We dined at the Chart House during Jacksonville’s annual Eat Up Downtown event in August. A handful of restaurants in and around the immediate downtown area of the city sponsor a three-course bill of fare with a fixed price of $15, $25 or $35, depending on the establishment. The Chart House was offering a $25 menu which is an amazing for a place that is usually no less than about $50 a person for a similar meal.
We made reservations for an early meal at 6pm and when we arrived, we were presented with the Eat Up Downtown menu. We were also given a list of early bird specials with three courses and prices set at $20-25. Suddenly, the Chart House has become a lot more affordable to the average Joe and we were on board. I hoped, however, that the lower prices didn’t mean lower quality. Luckily, they didn’t.
Chad decided on the Herb Crusted Salmon from the early bird menu. He chose the Caesar salad as his first course. The salad was crisp and creamy. Just how we love our salads.
His salmon was lightly crusted with a variety of herbs. The fillet was flaky and meaty and cooked perfectly. Served with a side of garlic mashed potatoes, this dish hit the spot for a light and fresh summer dinner.
I ordered from the Eat Up Downtown menu. I had four selections for a first course including a chopped salad, Caesar salad, clam chowder or a cup of gazpacho. I went for the chilled gazpacho. It was delicious, slightly spicy and tangy, not too thick, not too thin- just perfect for a little taste of what the Chart House has to offer.
For my main dish I ordered the Parmesan Crusted Snapper with a tangy Béarnaise sauce and a side of fried rice. I was very pleased with the consistency and flavor of the fillet. If there is one thing Chart House has always done right in my eyes, it is the ability to cook the perfect piece of fish. So delicious.
Both of our meals also came with desserts. My menu only offered the Mud Pie (one of Chad’s favorites) while he had a few more choices from his Early Bird menu. He ordered the Crème Brulee and we ended up swapping our desserts. Good thing too because we both loved what we had. I am not a huge fan of desserts to begin with so I was especially pleased with the Brulee.
I am glad that the Chart House had participated in the Eat Up Downtown event as we would have probably not dined here otherwise with so many other restaurants to choose from in the area. I have dined at the Chart House in other cities and have also been pleased with the food, service and atmosphere. The Chart House in Jacksonville is just as sophisticated and upscale as any of the other locations, even in a town that doesn’t have a lot of fine dining establishments or a large selection of upscale hotels.
The Jacksonville location is romantic, overlooking the St. John’s River. We were even warned by our server that we may even see some dolphins jumping around in the water. (We didn’t see any during dinner but we did find some dolphins in the river the next morning- so they do exist.)
If you want to experience the Chart House without the hefty prices be sure to go early when they are offering the early bird menu. We will surely be back soon.