Dining Options in Tyler, TX

By Jessica Mozo on April 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm EST

PHOTO CREDIT: Antony Boshier

Dressed up or dressed down, you have plenty of options for dining out in Tyler. And we’re not talking about your average chain restaurants – these eateries are bona fide Tyler favorites with made-from-scratch cuisine you won’t find anywhere else.

Fine Dining

To really impress that special someone or to treat yourself to fine cuisine, try Jake’s Tyler or Bernard’s Mediterranean Restaurant.

“Our most popular dishes are oysters and fresh seafood. We clean it all in-house,” says Sam Moffitt, executive chef at Jake’s Tyler. “We carry a lot of oysters from the East Coast – Chesapeake Bay, Maine and Virginia – and Northern Canada, and most restaurants carry only gulf oysters. Gulf oysters are muddier tasting because of poor water circulation, but East Coast oysters are really flavorful because they come from cleaner water.”

Jake’s specialty is Atlantic Blue Point Oysters, served on the half shell or by the half dozen. Other seafood favorites include jumbo lump crab cakes, Sesame-Seared Ahi Tuna with basmati rice and garlic sautéed sugar snap peas, and Australian Cold-Water Lobster Tail with grapefruit buerre blanc, orzo pasta and sautéed spinach.

“We also sell a lot of Certified Angus Beef steaks, and we always have weekly specials, which makes Jake’s a different restaurant each week,” Moffitt says. “We might do bacon-wrapped sea scallops, Chilean sea bass or beef stroganoff. A lot of our dishes have Spanish and Asian influences, because we like to expose Tyler to all the different foods out there. Our guests enjoy trying something unique.”

Open since May 2008, Jake’s is already a hit with the Tyler community. The restaurant has three floors and offers live jazz and soul music on Friday and Saturday nights. The walls are decorated with pictures of Tyler from the ’30s and ’40s. “We’re working on constructing a bar and cigar lounge on the roof, and we’re planning to put an oyster bar upstairs later on,” Moffitt says. “We’ve really changed fine dining in Tyler because a lot of people drove to Dallas in the past to enjoy a nice dinner. Now they can find fine dining close to home.”

Bernard’s Mediterranean Restaurant also provides an upscale dining experience with a large selection of pastas, steaks, and veal and chicken dishes.

Casual Comfort Food

For a more everyday lunch or dinner out, Tyler citizens flock to The Blue Store and Bruno’s Pizza and Pasta. Both are family-owned and operated.

Bruno’s is a cozy, 80-seat pizzeria that serves up handmade pizzas loaded with toppings and an exceptional lasagna that keeps customers coming back for more. The Blue Store, located on State Highway 155, is combination meat market and restaurant where customers can buy fresh rib-eyes, filet mignon and New York strips to cook at home or enjoy lunch right in the store.

“We do plate lunches with one meat, three vegetables and a dinner roll or cornbread for $6.99, or customers can order a freshly grilled hamburger, cheeseburger or chicken sandwich,” says Billy DeLong, whose parents opened The Blue Store in 1991. “Our menu changes every day, but beef tips are by far our best seller, and we do them on Thursdays and Saturdays.”

Daily vegetable choices might include turnip greens, fried okra, cabbage, broccoli casserole or corn casserole. And there are always homemade desserts for a sweet ending to any meal; choose from peach cobbler, blackberry cobbler and banana pudding.

Read about more dining options in Tyler, TX.

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