A Toast to Life (Photos and Review) | Ovinté

Ovinté  is used much like the word Cheers or Salude

I admit, it’s possibly my best New Year’s Resolution to date: “I aspire to try one of everything at Ovinté“. Sure, it may be a little ambitious, but since the second stop on my tour of First Coast Date Night Destinations specializes in small plates meant for sharing, maybe I can recruit some help? Let me explain…

European Style Dining on the First Coast

The ambiance is sensual drawing you in and inviting you to explore the design element around you. At once modern yet comfortable Ovinté was created to compliment the growing local foodie scene, yet stand out as one of it’s stars.

Relationships are of the highest priority at this destination. The relationship of the staff with it’s guests of course, but equally important is your experience with whomever you are dining with. In fact every detail is thoughtfully conceived to create an atmosphere where you can gather, interact, and ultimately celebrate life together.

“Napa outside, and cosmopolitan inside”, claims Chad Munsey, managing partner and second level sommelier. An any occasion place, this hot spot offers a patio for al fresco dining including a Bocce  Ball court, a sophisticated lounge, a dining area for more traditional seating, the Library for a unique semi private engagement, or sit center stage amidst all the action at the twenty-five seat bar. Wherever you choose to enjoy your Ovinté experience, do as the Europeans do, and take your time in this slow eating environment, you may just find yourself making a few new friends.

Small Plates Big Impact

Gleaned from the Spanish/Italian flavor profile and eating style, the menu provides exciting options for the adventurous palate while managing to still feature a few classic comforts. Changing seasonally twice a year the dishes exhibit incredible flavor due to the highest quality ingredients, several of which grow right outside on the patio’s herb garden. Executive Chef Ian Lynch likes calling their fresh take on preparation “Scratch to Table” forgoing the well used term “Farm to Table” for a more personal approach.

On the Menu:
1. Ovinte Trio
Warm marinated olives, Fried caper berries, and Paprika dusted Marcona almonds
2. Carciofo
Crispy fried artichoke hearts, lemon-thyme aioli
3. Bacon Wrapped Dates
Medjool dates stuffed with mahon cheese, apple wood smoked bacon
Small plate concept restaurants or “tapas” are common overseas but also in more metropolitan cities like San Diego, LA, and Miami. It’s no surprise the idea is gaining popularity in the increasingly active First Coast. Small plates provide all the flavor without leaving you over full and guilty, they also put the focus on conversation rather than the meal itself.

Originally gaining the reputation of “wine bar”, Ovinté wants guests to know they are more than just a label, they are a full scale Small Plate Restauarant featuring a huge selection of wine, yes, but also some amazing hand crafted cocktails. No one would know this better than manager, and spirits director Seth Tindle who’s dedication to the exceptional experience that is Ovinté is certainly visible. 

On the Menu:


Diced beef tenderloin, arugula, shallots, capers, parmigiano, sherry mustard vinaigrette

On the Menu:
Pumpkin Ravioli
Pumpkin puree, Spanish goat cheese, brown butter cream sauce, fried sage

A Culmination of Experiences

We all love a full circle moment. Ovinté can legitimately claim that title. The idea was years in the making inspired by Chad’s experience working and living in California’s casually chic wine country. Chad’s Jacksonville background as manager of Biscotti’s and Bistro Aix, as well as ownership of Jax’s first wine bar The Grotto, gave him the premonition that Ovinté’s concept would be welcomed by first coast foodies. And welcomed it has been, in fact many guests claim “It doesn’t feel like Jax”…. or does it? I would argue that with rising stars like Ovinté setting the stage in the river city as a dining paradise, it does indeed feel like Jax. Especially as Chef Ian
Lynch continues to receive accolades from his esteemed peers in the industry, and when level two sommelier serve staff like Scott Roberts return from growing cities like Nashville to add to the great reputation Ovinté has come to be known for.

On the Menu:
Grilled Caesar

Hearts of romaine lightly grilled, fresh herbs, 

shaved Parmigiano, croutons

On the Menu:
Braised Lamb Shank
Creamy polenta, swiss chard, Picholine & Nicoise olives, 
tomato, natural jus
On the Menu:
Smores D’ Ovinte

Graham cracker dipped in dark chocolate, sea salt,

toasted home made marshmallow

On the Menu:
Il Pesce Di Ovinte

Butternut squash, Cannellini beans, Swiss chard, mushrooms, 

garlic confit, cauliflower puree

What more could you want from such an overachieving team? How about a sibling? I have it on good authority downtown may be receiving another great addition, in the form of a steakhouse, someday soon. You heard it here first so be on the look out, and you can be sure I’ll have to taste for myself. 
Chad Munsey- Managing Partner/ Sommelier, Seth Tindel- Manager and Spirits Directo, Ian Lynch- Executive Chef
Until then…
Enjoy the Journey!
xo- Amy West

P.S. Don’t miss your chance to win a $50 gift certificate here! Stick around for three more stops on my Date Night Destinations Tour released once per week now through Valentines Day. And see the full gallery featuring an extended version of what Ovinté has to offer on facebook here

Get caught up on my all my First Coast Date Night Destinations in this series..

Watch me discuss all my first coast Date Night Destinations Here