13 Gypsies and Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs

Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs at 13 Gypsies


Sometimes it’s hard for me to get to restaurant’s working the schedule I do. Some of the best places in Jacksonville are closed on Sunday and Monday (my usual days off), and most places are closed by the time I finish work. Dinner at 13 Gypsies has therefore been a long time coming!

First off, let me start by saying that the place is tiny, and by tiny I mean 7 tables. It therefore stands to reason that a reservation is a must!

The cuisine at 13 Gypsies follows more of a Spanish style theme, so I wanted to bring a wine that was extremely flexible (from a food pairing standpoint). The wine that I chose was the Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs, 100% Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. The wine was everything I expected it to be, offering a slight yeasty/bready quality (as found in a lot of Champagnes), lemon, pear, Granny Smith apple and good acidity.

I always find sparkling wines to be one of the most versatile food pairing wines going, and the Biltmore wine stood up to everything we threw at it! Honey Garlic Hummus, Roman Gnocchi, Shrimp Curry, and Warm Artichoke & Chickpea Salad. It even managed to handle the desserts of flan and tres leches.

Everything we had at 13 Gypsies was amazing! The portions are small in true tapas style, but it always blows my mind when I read reviews online that blast a restaurant for small potions. Too many people judge a restaurant on the size of its portions, without first evaluating the quality.
I say that if you know in advance that you are looking for big portions on your plate, go to the Cheesecake Factory, not a restaurant like 13 Gypsies! Our table of 4 left the restaurant full, not stuffed so we can barely walk, but comfortably full.

If I was going to be really picky, I would say that the wine list  was an afterthought for the restaurant. So much design has been clearly put in to both the website and food menu, but the wine list (offering a mainly Spanish selection) seems to have been overlooked. I brought the Biltmore and paid the corkage fee (whatever that fee may have been because I didn’t ask). It’s not too often that I bring my own bottle to a restaurant, but I see it becoming more a regular thing because of this website.

To conclude, I have no shadow of a doubt in my mind that 13 Gypsies is one of the best, if not the best restaurant in Jacksonville. If you haven’t been, make your reservation and go!


Honey Garlic Hummus - 13 Gypsies

Honey Garlic Hummus


Roman Gnocchi - 13 Gypsies

Roman Gnocchi



Shrimp Curry - 13 Gypsies

Shrimp Curry



Warm Artichoke and Chickpea Salad



13 Gypsies Bar Area

The Bar Area at 13 Gypsies


13 Gypsies, Jacksonville

Small is an understatement.


Biltmore Estate Blanc de Blancs

13 Gypsies on Urbanspoon


  • January 20, 2011


    +1 on those sentiments! I love 13G and regard it as one of the finest restaurants in Jacksonville, if not the whole of Florida. Everything is made by hand, from scratch not from a mix and you can definitely taste it. This is a place for people who do not regard eating as a mere refueling exercise but as an expression of passion. As a boy with a hearty appetite, I typically order upwards of 8 dishes when I go, and each one is an utter delight.

    Your wine choice was very interesting indeed, some may say unconventional. I’m addicted to well-made sparkling wines in the true méthode champenoise rather than charmat style, although even those have their place. Since you’ve taught me that I can bring my own bottle to 13G, my next visit will probably involve a Catalonian cava to keep with the theme!

  • January 20, 2011

    Kris Chislett

    Thanks for the comment! The place is amazing. I however feel that restaurants of this caliber, and that obviously have that much passion for what they do are severely under-appreciated. If the dining-scene is going to move ahead in Jacksonville, that needs to change quickly.

    As far as conventional, it’s not a word I’ll ever use to describe myself! :)
    The reason I brought a Biltmore wine was that Biltmore Estate was my featured winery for that week. To your point though, a Cava would have been more in sticking with the “theme” of 13 Gypsies (although I do detest the word theme). If you want a good recommendation, look for the Llopart Brut Rose Cava. It will change the mind of most of how they think of Cava.
    Thanks again!

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