If you’re wondering what to do for Thanksgiving, and you just don’t feel like cooking, there are some special Jacksonville dining opportunities that you should know about. The chefs at Azurea, Aqua Grill, and III Forks are cooking up some excellent dishes for the holidays and we’re here to tell you all about these Thanksgiving feasts. Here’s what we know.
Event #1: Thanksgiving Day menu and Gingerbread House unveiling at One Ocean Resort
When: Thursday, November 25 from 12pm-8pm
Where: Azurea/One Ocean Resort, 1 Ocean Blvd., Atlantic Beach
Cost: Varies depending on menu selection; Gingerbread House unveiling is free to attend
Reservations Recommended: (904)249-7402
If you read Jacksonville Fine Dining Examiner with any regularity then you know Azurea at One Ocean Resort is one of our very favorite restaurants. If you’re looking for an upscale, oceanside dining experience then Azurea is the place to go. Chefs Ted Peters and Nate Lindsay have been outdoing themselves lately with some amazing food. We had the opportunity to try Azurea’s fall menu on a recent visit. The meal was incredible, the service was exceptional, and the experience was memorable–just what we’ve come to expect from Azurea.
For Thanksgiving this year, Azurea and One Ocean have big things planned. First, One Ocean will unveil its annual Gingerbread House on Wednesday, November 24. Just to give you an idea of the immense size of this structure, the ginerbread house is made of over 200 pounds of butter, 400 pounds of brown sugar, 175 pounds of flour, 20 gallons of molasses, 600 pounds of powdered sugar and 2200 eggs. In other words, this is a “life-size” house that one could live in…if it wasn’t made of gingerbread. This event is open to the public for photos and general, holiday enjoyment.
Azurea is also offering a special Thanksgiving menu that features some great seasonal items. Diners can start their meal with a variety of starters like the Winter Spice Rubbed Acorn Squash Bisque with Maple Crouton Asian Pear Conserve. Next comes the entrees. We have our eye on the Herb Roasted Harris Ranch Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish-Rosemary Spoon Bread Charred Onions and Double Smoked Bacon Compote with Roasted Autumn Vegegtables…wow. Of course, traditional, Slow Roasted Free Range Turkey is also available. To finish the meal, four seasonal desserts are available, we like the sound of the Pumpkin Semifreddo with Red Wine Caramel and Softy Whipped Cinnamon Spice Cream.
Event #2: Thanksgiving Dinner at Aqua Grill
When: Thursday, November 25, lunch from 11-4pm and dinner from 4-9pm
Where: Aqua Grill, 950 Sawgrass Village Drive
Cost: $18.95 for adults and $8.95 for children
Reservations recommended: (904)285-3017
Aqua Grill–located at 950 Sawgrass Village Dr. in Ponte Vedra–has been around for a while, 22 years to be exact. Aqua Grill’s longevity is likely due to its solid food and friendly service. This year, Aqua Grill is putting on an affordable Thanksgiving dinner that will feature a choice of turkey, prime rib, fresh fish, chicken, or pasta.
Event #3: Thanksgiving Day prix fixe menu at III Forks
When: Thursday, November 25 from 11am-3pm
Where: III Forks, 9822 Tapestry Park, Cir. #111, Jacksonville
Cost: $42.95 per person or $14.95 for under, includes tea and coffee
Reservations recommended: (904)928-9277
If you haven’t visited III Forks before then you’re missing out. We believe this newly formed restaurant has the best steak in town, along with some other excellent choices. This Thanksgiving, III Forks is offering a prix fixe meal that begins with either the tomato basil soup or the noteworthy III Forks salad. If we had to choose, we’d probably go with the salad. The III Forks Salad–consisting of field greens, Granny Smith apples, blue cheese crumbles and vinaigrette dressing–has reportedly won awards and we can attest to its deliciousness. The next course is a choice of two entrees. Diners can either try the luxurious Chateaubriand with Bordelaise Sauce or go the more traditional route with the Freshly Carved Slow Roasted Turkey. Lastly, patrons have a delicious choice of either the Pumpkin Pie Cake, Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie, Chestnut Ice Cream with Chocolate Orange Sauce, or Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce.