INSANELY Overpriced for Mediocre Food and Service.
I took a small group of colleagues here for a dinner to celebrate the completion of a project. The restaurant bills itself – and several other reviewers seem to agree – as a destination for special occasions. I beg to differ. For slightly over $650, our party of four had cocktails and multi-course dinners with wine pairings and dessert – par for the course with business entertaining. In this particular case however, the bill was (and certainly now, a few weeks later) is the only memorable thing about the entire experience.
As such, I can’t remember what exactly I disliked most - since there were major problems with nearly every aspect of the meal – but here’s a rough overview. First, the food seemed as though it was prepared by a stuffy French grandma in 1988 - and then frozen until our visit. I thought of it as a dinner with Crystal Carrington and Alexis Colby in a glitzy Dynasty throwback (shoulder pads and all) – snoozy molten cakes, cream sauces and fusion experiments gone wrong.
One particularly bad combination had a sweet pureed raspberry sauce under a cold and rare medallion of beef with several clunky whole nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans…?) tossed about the plate – as if, in a rush, a chocolate soufflé went missing and the beef was substituted in a pinch. Others, too boring to remember, were over-dressed and over worked – one sad plate after the next. Wine pairings – printed on the menu - would have been passable (but hardly interesting or particularly well matched) if there was only enough of each for the table. Twice, the server filled two or three glasses of the four, only to run out of the wine completely – as in, no more at the restaurant. The well ordered and carefully thought out pairings that we thought we were getting turned into a mix of whatever was open behind the bar – decided, I assume, by our server.
Dated. Did I mention dated? I can’t imagine a special occasion that would be improved if celebrated here. There is nothing comfortable or fun or interesting about being in a large and blandly decorated starchy-stiff room, served by inexperienced staff, eating Jurassic food priced pre-pre-pre-recession high and without imagination or discernible style. Matthew needs to get out a little and see what’s happened to restaurants in the last 20 years – he might see that his particular style went the way of Crystal and Alexis.
To its credit, the parking situation was handled by valet and easily managed. The bar area is large and could conceivably be a good meeting place - unless the laughably bad (or kitschy-cool, depending on how you see it) piano man is singing. Because of carpeting, curtains and tall banquets, the space is library-quiet (aside from aforementioned piano man), which could either be a good thing for the hard-of-hearing and librarians, or a very bad thing - like being surrounded by a giant fun-sponge, sucking up any life in the room. Also, a little color might help the decor, this is sunny Florida after all - so why such a drab scheme?
Finally, the food could be improved enormously with a little focus and far fewer ingredients. In the end - and at these prices - you really better bring your A game, or pack it up. I wouldn't consider returning without hearing that many improvements were made. Then again, I probably still wouldn't go back - and I suspect that's why there were so many other empty tables as well.
A world class experience. My husband was in Jacksonville on business and I went along. I searched the Internet for a good, high end restaurant because we love gourmet dining and great wine. Matthews seemed like the right choice but you really never know until you get there. From the moment we walked in until we were literally walked to the car by our waiter, we were in heaven. The decor is upscale while still being welcoming. The wait staff is professional without being pretentious. Our waiter was Jason and we couldn't have been more pleased. He was knowledgeable, efficient, friendly and helpful. We chose the chef's tasting and what a treat. Every course was delightful and the wines were superb. We eat at a lot of fine restaurants across the country and there are not many that compare to this one. The Ritz Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta may be one of the few we would rate as high. The price was perfect (even below what we had expected) and every detail was amazing. The portions were just right (considering how many courses there were) and nothing was a problem. I loved this place and so did my ( often difficult to please) husband. I would recommend this to anyone who truly wants a great dining experience. It is not for the young or inexperienced because I think the beauty of it would just be wasted! For experienced gourmet dinners, this is a world class treat. The Valet even left an inscribed thank you card on the dash with some foil wrapped butterscotch. Who could ask for more? Kudos to Matthews for a grand night we will long remember.
the portions are really that small. The portions were horrible. the food was o.k. Why wouldn't i just go to Dwights and get the same meal for less and with more food? Will I ever go to Matthews again Probably not. For me to spend 40 dollars for an entree I would like the portion bigger and the ambiance to be much more active. I strongly recomend not going!
Best meal I've ever eaten.
My husband and I went here for his birthday celebration. Although we are not the most experienced of fine diners, we have both eaten at a number of first-rate restaurants in major metropolitan cities. We weren't expecting too much from Matthews,; however, it far exceeded our expectations.
We both ordered the chef's tasting menu, and it was absolutely spectacular. On top of that, the waitstaff was friendly and responsive without hovering. I cannot praise it enough.
World-Class Restaurant. I took my wife here for a special occasion. We both have eaten at our fair share of great restaurants in cities from San Diego to Rome, and Matthew's is a world-class restaurant. We ate off the "tasting menu" with the paired wines. There was a potato/leek soup with truffle oil that made me want to lick the bowl. Also, the braised short-rib-meat-stuffed ravioli were really unique. I think that the people of Northern Florida should work hard to make sure that restaurants like this stay in business. I live in Tallahassee and would consider driving 2+1/2 hours to Jacksonville again just to eat here again.
The emperor has no clothes. I did not particularly enjoy my dining experience. It is set up to give good service and make you feel like somebody. If that is what you are looking for this is the place for you. Other than that no big deal. There are many restaurants better than this one that I would perfer to visit. Maybe I expected so much more.
Jax's most chichi restaurant serves up a bounty of high-end cuisine with global influences..
Impeccable service, chefs bedecked in toques and the open stainless-steel kitchen create the kind of swanky atmosphere you'd expect to find in a top New York restaurant. Patrons reserve dimly lit tables weeks in advance to sample the fancy fare that Chef Matthew Medure offers. He insists on quality (an organic farm ships produce daily; servers pour only bottled water), and he charges for it, too.
Dine a la carte or opt for the chef's tasting menu with either three or five courses. Yellow tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella complement each other in a salad doused with balsamic vinaigrette. Pan sauces lend additional levels of flavor to seafood, game and meat entrees without overwhelming them. Spice-infused orange slices contrast nicely with a warm baby Brie, the perfect lead-in to a rich dessert of chocolate cake with a molten center and caramelized banana slices.
I loved it!. This restaurant is great. We chose the chefs tasting. Every dish was wonderful. It was expensive, but the food and great service were worth the high price.
Wonderful Evening. Spectacular from a large group to a romantic night it has been a wonderful experince!
Dining to die for and end up in Heaven!. My husband surprised me for my anniversary and took me to Matthew's! We were both overwhelmed with the service! From the moment we stepped from the limo to the moment we were to leave we had immpecable service. For our meal we chose the Tasting Menu. Each dish was delicious. (Which is an understatement!) The desert.....Oh my goodness that was heaven! Everything was perfect!!! We will return and suggest Matthew's to our friends!!
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