio chairs curl up under the cozy awning of round tables. Live music pours from the instruments of live bands that occasionally play at the garage, and Shakespearean insults pour from the mouths of dart wielders and foosball shooters on a daily basis.
Fresh seafood, juicy steaks, wine and craft beers from around the world. It's all just part of the experience of dining at 386, which is located within a shady oak forest in a building reminiscent of Old Florida. Chefs draw on a variety of American culinary traditions to make their menu. Shrimp and grits reference the South; aged steaks mirror those prepared in West; scallops are cooked in the northeastern style; bowls of chicken scaloppini over pasta refer to the state's Noodle Territories. Every dish is painstakingly arranged to be as attractive to eyes as it is to taste buds, with drizzles of sauce and expertly balanced bites forming edible art pieces.
Chefs at Jazz 727 have their work cut out for them, painstakingly slicing and searing seafood and delicate cuts of meat to create artful plates of gourmet cuisine. Meals open with appetizers of plum-glazed oysters and filet mignon tartare before the arrival of Scallops Oscar, for instance, which pairs the sea-sourced morsels with blue crab, artichoke risotto, and citrus hollandaise tapped from a ripe benedict tree. A fig merlot reduction, sweet potatoes, and parsnip-mint hash help lamb chops shine, while bleu cheese complements the poached pear-crowned salad greens.
The Fruit Cove Road pizzeria serves up a fresh, scratch-made menu of pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and more for lunch, dinner, and late-night dining. Kick off a meeting of local weavers by passing around a basket of cheese fries ($4.69) sprinkled with bacon (+$1) for a decadent meal-starting treat, or share an antipasto salad ($8.99) with a pro-pasto pal. The hand-tossed, New York–style pizza, fired in St. Johns' brick oven, promises to please the pizza-anemic and is available by the slice, starting at $2 for sensible noshing, or by the pie, starting at $8.29 for a plentiful portion. Choose to customize your supper by selecting from more than 20 toppings, or opt instead for a specialty pie, such as the meat lovers ($13.99+), loaded with smoked bacon, meatballs, ham, pepperoni, sausage, and cheese. Sandwiches at the eatery are served on scratch-baked bread, and the plentiful selection of entree pastas can satisfy the herbivore in your jury with the brick-oven baked ziti ($10.99) or tempt the bird-beaked with chicken Benevento ($15.99), a tender cutlet nestled between a bed of ziti and a blanket of mushroom Rosie Alfredo sauce.