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Dinner in Jacksonville – Derby on Park (1068 Park St)
The classy but laidback Derby on Park is located in the Five Points district in the historic neighborhood of Riverside Jacksonville. I recommend Derby On Park as one of the best places to eat in Jacksonville if you happen to be staying in the downtown area. The neighborhood of Riverside is a short 8-minute Uber ride from downtown Jacksonville.
To learn more about the neighborhood of Riverside, click here.
Happy Hour at Derby on Park
It’s Happy Hour at Derby on Park. Wine is half price from 5-7 pm. After an exhausting week of work, “Happy” is needed. I choose to sit outside even though it’s a little warm. My favorite pass time is people watching while wine-sipping and I can’t do that well on the inside of an establishment without feeling like a creep.
Wine and Appetizers
My waiter rushed over like he knew what my week was like. I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio (Lumina, Italy 2015) from the Derby on Park drink menu, and studied the menu. I was torn. Should I get the Fried Pickles and Creminis; a southern delicacy or the Spinach and Artichoke Queso Dip which is my usual go-to appetizer?
After conferring with my very knowledgeable and attentive waiter (with a voice that reminded me of Brad Pitt), I go with the Fried Pickles. An amazing choice and it did not disappoint.
Instead of the pickles being sliced in a circle like you would find in a jar at your local grocery store; these pickles were bite-sized chunks, perfectly battered and cooked to perfection.
While writing this part of the post, I decided to Google the word “creminis“. Ahhhhh….it was pickles and mushrooms battered together, hence fried pickles and creminis. No wonder I fell in love with that appetizer. The chef paired two of my very favorite side garnishes. Pickles are my undoing. Mushrooms make me swoon.
After ripping through most of the pickle and creminis, I forced myself to stop munching, sat the appetizer to the side; sipped on Pinot and patiently waited for my entree.
Wine and Entree
For the entree, I went with the Intuition Fish and Chips, teamed with the Sauvignon Blanc from Oyster Bay, New Zealand. My waiter suggested substituting Onion Rings for the Chips. I, again take his advice and go with the rings.
He reports that the redfish was from Mayport, a seaside town a few miles north of Jacksonville. The fish that I was about to bite in to was pulled out of the Atlantic this morning. I found this magical. I’m from the Midwest where fresh fish is almost impossible to find and very expensive. Anyone that argues that there isn’t a difference in taste has never experienced fresh versus frozen-fresh.
With the wind at my back, I close my eyes and savor every bite of fish dipped in Chipotle tartar sauce. The choice of wine paired well with my “crispy on the outside; light and flaky on the inside” redfish from Mayport.
And again, I’m not disappointed.
My experience at Derby on Park was, as the young folks like to say “on point“; both culinary and service. In other words, AMAZING. Don’t miss out on this spot.