J. Alexander’s serves American cuisine with a modern twist

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What comes to mind when you think American cuisine? Pizza? Italy takes credit for that. Burgers and steaks? Let’s crown Germany for these meaty favorites. Maybe hotdogs, pasta, cheese or chow Mein? New Zealand, Italy, France and China. 

This precisely defines American cuisine: a mixture of different flavors from around the world. Restaurant J. Alexander’s at the St. Johns Town Center embraces this multi-cultural platter and serves up contemporary American delicacies with a twist.

The menu features a wide selection of classics, including prime rib, steaks, fresh seafood, sandwiches and entrée salads. Daily features include specialties like seafood czarina, Tuscan steak, grilled fish with mango papaya salsa and chicken milanese. They have a full-service bar with a selection of wines both by the glass and bottle.

My favorite part of eating at this restaurant is the wonderful array of side dishes. Cornbread, Israeli couscous and not-your-ordinary mac ‘n’ cheese are a few of my favorites.

The cornbread comes served in a mini skillet with whipped white butter. The sweet flavor of this bread melted in my mouth and left behind a taste so warm and light — I can never have enough. Try the bread with a steak of your choice. If you’re like me, you can simply save this golden glory for dessert.

The Israeli couscous is an absolute must with the pork tenderloin entrée served in Thai bang-bang sauce. Both the couscous and bang-bang sauce have a spicy kick to them. I love the married flavors, they complement the tender meat and velvety beads of couscous.

The mac ‘n’ cheese comes prepared with seashell pasta instead of the regular elbow pasta shells. The cheese sauce isn’t cheddar but a combination of the three Italian white cheeses and bacon. Yes, bacon! Moreover, the dish is finished with a layer of toasted breadcrumbs.

J. Alexander’s is one of the first restaurants at which I’ve eaten that puts as much effort into its side dishes as it does its main entrées. Its chefs cook on a wood grill on display in the back. This ensures the dishes’ freshness because the customers can actually see the chefs prepare their food.

The friendly and well-informed staff guides customers through the menu. I enjoyed the dim ambiance and the display of original American artwork on the walls. Right outside of the restaurant is bonfire seating with wooden rocking chairs and a fountain.

The restaurant stays fairly busy during dinner hours but doesn’t offer reservations. On busy nights, like the weekend, you may expect a little wait but not as ridiculously long as the Cheesecake Factory or P.F. Chang’s.

A hearty lunch entrée at J. Alexander’s may range from anywhere between $15-$25 per person and dinner between $20-$35. It offers a select list of desserts including crème brûlée and chocolate cake. The place is ideal for a candlelit date or to lounge with friends.

The food and service at J. Alexander’s impressed me, and I’m sure will please you, too. Pamper yourself to gourmet American cuisine and say Henna sent you.