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Tastes of Jacksonville: Bistro Aix's crispy shrimp and duck spring rolls

The shrimp spring roll at Bistro Aix.
The shrimp spring roll at Bistro Aix.
Photography by: George Singeltary

This February 14th, enjoyed our Valentine's Day dinner at the always delicious Bistro Aix.  There was a very young crowd in attendance and the restaurant was packed.  We are always happy to see a full restaurant in Jacksonville and this night was no exception. 

If you haven't been to Bistro Aix, located in the San Marco segment of Jacksonville, you really should give it a try.  It's one of the best and most popular restaurants in the area.  The decor is something to see with gothic chairs and a massive clock on the wall for starters.  But we digress, on to the food.

Special for Valentine's Day, Bistro Aix released a new menu that included a few new dishes and lots of old favorites.  We ordered a three course meal which of course included dessert.  Any visitor to Bistro Aix should order one of the homemade desserts such as their classic chocolate banana bread pudding with cinnamon ice cream.  Expect to see another piece focusing on the V-day desserts offered up by Bistro Aix in an upcoming "Tastes of Jacksonville." 

Needless to say, we were lucky enough to get a seat inside the restaurant and this particular article will focus on the spring rolls, which we ordered for our appetizers.  First, the shrimp roll appetizer pictured on the left went for around $3.50 and was thoroughly delicious.  This appetizer doesn't usually appear on the menu so we were excited to give it a try.  The dish was served on a large bed of spinach and was dusted with what appeared to be oregano.  Unlike most "shrimp spring rolls" these actually had a lot of shrimp inside.  In fact, the pieces of shrimp ran the entirety of the roll.  The result was a very mildy spicy but delicious spring roll.

Next, we had the duck spring roll for approximately $4.25.  We have seen this roll on the menu previously so we knew we could count on it.  We were not disappointed.  The roll was presented in the same way as the shrimp roll on a bed of spinach.  However, this roll was much sweeter.  The duck actually toned down the slightly salty flavor of the fried outer core of the roll and resulted in a delicious appetizer. 

Our only complaint was that they were somewhat dry and could have used a sauce.  Typically, Bistro Aix serves a pineapple "ketchup" with the duck spring roll but it was noticeably absent on Valentine's Day.  Next time, we'll ask for the sauce.

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