Farm to table. Organic. Sustainable. These are all buzz words used to describe restaurants that place their focus on the freshness of the ingredients, as well as obtaining these ingredients from local sources. They’re like the Indie bands of restaurants. And though it’s a little bit trendy right now, it’s one trend I am a huge fan of. What’s not to like about it? Supporting the local economy? Check. Creatively crafted menus with a healthy respect of local history and tradition? Check. Caring about the shit you put in your food? Check.
So last night we headed on over to the John J. Jeffries. It’s a unique name, with a cool inspiration. The story is, that when they were renovating the building, they found the stamp of a tobacco inspector from the late 1800’s. The name on that stamp? You guessed it. John J. Jeffries. The inside has the same cool, historic/industrial feel, with exposed brick everywhere and thick wooden beams overhead. The hotel lobby area was a mixture of this same look with eclectic art displayed throughout, and modern, glass entryways.
Obviously the most important thing is the food, duh. I didn’t come here to stare at brick all night. Of course I had already creeped on their website pre-visit and checked out their menu, because I’m a dork like that. I was still pleasantly surprised with some new choices, since their selection switches up constantly depending on what is fresh, in season and available locally. For appetizer we had a buttery beef tartare and a saltily delicious hunk of pork belly on top of a savory sweet pancake topped with maple syrup. I believe it was called “Pork Belly Love”. Mmmmmm… Bacon. We also split a cheese plate with a selection of 4 local cheeses. A blue, a creamy and pungent Camembert-like cheese, a smoked Gouda (my husband’s favorite) and a mild Tomme type cheese. I think my favorite was the blue.
For dinner I had Wild Alaskan Black Cod and he chose a mexican-ish gordita with braised pork. I swear that man would just eat pork products all day every day if I let him. OK, maybe pork and iced cream. Dessert was tres leches cake with caramel sauce, chocolate mousse, and a nice pot of french pressed coffee. Every time I drink coffee out of a french press it makes me feel very fancy and European. It also takes freaking awesome. Also I should note that the service was excellent. And I know because I waitressed my way through college. Our server was attentive, but not too overbearing. She did ask me if I knew that the beef tartare was raw, which kind of irritated me, but she must have run into that before so I guess I get it. I suppose that’s what you get when you live in a place where people’s idea of a gourmet meal is Olive Garden. Sigh. So that was dinner. Would I recommend it? Yes. Would I go back there again? Absolutely!