Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pennsylvania >
Jan 31, 2007 03:04 AM

JAMES How Was It?

Looking for your experiences with James, new on 8th St, just north of Christian. How was food, service? I am looking forward to my experience this coming Saturday, but am interested in arming myself with some experiential perspectives. Thanks.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I was at the opening party and the get together was laughable. Perhaps they'll improve. The invite only party had a cash bar and tiny glasses of big bottle (cheap wine) we're being handed out once an hour. I overheard the owner tell the bartended to "slow down" with the free wine! Appetizers given out were few a far between. Three tiny plates we offered to us during 2 hours. One (that was offered to us twice) looked like cat food (and I was told tasted like it). The other (a ravioli) was microscopic, and there was only one avaiable. Servers kept attempting to take drink orders for us from the bar, which was awkward. I suppose the owners told them they would be making money. I reccomend you read a post on another food board to get a sense of the "thriftiness" of this restauarant that I (hilariously) experienced.

    1. We thought it was wonderful. My friends said, "Now don't write about it on Chowhound - we don't want it to get impossible to get a reservation."
      Food was amazing. Small portions, but each bite was delicious. Service was fabulous. The place is beautiful - and comfortable.
      Not cheap, but really not bad for what you are getting, and definitely less than at Vetri, which is where the chef has been working.
      Hope you enjoy it as much - please report back!

      1. I had dinner there a week or two after they opened. Do NOT get the chef's tasting. We did, and to make a long story short, it fell way short of my expectations, and way WAY short of the price, which was $90 for seven courses (the price was not revealed until the bill arrived), without wine. That's Vetri money. The food was good, but only one dish out of the seven was fantastic, and I expect more than that for $90.

        The good news is that the regular menu is much more reasonable (I think $28 or $30 was the priciest entree), and the items on it that caught my eye did look good. Just don't get the chef's tasting.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Buckethead

          Well, I guess you'll never do another chef's tasting w/o learning the price first, eh?


          1. re: jwbausch

            That is true. It wouldn't have been so bad, but the regular menu prices were reasonable, so I was expecting more like $50 or maybe $60 per person at the most, not three times the price of the most expensive entree in the place. If I had known it was going to be $90, we could have assembled our own tasting menu from the regular menu items instead and we would have had money and food left over.

        2. We had been warned that the Chef's Tasting Menu was not the way to go.
          We each had an appetizer, then the four of us shared the 3 pastas on the menu. This was recommended by out waitress and it worked out very well.
          We each had an entree and shared some desserts. Actually, for my entree I had the squab appetizer, which I loved - small, but very delicious.
          By the way, we went there on the ecstatic recommendations of our friend's daughter and son-in-law, who are fussy eaters. We were not disappointed.

          1. We ate there last week after reading all the comments on Egullet -- so did not have the tasting menu. I don't remember the appetizers now, but they were very good. I had the scallops with cauliflower puree, which was absolutely delicious -- BUT -- only 2 scallops for $23! That's my idea of an appetizer portion, not an entree. My husband had the turbot wrapped in chard, which was also very good, but he thought there should have been something else on the plate besides the turbot and 2 little pieces of roasted potato. The dessert was also delicious.

            I sent James an email about the portions but have not received a response. We thought all the food was delicious but the portions of the main dishes were ridiculously small.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Beulah

              There are scallops and then there are scallops, but I have NEVER seen an entree with only 2 scallops. Even with those amazing large and high-grade scallops in many restaurants, I have seen at least 3 for an entree (and usually 5; chefs seem to like the placement of 5 on a plate).