Restaurant Review: The G.O.A.T. Tapas & Bar brings global flavors to Jacksonville Beach

·3 min read

Imagine embarking on a flavor voyage across the globe, all while sitting around with friends or family in Jacksonville Beach as you feast upon shared plates of luxurious chicken liver mousse with a blueberry agrodolce (sweet and sour sauce), pistachio and white chocolate; or plump pork belly with a rich mole sauce and sesame; and beets paired with creamy labneh, plus dukkah and citrus.

The G.O.A.T. focuses on quality ingredients from around the planet, and showcases them in classic dishes with a modern spin. Its menu is split into three sections: garden, sea, and land and air, and most items are smaller but there are a few larger share plates too.

Our server was knowledgeable, polite and, most importantly, candid. He was the type who had tried the menu items and in turn could offer up honest opinions and curated recommendations.

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More: The G.O.A.T. Tapas & Bar invites guests to explore global cuisine in Jacksonville Beach

We chose two from the garden: crispy corn and mushroom stuffed empanadas with salsa verde ($11), and whipped chickpeas ($10) with olive oil and za’atar seasoning, topped with crispy chickpeas. The ultra-airy hummus was served with warm pita bread triangles. My husband and I gave each a thumbs up.

From the sea we cast the tender, spicy charred octopus ($19) which was sous vide, then paired with grapes, marcona almonds and an ajo blanco sauce. It was equal parts sweet, spicy and tangy. We also shared the mussels ($18). Saffron, white wine, garlic and crushed tomatoes made for a magical base. Served with slightly charred bread, these were some of the best mussels we’d ever eaten. They weren’t rubbery, and the dish imparted plenty of flavor.

Our short rib ($32) with oyster mushrooms, an addictive black garlic bagna cauda sauce, and charred Vidalia onions was on the tougher side. It was sadly my least favorite of our shared selections.

My libation of choice for the evening? The Silly Billy cocktail ($11) with house-infused pineapple-jalapeno vodka served with pineapple, orange and cilantro. It proved to be smooth and refreshing with a burst of spiciness. In addition to beer and wine offerings, a full bar is available and craft cocktails await.

I recommend grabbing your friends and trying an assortment of items. The two of us devoured all five plates we shared and would return to try others.

Caron Streibich is an avid food-lover who reviews restaurants every other week in the Life section. Follow her dining adventures at facebook.com/caroneats and #caroneats on Instagram.

The G.O.A.T.'s saffron, garlic and crushed tomato adorned mussels was a standout. It’s served with charred bread for dipping.
The G.O.A.T.'s saffron, garlic and crushed tomato adorned mussels was a standout. It’s served with charred bread for dipping.

The Goat Tapas and Bar

311 Third St. N., Unit 117

(904) 746-3130, thegoatjax.com

Side of town: Beaches.

Type of cuisine: Modern global.

Hours: 4-10 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Prices: garden, $9-$16; land and air, $15-$34; sea, $16-MKT; charcuterie, $22-$32; desserts, $9.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: G.O.A.T. Tapas & Bar brings global tastes to Jacksonville Beach

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