Rhett’s Piano Bar & Brasserie

Rhett’s closed its doors for the last time in late 2014. New owners now run Dos Gatos Bar from this space- yes, same place as downtown Jacksonville.  It may be a while before I do a Dos Gatos St Augustine review since I’m preggo and then will be nursing- the short version is it’s a craft cocktail hideaway that prides itself on showmanship. {ex: The Sex on Wheels is served with a burst of flame!} No food is offered and upstairs is a bit quieter if you’d like to slip away from the louder bar scene downstairs.

Rhett’s Piano Bar serves dinner & classy entertainment on Hypolita- next door to Scarlett O’Hara’s, one of St. Augustine’s most frequented night spots.

I’m not a rowdy bar kind of girl.  Rock is great and dance music is fun, but I prefer an acoustic guitar or jazzy music as the backdrop to great conversation and a good drink.  So although my hubby and I wander all over St. Augustine on our date nights, we usually end up at the same place.  Rhett’s Piano Bar.  My expectations were high… would I be as enthralled by dinner as I am by the Espresso Martini?!?

It can be hard to talk over the piano and vocalist downstairs, so we asked for a table upstairs on the balcony.  The ambiance is great- you can still hear the live music- and large windows overlook the street {perfect for people watching!}

We started our evening with Rhett’s Smoked Salmon Bruschetta ($8).  My favorite breakfast ever is lox on an everything bagel with capers, onions and cream cheese, so I was excited to try this dinner version of the classic.  It was tasty!  My hubby & I split the app which perfectly served it’s purpose- great flavor, satisfying without being too filling and just enough of the rich salmon & boursin baguettes.

We apparently had poor timing- the musicians took their dinner break just as our appetizer was served!  {I guess even pianists need a break sometime.}  But pleasant piano-driven tunes maintained a nice ambiance and we had plenty to talk about and a great view.

The entree was an easy choice for my hubby- a Chipotle Rubbed Filet Mignon ($24).  Milder than he would have liked, this special was topped with a smoky chipotle sauce.  The filet was tender and well prepared but short on flavor; he expected a clear chipotle flavor and instead had a standard filet with a creamy sauce.  Chris said the veggies were crisp-tender- just right.

It was a harder choice for me… I vacillated between the Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops ($24) and the Barolo Braised Beef Short Ribs ($19).  In the end, I chose the short ribs and it was an excellent choice!  They were tender, perfectly flavored and the Butternut Squash Risotto that accompanied them was delish.  {The grains of rice should still offer some resistance and the sauce should be blissfully creamy.  It was!}

We were too full to have dessert, so we walked around historic St. Augustine, enjoying the galleries that stay open late for the First Friday Art Walk.  We were certain we’d find the perfect place for dessert during our walk…  guess where we ended up?!  Back at Rhett’s!

I’d typically order a decaf Espresso Martini, but I wanted dessert so I was a cheap date- club soda with lime.  Alan {always my fave bartender} brought dessert and Chris’ drink.

Bread Pudding- it’s good & is served with ice cream & fresh berries.  {It’s not my favorite in town, sorry Rhett’s! I’m a fan of Harry’s Chocolate Bread Pudding.}  I went with the Creme Brulee, perfectly prepared with a crisp caramelized sugar top.}

In short, Rhett’s is a classy destination for dinner or dessert!  I may try the lamb next time… but the short ribs were so good that’ll be a tough call!  Dishes are carefully prepared, well seasoned and presented attractively.  Now that we’ve made it for dinner, it’s officially one of my top 5 in St. Augustine!

Rhett’s Piano Bar & Brasserie
66 Hypolita St
825-0502

Rhett’s closed its doors for the last time in late 2014. New owners now run Dos Gatos Bar from this space- yes, same place as downtown Jacksonville.  It may be a while before I do a Dos Gatos St Augustine review since I’m preggo and then will be nursing- the short version is it’s a craft cocktail hideaway that prides itself on showmanship. {ex: The Sex on Wheels is served with a burst of flame!} No food is offered and upstairs is a bit quieter if you’d like to slip away from the louder bar scene downstairs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *