Jack’s Bistro

I admit, I was forewarned.  I got an email this past Saturday morning telling me not to eat at Jack’s.  Jack’s had just opened on Friday so I was ambivalent.  The restaurant is such a great addition to the neighborhood.  Regardless, of our heads up, we went hoping for something good.  Unfortunately, the email warning was correct.  This place will never make it.

I figured since the owners of Jack’s supposedly own another restaurant in the city that this one, being their second restaurant, would work.  Wrong.  Disorganization would be the key word here.  It is actually comical.

First of all, they are short staffed.  The woman who seats you is also doing the job of a waiter/waitress.  That’s tough.  The kitchen appears to be clueless.  We got our main courses before we got out appetizers…whoops.  Quick change.  Well, actually not that quick.  The people next to us had been waiting for over 30 minutes for their food and when it came out, it was wrong.  They said the tastes were OK not even good.  Yikes. 

I will say that they pour a stiff drink.  Always a bonus.  The menu is standard bistro style.  Unfortunately, at least for me and my family, each entree is loaded with garlic.  Makes you suspicious when each entree actually uses the word garlic when describing the dish.  Garlic is an accent not the meal.

We started with a mixed green salad and mussels with the fennel cream sauce.  There are 3 different sauces you can get with the mussels.   Fennel cream, garlic wine and chorizo broth.  If they had washed the mussels before they were made it would have been a start.  The broth wasn’t bad but the grit in the mussels was sort of hard to work around.  The salad, not a tough one, was bland.  Was there a dressing in the salad?  I didn’t even bother to finish.

We both ordered the same main course because everything else was so laden in garlic.  We had the hanger steak with fries, no marinade because the waitress told us it was heavy garlic.  The steak was ok but my guess is that they put our main courses back under a heat lamp when they realized their mistake of serving them before our appetizers and just brought them out when we were ready.  The fries were good, crispy and not that flavorful.  The plate was beyond boring.  There is no presentation whatsoever.  Just a piece of made with fries on the side.  I do a better looking service at home.

They gave us a dessert for our woes.  We chose the creme brulle.  Nice crisp on top with a sliced strawberry over it.  The custard was really thick and heavy, not light and delicate.  Tapioca was what I thought of when I took a bite.  Rich with some type of thickener.  Not good.

Such a huge bummer.  Unless they do some really quick thinking like actually getting a chef who is interested in making a gem into this neighborhood restaurant and some more help, they won’t last. In this city there is not excuse for bad food and bad service.  I’d walk over to Cafe Loup  any day for a solid neighborhood bistro that has managed to serve good food for over 20 years.