Chicago based MLG restaurant opened its doors in downtown Jacksonville in the space previously occupied by Candy Apple Café. The new restaurant is a significant change from the previous one. What once was a Disneyesque atmosphere is no more; the restaurant redesigned into a classy black-and-white, modern aesthetic that offers a casually elegant dining experience with full bar service. The new MLG menu is similar to the one in Chicago, with Jacksonville’s well known Chef Roderick “Sweet Pete” Smith personal take on all the dishes.
Patio and Dining Room areas, provide a casual upscale dining experience.
We were quite impressed with the new look, and service for a newly opened restaurant was seamless. The menu offered a variety of items that will provide something for each guests enjoyment.
When our drinks arrived, we were gifted with a basket of homemade chips and pork rinds. Crunchy and salty, I became a pork rind fan at first bite, the chips were equally top notch.
House-made Chips and Pork Rinds
We started with the MLG Calamari, not the usual overcooked, chewy rings of squid, this rendition was hand dusted fried, banana peppers, with Italian parsley, lemon, and a zesty red cocktail sauce. The portion was more than ample for sharing.
Our second choice and my favorite Wild Mushroom Flatbread, this dish was a tribute to the earthiness of mushrooms, paired with the Fontina cheese, fresh spinach, truffle, and balsamic it was a flavor explosion in the mouth.
Wild Mushroom Flatbread
Being satisfied with the two starters we opted to share an entrée. We had our eyes on two that appealed; first the Scallops and Shrimp Risotto, with pan seared scallops, local shrimp, sweet corn and asparagus risotto. The second dish we were curious about and ordered the Mac N Steak. The recipe contained grilled tenderloin tips, with chef’s mac n cheese, seasoned vegetables, and shaved truffles. Anyone who has eaten Chef Pete’s Mac and Cheese will vouch for its addictive qualities; tonight was no different. Tender pieces of medium rare tips, al dente white asparaguses, and shaved truffles was a dish made in heaven.
Mac N Steak
There is a dessert menu, but we were way past being able to indulge ourselves, but to tease you, dear readers, here it is; Key Lime Pie, All American Chocolate Chip Skillet, Jimmy’s Bread Pudding and lets close with Ferrel’s Famous Ice Cream Sundae. Perhaps next visit it will just be the dessert menu for us.
We find MLG well worth the trip downtown for some upscale dining with reasonable prices. When you finish if you have the room you can go upstairs and get a candy fix or go next door and look at all the fun items available for purchase.