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Cooking with Jazz reopens in a few weeks!

I just got an excited phone call from my sister that Cooking with Jazz is reopening in a new space. Fingers crossed that it is as good as before! http://cookingwithjazz.com/

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  1. This place has tremendous sentimental value for my wife and I. We ate there about once a week the first year we were married. I thought they made a damn fine gumbo, and the crawfish was outstanding. I hope it is as good.

    Chef Steve, if you are reading this, don't use Chinese crawfish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 Reply
    1. We lived right on the block and went A LOT. The website now says December 19th - tomorrow! By the way - once while we had the dogs out for a walk some of the crayfish escaped and our dogs freaked out when they were running down the sidewalk. Chef Steve came after them. Clearly, the ingredients were very fresh.

      1. I ate there on Wednesday and at 7:00 the place was packed. Steve and his wife were working the room and almost everyone in my earshot was a past customer. The place looks nice and is roomy. Most importantly, the food was delicious. The bread basket had corn bread, not to sweet and two other varieties that were good. Started with the seafood gumbo and it was perfect. Oyster,shrimp.scallop, fish and more, all cooked correctly in an evil looking dark brown almost black broth with a few grains of white rice. Spicy, well rounded and I loved it. You could taste the indivudual items. Next was the Jambalaya, delicous, but a little different then what I expected. A long oval plate with two mounds(soup bowl filled and then turned over on the plate) of spicy rice with more little things in it then I could identify. In between was a long grilled sausage and on top of that was a blackened grilled chicken breast. The rice was fantastic as was the sausage, but what was that chicken breast doing on there. It had the shape and size and despite the seasoning the taste of a Sysco/ConAgra chicken cutlet. Sadly he is using a breaded chicken cutlet for the fried chicken platter as well, which I found out about only when I asked the waiter what parts of the chicken were in the dish. When I showed my disappointment even he agreed it was not the best way to do the dish. I finished with a slice of sweet potato pecan pie that was a wedge a sweet potato with a ton of roasted and sugared pecans on top, pretty good. They have no liquor license yet and people were bringing their own bottles. Service was great, prices fair (gunbo $8 and Jambalaya $20) and I can't wait to return.

        4 Replies
        1. re: stuartlafonda

          Judging from the old days (which it seems they have matched) there is no better gumbo in this city. I always got the jambalaya back in the old place, but I never heard of Steve using a pre-fab chicken breast. Maybe that will pass once he is more set up. With his technique I think my socks would taste good blackened.

          1. re: NYJewboy

            I am intrigued by this restaurant (I'd never heard about it until reading this thread) and am going to try to go this weekend. Is it a small place w/just a few tables, a big place--etc. I ask because there will be 6 or 7 of us. Also, I gather that the gumbo and jambalaya are not to be missed. Any other particularly amazing dishes?

            1. re: gnosh

              The crawfish etouffee if they have it. Ask for it extra spicy.

          2. re: stuartlafonda

            I haven't been since they reopened, but used to go 8 - 10 times a year. Your Jambalaya sounds just like how they used to plate their red beans and rice. I wonder if you were served the wrong dish.

          3. What a treat to return to Cooking with Jazz!!! The place was filled with loyal clients from years past. The warm Jalapeno Bread, and Corn Muffins were just as delicious as we remembered. We savored some Seafood Gumbo & Fried Oysters to start. Then I had the Seafood Big Mamou, with huge chunks of salmon, scallops, oysters & jumbo shrimp. The Hubby had the Coho Salmon, stuffed with perfectly caramelized onions, veggies & other yummy goodness. We finished it off with a slice of pecan pie. Steve came out of the kitchen in his big red chef's hat to shake some hands & wave hello. We can't wait to go back. No need to BYOB, the hurricanes were flowing!!

            1. Saturday night my wife and I went for the first time since reopening. It was every bit as great as I remember from the old location. The chicken gumbo was stellar; spicy, thick, with complexity that cannot be obtained anywhere else in THIS city. The stuffed eggplant, such a unique dish around here, was packed with the most delicious filling. Every bit as great as it was. The Jambalaya and red beans were both outstanding. Particular attention was payed to the spicing of the rices, which are often ignored and underspiced. Even the breads were worth the trip.

              As well, the new space was a winner. It might lack the charm of the old place, but that space was totally unique and impossible to beat. Still, the new space is bigger and more functional, and with a larger staff I think Steve will do extremely well.

              I am going back as soon as possible. I just wish he would get some damn crawfish!

              1. My husband and I loved the original restaurant and were crushed when it closed years ago. It was a real loss to the neighborhood. I happened to read this thread right before the holidays (thank you all!!) and managed to convince my husband to let me take him somewhere for dinner without telling him where we were going. Needless to say, he was thrilled when we pulled up in front of the restaurant and he realized it had reopened after all this time. Food was still great, starting with the delicious assortment of breads. I had the chicken etouffee and would have been happy eating a bowl of the sauce by itself. Most of the other diners that night had eaten at the original location and it was one big reunion. Wish Chef Steve and his wife the best and can't wait to go back, especially during crayfish season.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Jaleamia

                  A lot of positive buzz, however, a friend of mine went for New Year's Eve with her husband and another couple, ordered at least 10 or 12 dishes and desserts from the menu, and was uniformly unimpressed with everything--complained about blandness and plain presentation, --and shrimp that tasted off--etc....eh, was the comment about most--and they used to frequent the Whitestone location so were familiar with the food---they won't return they were so turned off---

                  1. re: janie

                    I did get the sense that they were still working out a lot of things in the kitchen, communication with staff, etc. While there were a few glitches with service, I still enjoyed the food and definitely wouldn't call it bland - sorry your friends had a disappointing experience. I guess I'm willing to give them a little time to work things out since I know the kind of food they are capable of.

                2. This Day just can't get any better .... I'm off to Queens ASAP. It was a very sad day when they closed the Whitestone location. Can't wait to celebrate ... Cajun Style!

                  1. Tonight was my first time (back) since the (re) opening, and the kitchen was in top form! Delicious, fresh fried oysters....unbelievably good fried Eggplant Appetizer (I could eat this every day)....Deeply rich, perfectly spicy Seafood Gumbo.....Tasso, Shrimp and cream on pasta. I was not a believer in this last dish, but it was fantastic.

                    He has a way with seafood....everything was just perfectly cooked, when so many places overcook fish, it made it all the more special.

                    Nice Jazz Quartet.....3 Hurricanes and a Heineken.....$85 bucks, including a 20% tip + a Five Spot for the musicians. And, I have lunch for tomorrow.

                    We are two very happy, well fed customers. Live Music, Great Food, Fantastic Time in QUEENS!!! We'll be back, within the week.

                    -----
                    Cooking with Jazz
                    179-22 Union Turnpike, Queens, NY 11366

                    1. Just so you all know, they told us last weekend that crawfish are coming in 2 weeks!
                      We have now been there 5 times since they reopened... can't get enough.