110 1st St
Neptune Beach, FL 32266
Mezza is a long time tenant in this beach neighborhood, open for dinner six nights a week and a choice of three different seating spaces. My favorite being the outside patio. It’s covered well ventilated and a comfortable spot to people watch. One thing to be aware of, they tend to seat children out there. Bar seating is nice, but if its happy hour, music playing and the crowd joining in,the only word that comes to mind for me “cacophony”. I do not want to be screaming at my diner partner (s) The main dining room is quite nice, a little stuffy for me but perfect for date night. A seasonal menu is available along with nightly specials, and pizza, at reasonable prices. The wood fired oven is used to make pizza, and if the little kiddies come in early they can make their own pie. I have not eaten here for quite a while actually, it was last October and it was a special event dinner. One thing I know as a food blogger, restaurants bring in the big guns in when any media event comes to town. As I remember, that particular meal was sublime, it’s sad I can not say the same about the meal we had this visit.
Let’s talk about the food. For a change we were eating light. It was like a pact thing, I eat out a lot, and always tempt some unsuspecting friend to join me, then order half the menu. I had to promise not to do that this time. We started with the Duck Bites, a nice offering of jalapeno, tropical fruit, prosciutto and the Roasted Beet and Potato salad, with bacon vinaigrette, poached egg, smoked salmon. I only saw Roasted Beet and not poached egg, so when it arrived I had to request the egg be dispatched off the plate. I am still investigating the reason chefs are putting poached eggs on everything these days, and no one can explain it. I have to pay more attention. Both of these dishes were about what we expected, but nothing that made either one of us swoon.
Duck is one of my favorite birds, wrap some finely sliced prosciutto around that and it’s a win. I was not a fan of the sauce, just a bit over the top. I did not want to mask the richness of the duck so it remained in its little cup.
I managed to snap this pic before the egg disappeared. For those of you who like all things covered in egg, why deprive the visual sensation. It really was quite stunning in its presentation. Sadly the salad was bland, with not much “roasted” flavor no hint of bacon in the vinaigrette. Salmon was wasted in the dish for me. They do serve some nice bread, but we had to ask for it, and never were asked if we would like more. Service like the food, looked better that it was.
Well I wished I had stopped at this point. I selected the Passion Fruit Glazed Scallops, coconut sticky rice, Asian slaw, cayenne roasted pineapple my trusty companion the Ancho Chili Roasted Chicken, corn and black beans succotash, cojita cheese. I was stumped when the dishes arrived, my dish had so much slaw it was like the scallops were an afterthought. The sticky rice was way too sweet for this combined with the pineapple. The only win here, the scallops were cooked just as I like them. I ate those and left everything else. One word for this dish boring.
When this dish arrived we both decided it had been left alone too long on the barbie, a carbon chicken. Even the leg bone was burned. On the bright side the owner of the chicken thought it was delightful, despite looking like an arson victim. We finally concluded the darkness, came from the rub. She dug in, and to her delight the bird was moist and well cooked. She finished almost all. I was happy and jealous all at the same time.
Overall, I give it a 3.5 on the star scale, and for sure this spot will not be high on my list of “lets eat here tonight”. No matter what I think I always encourage the reader to have their experience, and let me know your thoughts.