On our way to Jacksonville for a recent weekend getaway, my husband and I took the scenic route through Gainesville. We got stuck in University of Florida football traffic, and by the time we arrived in Jax, we were so hungry, we would've been happy eating Pop-Tarts and calling it a night.
Luckily, we didn't have to. We headed for a late dinner at III Forks Steakhouse & Seafood (9822 Tapestry Park Circle, 904-928-9277). The restaurant is new to Jacksonville and already a hit with Jaguars players.
My stress from journey melted when I walked in and heard the smooth music of Norah Jones playing overhead. As the hostess walked us to our table and pulled out my chair (nice touch!), I gawked at the gorgeous dark wood, dine-in wine room, beautiful circular bar and stunning light fixtures. I couldn't help but think this will quicly become THE place for marriage proposals. The servers even wear tuxes!
For such a posh restaurant, the menu prices were surprisingly affordable. I ordered the roasted chicken with red pepper sauce ($13.95) six-cheese potatoes ($6.95). Hubby opted for a 12-ounce New York strip steak ($31.95) with sauteed spinach ($6.95). When our food arrived, the side dishes were big enough to share. This was great, because nibbling on some of Hubby's spinach made me feel less guilty about the huge chicken and cheesy potatoes I was scarfing down.
Even better, before the brigade of servers left our table, they asked Hubby to slice down the center of his steak to make sure it was grilled "to perfection." Seriously!
The stellar service didn't stop there. Every so often, a server would stop by to wipe the crumbs from our table. By the end of the meal, our bellies were full, but our table was spotless. We had leftovers, too. But because we were staying at a hotel, we had no place to keep a doggie bag. Besides, tomorrow was a new day with new culinary treasures to discover.
More on those later.