City Grille & Raw Bar was named TOP 15 Best New Restaurants in Florida in 2023 by the USA TODAY Network

Atlantic Halibut with saffron cauliflower puree, garlic confit tomatoes, sauteed broccolini and Champane caviar beurre blanc is a signature dish at City Grille & Raw Bar on the Southbank of downtown Jacksonville.

December 29, 2023

For nearly a half-century, the Wine Cellar was a fine-dining landmark in Jacksonville. Two years after its closing, a worthy successor opened in its renovated Southbank spot in July: City Grille & Raw Bar. From John Nagy and Karen Belloit Thomas, the couple behind Eleven South Bistro in Jacksonville Beach and the former 3 Palms Grille in Ponte Vedra Beach, the new restaurant brings caviar, prime steaks and decadent desserts to a familiar place reimagined into a series of dining vignettes — the main bar and raw bar, Velvet Room, Tuscan Room, Garden Room and two-story Treehouse Room, with a 300-year-old oak tree as its centerpiece — offering guests unique dining experiences.

Executive Chef Kevin Gaston’s menu features Prime hand-cut steaks, New Zealand rack of lamb, fresh fish as well as chilled seafood towers, filled with Maine Lobster Tail, Jumbo Shrimp, House Oysters, Romanoff Oysters and Shrimp Salad.  


Looking to impress out-of-town guests? Make plans (and reservations) for the restaurant’s Sunday Brunch, with Rockefeller Benedict, Chicken and Waffle, Steak and Eggs, quiche and more.


— Gary T. Mills, Florida Times-Union