IL DESCO: Jacksonville’s Modern Italian Dining

Jacksonville’s newest restaurant, IL DESCO, opens this Thursday, November 12 in the old Pele’s Wood Fire location at the corner of Park and King Streets in historic Riverside/Avondale.

With a menu filled with modern Italian cuisine, this new restaurant is sure to be a hot spot with food fans.

IL DESCO- Jacksonville's Modern Italian Dining - blog

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a preview dinner featuring some of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Here’s what to expect when you dine at IL DESCO.

Great Eats

Serving lunch and dinner, IL DESCO features a variety of Italian dishes from pastas to seafood and wood fired pizzas with creative toppings like brussel sprouts and Littleneck clams. With 95% of the pastas made in-house, the flavors are fresh and delicious. The menu also features an extensive raw bar with oysters and other seafood prepared numerous ways. Wood-fired oysters are also available.

IL Desco Jacksonville - Raw Bar Oysters

Out of all the dishes I sampled the Lobster Cavatelli was my favorite. Topped with fresh Maine lobster, peppers and a lobster cream, this dish was fantastic and while it was rich in flavor, I still could have finished the entire bowl by myself.

IL DESCO Jacksonville - Lobster Cavatelli

Modern Atmosphere

IL DESCO means ‘the dinner table’ in Italian and with its modern feel, the restaurant still feels very comfortable and welcoming. When you visit IL DESCO, be sure to check out the wooden community table in the center of the dining room. This 20-seat table was built with antique reclaimed wood from the Cowford Chophouse, another new restaurant coming soon to the Jacksonville area.

The restaurant’s rounded booths make a great place to dine with friends, giving privacy but also offering great views of the kitchen at work. I was also excited to see that in between booths, there are wall plugs and even USB plugs for charging electronics. Total win in my book!

IL DESCO Jacksonville - Interior

Crafty Cocktails

I was blown away by the knowledge of the bartenders at IL DESCO. The restaurant prides itself on its crafted cocktails — and after sampling a few of them (responsibly, of course) I could tell the pride they shared for their creations come through in the drinks.

IL DESCO has two cocktails on tap with others on the menu rotating weekly to biweekly depending on sales. While the Park and King area is well-known for its variety of beer at local hot spots, IL DESCO is the first in the area to create cocktails. From gin, rum, vodka and scotch – these drinks are meant to be sipped, pull up a chair and check out the selection.

IL DESCO Jacksonville - Crafted Cocktails

Learn More About IL DESCO

IL DESCO opens on November 12, 2015. Reservations are encouraged and can be made online at the IL DESCO website.

For the latest IL DESCO news, be sure to follow along on the IL DESCO Facebook page and on Twitter at @ILDESCOJAX.

I’m already planning my return trip to IL DESCO. I’m ready for another helping of that lobster cavatelli.

Are You Excited to Dine at IL DESCO? 


** I was an invited guest to IL DESCO’s media preview dinner. Thoughts and opinions here are my own. ** 

Hi there!

I'm Carrie McLaren,

based in Jacksonville, Fla. Family travel is my passion and I want to help you succeed in making fantastic memories with your family.




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