Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jak’s Kitchen

As my husband headed out the door tonight for dinner with a friend, I could see he had a worried look in his eyes. “What are you going to have for dinner tonight?” I assured him I would be fine – as he listed off all the things we had in the fridge, freezer and cupboard that were relatively easy to make. He closed the door, I finished up some chores and jumped on my bike for the 2 block ride to Jak's. Come on, you really didn't think I was going to cook for myself did you? (For the record, I actually do make the effort now and again.)

One of the things I used to love more than anything in the world when I lived in Moncton was going out for a nice dinner by myself. There's something just so therapeutic about it. Every single sip of wine, and every delicious morsel of food has your full attention. And did it ever tonight.

Ever since I saw their tasting special (5 apps or dessert of your choice for $37), I've been wanting to come back and dig in. The evening I saw it I had to be somewhere by a specific time and didn't want to rush it. It's been calling me since. However, after a few words with my server, I quickly realized that that would be too much food for me on my own (I guess I'll have to go back!). So I dumbed it down to 3. Three magnificent choices.

Before any of my apps arrived, a plate of olive bread and fresh rolls straight from the oven were delivered with olive oil and balsamic for dipping. As I began pulling the warm rolls apart, revealing their dense, doughy center, I begged myself not to eat too much. I hate filling up on bread, but it's so damn difficult to pass it up sometimes!

Luckily my soup arrived before I made it to the second roll. One of the best French onion soups I've ever had, made with rye rarebit croutons. I cut into the slice of bread with my spoon and realized that this was not your typical soup-soaked crouton. It was like a dream, melted cheese blanketing a slice of toasted bread that was still crispy, yet melted in your mouth. Each spoonful got softer as I worked my way to the other end of the slice, but the final bite still had a slight crisp. Mustard, thyme and beer were the added flavours that made your heart sing.

I love fruit in savoury situations, which is why I went for the rosemary caramelized pear and garlic confit tart as my next dish. These delectable slices of pear were framed in a light, flaky crust and served underneath a dollop of soft fromage du maison. Yumm.

Finally (and yes, I was getting full at this point), fish croquettes with smoked tomato remoulade and échalottes-lemon oil. Three tasty dumpling-shaped fritters breaded a little too dry and coarse in comparison to the succulent interior, but the mouthwatering remoulade made up for it.

This restaurant is a staple of mine for breakfast, but after tonight will have to include dinner. Although the view of the busy street outside isn't the most appealing, the warm and inviting decor inside, paired with the easygoing, cordial staff, make you feel like you're dining at a friend's place. Apps range from $6 to $9 and mains from $17 to $40. They even have smaller portion options!

Jak's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


The Benny's said...

Many people are uncomfortable eating alone, I am not one of those, I enjoy as much as you. Funny thing, when I travel to the states alone and dine out, they are baffled and are shocked that I am by myself and eating alone! LOL I always get the worst table in the darkest corner... I don't get it.

Rachelle said...

That's so funny eh? I really do love it. I think in smaller towns too or certain kinds of restaurants they do look at you funny. One of my favourite spots in Ottawa that I eat at really often on my own is Fuschian.

One of Ottawa's Real Foodies said...

I finally got to Jak's Kitchen thanks to you!!

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