I've always been curious about Jacob & Anthony's, it seems so hidden away even though it's right downtown near the farmer's market. So naturally this curiosity led to a reservation for four on a Saturday night. Unfortunately when we got there, even though we had a reservation, we had to wait twenty minutes at the bar for our table to be ready. The bar was so packed that it actually took us twenty minutes to get a drink and it was the kind of set up that if you didn't have a seat at the bar you weren't really sure where to put yourself.
Once we were seated though it was great, we had one of those circle booths that I love. We were still able to see multiple televisions from our spot...I had no idea Jacob & Anthony's had that sports bar feel, it seems like there are few restaurants out there where "The Game" isn't on. Sorry, I feel like I'm always talking about TVs, but it's definitely one of my pet peeves. Don't people go out to eat for great company and conversation? But anyways, even though the restaurant was packed and loud with avid sports fans, we had a great waiter who was very attentive and had a great sense of humor.
There was a variety of dishes ordered, the menu definitely covers a lot of styles from Italian to Southern to Latin. The first dish ordered was the Napolitan which was chicken and shrimp over gnocchi with mushrooms and roasted tomatoes.
Doesn't it look like everything almost slid off the plate in transit? This was a tasty dish, but I bet it would have been even tastier if it had actually been hot when it got to the table. It was almost like eating leftovers, slightly warm but still tasted good. I feel like the flavors would have been so much more pronounced if it was hot...I never know what to do in that situation, do you tell the waiter your dish is cold or is that slightly obnoxious?
I ordered George Bank Scallops which were by far my favorite of the four meals we got. I got the small size which was three scallops and a vegetable cake in beurre blanc sauce. The vegetable cake was really interesting, not the first thing that I would have thought to pair with scallops. Normally you would see some sort of green vegetable with seafood but this was more filling and fit the comfort food mood set by the sauce. I wish I had gone for the larger size though, I was still a little hungry after and ended up snacking on everyone else's meal.
The next meal was the Pear and Walnut Salad with a side of seasoned fries. My friend who got the salad was fairly disappointed. It's a fairly standard salad: walnuts, pears, dried cranberries, bleu cheese and red onion...pretty hard to go wrong there. But this salad added red peppers and shredded carrots (my friend hates peppers, had they been on the menu she would have asked to leave them out) and practically no dressing.
So instead of the meal centering around the salad, she ended up having mostly french fries for dinner. Speaking of the fries, we thought it was funny that in addition to the ketchup that came with the side, we also received a small gravy boat as well. Just in case.
The last dish was the Chicken Milanese, pan fried chicken over spinach fettucini alfredo. This dish was decadent and filling, just like anything with alfredo sauce should be. Needless to say, this friend was a satisfied member of the clean plate club.
Somehow, we all still had room for dessert and ordered two to split. I shared one of my absolute favorites, which I rarely see in restaurants: Bananas Foster.
YUM! For those of you who can't tell what's what in this delicious picture, Bananas Foster is warm banana bread topped with ice cream, warm bananas, and rum sauce. The menu advertised macadamia nut ice cream which would have made this dessert even more fantastic, but we were given vanilla ice cream. Not to say that I was disappointed with the end result, I guess I was just looking forward to the original macadamia nut. The Bananas Foster was also pretty huge, so the perfect dessert to split!
The other dessert ordered was the Caramel Apple Cheesecake:
You may be looking at this picture and thinking "where did half of the top go?", good question. Despite this lack of presentation, it was still a classic slice of cheesecake. The cheesecake itself wasn't caramel apple - they just drizzled caramel and added a few apples on the side of some plain cheesecake...but still, not too shabby.
After our meal, I'm not sure if I would go back to Jacob & Anthony's for dinner. Maybe for lunch or happy hour? The atmosphere was so loud and so centered around sports, that it wasn't the kind of place that I would want to go to catch up with friends. The food was very good though, so one thing I would want to try out if their Dinner Table Tuesdays. For $22.95 you get a take out meal for four, depending what the special of the day is. Pretty good deal if you ask me! A bunch of restaurants in the area have specials like this and one day soon I promise I'll dedicate a post just to financially friendly deals.
An off topic thought - I've gotten some feedback that I should start a rating system for the restaurants I write about. What do you think? Leave a comment if you've got any cool ideas on what you would want to see for ratings!