Monday, October 11, 2010


Avondale's already impressive dining landscape has been rapidly expanding over the last couple of months and is generating a lot of buzz within the foodie crowd. At the forefront of the excitement is 'town (aka 'town 3611), an intriguing restaurant that sincerely adheres to many of the biggest trends in modern American cuisine.

Using fresh, locally sourced food to create small but flavorful dishes, 'town is one of the newest among the rising number of eco-conscious, gastronomy focused restaurants that both contribute to and provide evidence of Jacksonville's cultural maturation.

town beer

As mentioned before, 'town tries to source the bulk of their ingredients from a few local farms and dairies that follow sustainable practices. Everything appears to be selected for maximum flavor as every little bite almost overwhelms the gustatory and olfactory senses. The plates may be far smaller than you'd encounter at a standard box restaurant but the intense and varied flavors work best in smaller portions.

The wine list is quite extensive. On the other hand, the beer list is rather small (three on tap and seven in bottles) but is filled by only high quality, well respected brews. We settled on the Konig Ludwig Weissbier, a flavorful wheat beer that turned out to be quite nice.

town bread

The dishes come in various different sizes and categories. There are $5 bar bites and $4 cheese or charcuterie plates. Next you have the $9, $12, and $15 plates that loosely correspond to a small, medium, large concept. For a $33 fixed price you can pick one from each of the categories. Additionally there are a number of more traditionally sized dishes available for various prices as well as an assortment of sides, desserts, and ice creams / sorbets. Dining at 'town certainly doesn't leave one with a lack of options.

tomato salad

All in all we sampled a mere five dishes out of the 30+ available. First I had the Local Tomato Salad with house made ricotta, mixed greens, white balsamic vinaigrette and sampled a bit of the Grilled Eggplant Bruschetta. Bursting with flavor would be an understatement. The tomato salad was essentially two massive slices of some varietal of heirloom tomato served with assorted greens and a dab of ricotta cheese. If all the salads are this good then I might just give them all a try next time. The grilled eggplant bruschetta was a bit surprising in that it was lacking the one ingredient that makes a bruschetta: the bread. Instead the eggplant slices served as the base for the tomato, basil, and goat cheese toppings. It's hard to avoid repeating myself but, again, it was incredibly flavorful.

pork cheeks

For my next choice, the Fudge Farm Pork Cheeks were simply too strange to pass up. The flavor is rather akin to that of tongue while being a bit firmer in texture. Very interesting indeed and I wouldn't hesitate to try them again after sampling the other options on the menu.

wild salmon

For my final dish I had the Wild Salmon. The salmon itself was the best I've had. It came with the skin still on which under normal circumstances one would typically discard but it was cooked in such a way to make it not just edible but quite enjoyable. The tasso ham in the succotash was so flavorful that it felt like something exploded in my mouth every time I happened upon a morsel.

Overall the experience was enjoyable. The atmosphere is great, the staff friendly and courteous, and the food was delicious but, I caution once more, the sizes are quite small. Perhaps our only complaint would be the relatively low number of vegetarian options but I'm sure some of the meat based garnishes could be left off if requested. It's exciting to see these modern dining establishments pop up around this expansive city of ours and it's certainly something to be proud of.

'town on Urbanspoon

3611 St. Johns Ave
Jacksonville, FL 32205
(904) 345-2596

1 comment:

AmandaRose said...

Looks scrumptious! Can't wait to check it out next time I'm in Jacksonville.