Barbara Bredehoeft and Karin Tucker opened this iconic Avondale eatery twenty-five years ago as a cozy thirty-seven seat coffee house. “Back when we were a tiny place, I’d hug every person who came in the door! I was just so happy they were there,” shares Tucker. Offering casual comfort, innovative cuisine, and a personality all its own, Biscottis grew through the years, and now seats one-hundred in a beautiful turn-of-the-century brick and wood interior building in the heart of The Shoppes of Avondale. Their Purcell Room is available as a private dining space for parties or meetings, and they offer full service catering, with a well-earned reputation for exceptional service, delicious food and attention to detail.
Biscottis is very much a neighborhood restaurant with the community at its core. After a fire ravaged the kitchen at Biscottis back in 2013, Bredehoeft and Tucker were determined to bring
the go-to local spot back into service quickly. Fortunately, the fire was contained to the kitchen area, and Biscottis soon rose from the ashes. “Everything was rebuilt, replaced, cleaned, and reopen for business in record time.”
Beloved for its locally sourced seasonal dinner specials, its continued support of local artists, and its welcoming vibe, Biscottis stays true to its origins. “People want to come in and think “this is MY Biscottis.” People have very definite ideas about what that means to them. “It’s consistency,” Bredehoeft says. “People come in here, and they know they can get the same things they’ve always had. Our core menu has not changed. The tuna sandwich, the bruschetta. If we took that bruschetta off the menu, we could just close our doors.” However, daily special menu items ensure there is always something new to try as well.
Walk through the door of Biscottis, and you’ll find yourself drooling over a dessert case filled with decadent cakes, pies, tarts, and of course – their signature biscotti. It’s hard to think about Biscottis or its sister restaurant bb’s, located in San Marco, without summoning up images of “the case.” All desserts are created from scratch daily, using the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. Many are available year-round, and some are seasonal treats. You know when you order your favorite that it will be just as great as you remembered. In fact, to ensure quality and consistency, they built “b the bakery” in the nearby Edgewood area, as a dedicated space to create their sensational desserts. They also create special order cakes for weddings, birthdays and other events as well as mini desserts and holiday displays. Their passion for excellence in desserts has paid off in sales. Over a hundred-and-thirty servings are sold on a typical day.
Bredehoeft and Tucker have worked together to build and create one of Avondale’s favorite restaurants. Jacksonville diners have this dynamic duo to thank for creating, and constantly improving, two of the most successful dining venues in town. All things in life change, and on this 25th anniversary year, Tucker has retired and is looking ahead to new adventures. The good news is that Bredehoeft will continue to carry on the legacy of both Biscottis and bb’s.
Open every day. Serving lunch, dinner, brunch and dessert.
3556 St. Johns Ave., 387-2060, www.biscottis.net.
Pair it with:
2016 Kali Hart Pinot Noir, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard
Grapes: 100% pinot noir
Tasting notes: Approachable and bright, this complex pinot noir opens with aromas of bing cherry, cola and boysenberry. On the palate, flavors of rich red fruit are supported by hints of oak and accentuated by soft, silky tannins. The finish is clean and lush with hints of minerality, herbs and vanilla.
Vineyard: For this wine, fruit was sourced from Sleepy Hollow Vineyard and Olson Ranch to give this pinot noir its complex flavors. One of the first vineyards planted in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Talbott’s Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is comprised of 565 acres on an expansive hillside. Located on a picturesque benchland only thirteen miles from Monterey Bay, Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is one of the most northerly in the Santa Lucia Highlands.
With a long, cool growing season, the grapes develop the character, intensity and depth of flavor for which the vineyard has become famous. The Olson Ranch is located at the southern tip of the Santa Lucia Highlands. The rolling hills, limestone laced soils and afternoon winds yield grapes that accentuate the intense, dark and rich side of pinot noir. The combination results in a wine that is consistently ripe, nuanced and delicious.