AZUREA @ ONE OCEAN
Atmosphere: Located in One Ocean Resort @ Atlantic Beach, Azurea offers a close to perfect setting whether for cocktails or for dinner. As you enter the restaurant, the dining room is on the left, and the bar/lounge area on the right. Both take advantage of the views of Atlantic Beach with floor to ceiling glass. Beyond that, a large patio with ample seating is available for patrons. The dining room is not large and tables are set far enough apart that you are not part of the next tables conversation. When we were there for dinner there was a larger crowd of locals than visitors.
Menu (Click here to view) Azurea's Spring menu offers a great combination of meat and seafood entrees. They also offer a good selection of wine and a decent single malt collection.
For Appetizers we had the Baby Romaine Caesar, Lamb Meatball Sampler, and the Jumbo Blue Crab Cake. The lamb meatballs were excellent - they were juicy and tender, and with the 3 different dipping sauces, every bite was different! My companions raved about the crabcakes...one rated it as the best she has had in Jax (just about everywhere we go, she samples the crabcakes) and the other rated it 2nd after another high end restaurant in NYC. For them to give such high praise is worthwhile trying. After our appetizers, were were served basil infused sorbet to cleanse our palate...few, if any, restaurants here follow this tradition. This small, yet telling, attention to detail spoke of the standards one would expect in all high end gourmet restaurants.
For Entrees we had the NY Strip w/ Creole Mustard Butter, Lamb Loin w/ Apricot Glaze, and the Fresh Catch of the Day 3 Ways. Our sides were the spiced Steak Fries and Asparagus. The NY Strip was prepared to specification and was delicious. I opted for the Lamb Loin and was happy I did. I love lamb and was a little worried that the sweet glaze might have been overpowering. After the first bite, any apprehension disappeared. It was very good - the glaze was subtle and accompanied the tender, succulent meat perfectly! My companions, not big lamb eaters, commented that the quality was excellent - it didin't have a very strong "gamey" taste. The Fresh Catch 3 ways (Grilled, Bronzed, and Battered) was also very good. The fish was moist and well prepared and was enjoyed. However, the sauce for each piece of fish was put on it. It was pointed out that this dish would have been better if the 3 sauces were served on the side to allow application to individual taste.
For Dessert we had the Duo of Creme Brulees (Lavender scented and Vanilla Bean) and the Profiteroles. For me, both Creme Brulees were good but I preferred the Vanilla Bean over the Lavender scented. The lavender was very subtle but smelled great! The macaroons served with the Cremes were a nice touch. I'm a Creme Brulee fanatic (its pretty much the only dessert I eat) and these were among the best I've had in Jacksonville. My companions shared the Profiteroles, and both agreed that the Key Lime Ice Cream combined with everything else were very good.
Service: Very Good. Two waiters per table and attentive. . Waiters were versed in the food and drinks. Good selection of wine and single malts. When I ordered my scotch "with very little ice" the waiter asked, "3 cubes?" Needless to say I was impressed because anything more than 3 would water down a good single malt.
Overall, I would highly recommend this restaurnt for the ambiance, service, and of course the food! Its a great dining experience so Atake the time to enjoy it!
Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
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