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Oct 25, 2010 09:39 AM

JG Domestic

I was really looking forward to this dinner, based on the menu. Unfortunately they were out of a few things we wanted to try, so we didn't get the dinner we planned on exactly. I'm not a big fan of the space. I never got to Rae when it was there but JG Domestic feels a bit like a restaurant that you might see as a room display at IKEA, it's constructed almost entirely out of wooden shelving, like someone decided they needed to build a restaurant in a lobby on short notice. The bar area looked nicer but we weren't sitting back there.

The food was all decent, but nothing on the menu really lived up to the menu description, except dessert. The Texas boar dish, for example, was described as a "rack" but when it arrived there was one rib chop on the plate. It was tasty, but between the fat and the bone there wasn't much to it, and frankly when I read "rack" I take that to mean "multiple ribs". The porcini mushroom dish was similarly tiny, and not terribly interesting. I'm not normally one to complain about portion size but at $22 for the boar and $16 for the mushrooms I felt like they were overpriced.

Our other dishes were better, the cranberry soup especially was very good, and the beignets are a satisfying dessert. But overall, I wouldn't make a trip out to the Cira Centre to eat here. If you're in the area, Distrito is not far away and is much better. If you're taking a train to/from 30th St. Station it's nice to have JG Domestic available, but outside of that situation I don't think it's a place I'll be going back to.

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  1. Hmmm...When did you go?

    I went with some friends the other night - and we were really impressed. We've been to all of the Iron Chef's restaurants - and we really felt like this was jose-garces-style---kicked up a notch-- and our food was fantastic!

    The flatbread was ridiculously good - I could have eaten 2 more all by myself! And the jidori chicken was exceptionally tasty and moist.

    For dessert - I would definitely get the beignets again - they were to die for.

    I actually wasn't planning on going - since it is so new - and I wanted to give them time to open and settle - but my friends were dying to go. Service was great too - but the highlight for me was definitely the food - the server went on about "how to order" - being a fan of the iron chef - we already knew - but thats ok.

    1 Reply
    1. interesting. i had lunch there on its first day, consisting of the crab salad, the tuna salad, the chicken sandwich, duck fat fries and a few of the snacks.

      the execution was uniformly excellent, no doubt because garces was manning the kitchen. but yeah, the salads were almost comically small. our server admitted that they were still sorting out portioning, so i hope they figure that out soon.

      it sounds like it needs another week or so to settle in. will try to hit it up for dinner soon.

      1. I was back at JG Domestic last week and had a better experience than the first time. First of all, the bar area and the dining room behind it (near the kitchen) is *much* more comfortable and inviting than the area in front. I still feel that most of the dishes are overpriced for the size, but the ones I tried this time were uniformly better than my first visit. I still wouldn't recommend making a special trip to go there, but next time I am picking up/dropping off at 30th St. there are a few things on the menu I'm looking forward to trying.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Buckethead

          You might also consider trying Bridgewater's Pub inside 30th Street Station. Small place that specializes in exotic meats. Full bar and Incredible selection of beers, for those so inclined.

          It's hard to believe what the chef does without a full kitchen.

        2. Went to JG Domestic last night. I thought they did a much better job of defining the space(s) than Rae did. We sat in the front, at the communal table and other than the seat feeling low, it was a good spot. I talked a little bit to the manager at the end of the night, they have two private spaces in addition to the front space, bar area, and upstairs area. They have a room off the kitchen that seats 12-13, with a (soundproof) window to the kitchen, and a back room that seats up to 40. I could see both of those being good event spaces.

          I had read this thread as well as LaBan's review, so knew to be wary of portion sizes. However, the waiter actually went through the menu with us and described each dish, including the size of each portion (including oz of protein). Service overall was very good. Very smooth and our waiter was friendly and fun without being cheesy.

          I thought the plate sizes were on par with places like James and Supper (and on par price-wise). I liked the concept and thought all of our dishes were a good value, with the exception of one "precious" mushroom dish.

          We ended up ordering probably more than we needed to, but we were both famished after a long day of little eating and much navigating the icy terrain of the City. Two of us split:
          -parker house rolls, served to every table. warm, buttery, w/flakes of salt. comforting.
          -Potted Duck: like a duck rillette in a jar. salty, fatty, tasty. tomato gelee on top gave it another taste and texture. good stuff.
          -Lola Rossa salad w/big eye tuna: lots of citrus, but amazingly balanced flavors
          -wood oven flatbread: good, woody mushrooms and black truffles. very thin, good combo of flavors, nothing overwhelmed anything else. amazing what a difference actual truffles are to truffle oil. I can't stand truffle oil, the smell is the taste and it's all I get.
          -pheasant: 12 oz, perfect for sharing. cooked medium, and so tender. it was a breast, roasted and sliced, and a confit leg quarter great flavor. the stand out dish for me.
          -chantrelle mushrooms over a brandy cream and a polenta. expected a little more for the money, although the mushrooms were perfect.

          decided to go with dessert, since the beignets were calling our names. They didn't disappoint. Three beignets, each the size of a smaller donut (although bigger than a donut hole, which is what I expected, the waiter said "twinkie") with a bourbon butterscotch syrup and a bit of vanilla ice cream that tasted like amazing cake batter. Incredible. Definitely for sharing, it was more than expected.

          It reminded me of Supper, but I thought it was better. Although, I had a pretty underwhelming experience at Supper last time around. In concept, I thought it reminded me a bit of 10Arts, but instead of regional ingredients, they cast their net to the entire country. I think it's best to approach it as you would other Garces restaurants, it's good for sharing. If you tried to order a salad and a protein just by yourself, you may end up with a small meal.

          With two cocktails and three beers on the tab, our total for six courses and drinks for two people was $150 before tip. If you skip the drinks and have lighter eats, I think you could be out of there for under $100 for two people. But that would be showing waaaaaay more restraint than I have.