Executive Lifestyles - Dining & Spirits
Matthew's at San Marco
2107 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville
818 N. A1A, Ponte Vedra Beach
Matthew's Market & Catering
2103 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville
The remarkable restaurant renaissance in the Jacksonville area started about 15 years ago when Matthew Medure arrived. The graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute for Culinary Arts had the good fortune to sign on with the crew opening the restaurants of the Ritz-Carlton/Amelia Island, concentrating on The Grill, which quickly became the best and brightest news in town, an early-on winner of a Golden Spoon. After putting on the Ritz for about seven years, Medure took a giant leap and opened Matthew's at San Marco -- followed by Restaurant Medure on Ponte Vedra Beach in 2001 and then, across the street from Matthew's, in response to popular demand, Matthew's Market, where his personalized products, such as glorious gravlax, are sold, breakfast and lunch are served, and catering arrangements are made.
Matthew's and Restaurant Medure are dinner only with distinctive menus and a fair share of fusion fare blending Asian with Mediterranean, Middle Eastern with good old Southern USA and some comfort food accents. That means such starters at Matthew's as duck breast prosciutto featuring Granny Smith apples and pomegranate molasses; snails with gnocchi, prosciutto and Parmesan emulsion; seared foie gras; and a beautiful bisque brewed from five different onions blessed with brandy essence and white truffle oil ($9 to $18), leading into such zingers as Creole-dusted mako shark with peppered gnocchi; seared Norwegian halibut with melted tomato and focaccia crust; salmon from Tasmania with candy cane beets and caramelized shallots; seared Bell & Evans chicken with sage-spiked foie gras stuffing; and roasted rack of lamb crusted with pecan-peppered mustard and served with truffled haricot vert ($20 to $34). Finishers include a selection of artisan cheeses, classic crème br?lée with marinated berries, and a warm liquid chocolate cake with peppered balsamic marinated strawberries ($8 to $14).
At Restaurant Medure, where Medure's brother David is executive chef, you can start with ultra-costly caviar or far more reasonable ($8 to $18) appetizers like sautéed escargot with garlic, spinach and Parmesan; Hawaiian tuna tartare with seaweed salad, miso broth and cucumber; seared Hudson Valley foie gras with Vidalia onion confit; or smoked salmon with crispy potato cake and American caviar as prelude to mustard-coated meatloaf with buttermilk onion rings and mushroom jus; sautéed red snapper with creamy cheese grits and truffle stewed onions; or a 14-ounce prime ribeye with fried spinach and blue cheese risotto ($17 to $36). For a finale, why not go all out and sample the cheesecakes or spoon into tiramisu bread pudding with mascarpone mousse or try a soufflé of the evening ($8 to $12).
Golden Spoon all the way!