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Located in San Marco Square, Insiders are buzzing about this Jacksonville restaurant’s Mediterranean fare. What are they buzzing about? For starters, the homemade herb ricotta with lemon olive oil drizzle and fig compote makes the list. The sopressa and fried egg wood-fired pizza is inspiring a cult-like following (actually, all of Taverna San Marco’s wood-fired pizzas are pretty fantastic), and the tapas menu is varied and interesting.

For those looking for something more substantial, the homemade pappardelle with lamb ragu and the New York Bistecca with a balsamic glaze, crisp fingerling potatoes and accompanied with a whole roasted garlic–to be spread on bread or steak (or both)–receive rave reviews. Taverna’s version of “beans and greens,” using cannellini beans and escarole, is also a standout side dish.

For the finale, the chocolate pavé with mascarpone whipped cream and vanilla panna cotta with grapefruit segments and a candied citrus peel surpasses expectations. As for atmosphere at Taverna, expect a rustic European aesthetic that’s warmed with the charming service. 1986 San Marco Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32207. Tel: (904) 398-3005.

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