Jamie kennedy wine bar
just looking at the menu here, I was curious how big these dishes are.. what is the concept exactly, are they share plates? or how many per person do you order ( considering we are big eaters). Any info would be great, including any recent visit info. thanks in advance!
Just wanted to post an update. Being seated immediately at the bar on Valentine's Day with no reservation or wait was the best part of the evening, along with the beet pecorino salad!
Every dish was ridiculously oversalted -- particularly the roasted berkshire pork with green cabbage, which resembled ham and should enter the Guiness Book of Records for saltiest dish on the continent -- including their famous fries, but also including olive wood-smoked whitefish potato salad, excellent pecorino fresco beet arugula salad, seared sea scallops with house bacon, and duck confit with overpowering kumquat compote. (Note to chef: less is more with kumquats.)
Female server behind the bar was constantly pushy with wines but, due to having drinks prior to arriving, only one of us ordered a half-glass of wine and we both drank tap water. Not that wine would quench or match the salty dishes! I have no idea how Jamie Drummond manages to complement such travesties. What a waste of good ingredients!
Despite the ridiculous amount of salt, we didn't complain or send anything back until...the sandy sea scallop. The first two we enjoyed immensely, and then the third and final tiny scallop was so sandy it could have been used as a scrubber for dirty dishes. Upon complaint, the server returned from the kitchen to inform us that this was normal for non-farmed scallops. Later, upon discovering it still on the final bill, we asked to have it removed, only to be told that since we had eaten more than half the dish, they couldn't remove the $10 charge. After some rude/confrontational comments by the server, the charge was reluctantly dropped. Unfortunately, I left a bigger tip than normal just to prove we weren't cheap...but I suspect that didn't leave the right message. The final straw was the constant overpowering beef fat cooking smell emanating from the food bar area. I hate when I go home smelling like beef!
Mark my words: I will never return to JKWB. I'd rather eat at Foxley even though they have some flaws. Heck, I'd rather eat at Coca. I've taken a lot of friends to JKWB over the past couple of years...but I'm sure they won't miss my business, right?
re: Food Tourist
Everyone knows about the oversalting issues at JK. I've experienced it several times, as have many other people. Imagine my surprise on Friday at lunch when the poutine with braised beef cheek and another plate of fries were *undersalted*. The other dishes were seasoned properly. Odd.
Had a nice run-in with a runner that apparently took over hostess duties for the few minutes in which I arrived. When I asked him to take our jackets, he pointed at the coat rack. I polite stated that "it would be great if he could take care of that for us." He got the idea.
Food wasn't as good as previous visits, and the beet and fresh pecorino salad and smoked lake trout salad were the pick of the litter. The aforementioned poutine and the duck confit with kumquats and green onion pancake were misses.
It's also a shame that the wine list (in particular, the by the glass list) has increased so significantly in price since they opened years ago.
Was just there for lunch. Shared the fries, duck confit with brussels sprouts (not recommended--that's all it is. A confit duck leg with some sauteed brussels spouts. Period), Scallop with bacon and squach puree (tasty, although hard to share--just one large scallop with lardon sized bacon slices) and beet and pecorino fresco salad (which was a nice light plate--could have done with some more beets and less cheese, and I am a cheese addict). I don't think we ordered well, but we sat at the chef bar and what looked good was the braised pork belly with house made hoisin sauce, the beef cheek goulash, as well as the black cod. I'm a huge jk fangirl though--I don't think you can go wrong, really. I believe Tobey's heard the board re the salt though--if anything, was undersalted this time.
Typical small plate size, if you share them you will have 4-5 bites each. My wife and I made a dinner out of 4 plates each and 2 desserts.
Exceptions: The frites are a really good portion for the price, whereas the poutine portion is so small for the $ that my wife and I were lol.
The food is all delicious, though. I would especially recommend any charcuterie, scallop or black cod dishes you find.
the frites ARE execellent! the last time i was there, 2 of us shared 3 dishes and the only disappointment was the clams. I think there was only 3 in the dish.
We didn't go there for a full meal, just a late night snack with drinks so the 3 dishes were perfect (if only they added one more clam!!) =)
and in my opinion, the bar is a much better place to sit than the dining area.
Concept is small plates for sharing.
Two of us usually order about 3 plates each (and "baby" glass of wine to go with each dish). But if you're big eaters, you may need more than that, and I think it's possible that if you prefer more traditional app/entree/dessert style eating, you could leave feeling unsatisfied. Or you could always warm up at JK at go elsewhere for "real" dinner if you'd like more than small plates.
I haven't tried the new latest menu, but the poutine is always great, the haloumi is good, I've had good luck with shortribs (although never in the current incarnation), cheese plate is usually quite interesting... I tend to ask my server what the best options are for the current menu and I find JK's staff us generally very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
If you do end up going, please do report back on the winter menu!
here are a few reviews with photos:
the depth of the bartop in the first link is approximately 18" and should hopefully help indicate the actually size of the dishware.
with two people i've eaten between 7-9 dishes shared between us inclusive of dessert. on another occassion there were three of us and 9 dishes were demolished. each time we left ridiculously full. if you stick to the protein/carb heavy dishes it's not that difficult to get stuffed.
from what i've seen around the bar... people will often order dishes for themselves and eat them themselves (never even offering a bite to another, blasphemy!) but i will always share each dish. there are extra plates to divide up a dish among the diners. the soup is never an easy thing to share.
i'd say the concept is local canadiana small plates with an edge towards the homey/comforting rather than ridiculous "innovative" displays. considering the winter weather, expect a lot of stew and rich sauce dishes with much of his own pickled veg incorporated. beware that tobey nemeth doesn't seem to be able to taste salt... keep a glass of water on hand.
otherwise... unless you're a group over 3 ppl (4 might be pushing it) the best seat in the house is the corner of the chef bar. i like to watch the action and query the chefs but it can get noisy...