Jimmy's Brookline/Washington Square
The place opened Wednesday or Thursday of this week. Anyone been yet? It's in the old B&D space on Beacon - heavily renovated with open air seating. It's been jammed - wonder if it's good, or just "the new thing"?
Nice industrial space with a variety of seating - indoors, outdoors and a long high top a la Washington Square. The front of the restaurant opens up to the streeet giving it a nice urban vibe. Service was friendly and efficient
They seem to be doing a brisk business. I doubt that will last as the food we tasted was barely fair. I had an order of penne with a vodka sauce that was almost tasteless. I rarely salt my restaurant food, but it was the only way to make it palatable. DC had a salad of arugula, goat cheese and dried figs that was tasty but over-dressed with balsamic. Entree of shrimp scampi was also bland.
The menu is small to medium with 9 entrees and 10 pizzas. The later looked good as they passed by - thin crusts.
They are clearly trying to keep down costs - no bread service, small portions, wine served in small water-glasses. The bill was $68 which included 3 glasses of wine.
Had dinner there a couple of weeks ago. The food and service were OK, but because of the room's design and the loud music it was very difficult to carry a conversation. Too Loud!!!!!
Went there tonight with a friend. As previously mentioned the space is nice, definitely the more urban-industrial styling I've seen propping up all over Los Angeles (when I visit my parents), and in some other cities as well. Fun and hip.
From there things go down quickly.
First thing I notice is the lackluster beer selection. For a location around the corner from Washington Sq Tavern and across from Publick House they need to do better on this.
Next, the waitress takes a fair amount of time for the initial greeting. It doesn't need to be much, just a "hello, welcome, menu's are in the pinch-ring on the table, I'll be right back with you" is more than enough for me on a busy night, and it doesn't need to be our actual waiter. Instead my friend and I had enough time to figure out that was the menu in the pinch-ring and already make our drink selection before she arrived, albeit carrying water for us and offering us special of the day info. Side note on the special, what was written on their giant chalk wall for the current beer selection and special(s) of the day were the specials for last night. 24+hrs later and they couldn't at least erase the old ones?
On to the food. My friend, who has a lactose allergy, ordered a pizza sans cheese, I ordered the eggplant parmesan with choice of pasta, with the menu listing three pasta dishes, spaghetti, penne, and gnocchi, I chose the gnocchi. She then came back a few minutes later to tell me gnocchi is not available as a "choice of pasta". Now here's the thing, the menu does not say "choice of pasta: spaghetti or penne", it just says choice of pasta, leaving the dinee to determine that any of the listed pasta entrees is available as an option. This is not the case, but can be accommodated for an extra $5, on top of the $14 eggplant parmesan! Ok, so I choose the Penne.
Food comes, pizza actually comes sans cheese! There's a positive! Downside is there is a lot of raw onion, though at least cut into very small slivers, which is always appreciated on a pizza not smothered in cheese. A fair size as well for an "artisan' pizza and plenty of sausage topping. I probably should have got a pizza I'm thinking at this point. My dish was, as mentioned, a fairly small portion. The eggplant parm is cut at about 2" diameter slices with a crust parm crust, a preparation quite different than most restaurant parm, and a nice touch in the contrasting texture departments. The eggplant was well cooked, but overall portion was lacking in any distinct flavor and generally bland overall. The pasta though, oy, the pasta... Perhaps the worst pasta I've had in a long time. The boxes of Barilla I buy at Costco taste better and are better cooked than what was on my plate. The sauce? Much like the eggplant, lacking in anything to bring delight to an otherwise dreary selection of starch.
The pizza was decent, the crust slightly overcooked, but without cheese melting as a timer I can see how that could occur (not that it should, but after everything else so far...). The toppings were nice, though nothing special, and the sauce slightly better than a chain pizza place, Hard for me to give a real judgement to due to the lack of cheese and having only one slice to try (god bless my friends and their willingness to deal with me having to try everyone's meal).
Pre-shredded parmigiano in a shaker was brought to the table, A full shaker. Who knows how long its been sitting like that? Another poor sign overall.
So as a nice space with decent pizza and a liquor license, not a bad idea. Weekend nights will probably have a good turnout, and as a card for a DJ on premise for Nov23rd still at each table, an interesting alternative for the area. In the end though, the food is lacking and the service still needs work.
1648 Beacon St, Brookline, MA
This same operator had a similar niche with Joe V's, which served pretty mediocre Italian-American food, but filled a low-price need that was underserved in the neighborhood. We went a couple of times before deciding we'd rather travel farther and pay more for better food of its type. Jimmy's sounds very much like it.
315 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
re: MC Slim JB
went once, after giving it several months to settle in. Not good enough for the money. Neither the Washington Square Tavern, the Abbey, or Fireplace Grill is so expensive that a second-rate, predictable italian-restaurant adds much to the Square. Now if we only had the first-rate breakfast place we are all missing!
Washington Square Tavern
714 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02446
We've been a couple of times for beers and nibbles at the bar and the food was great and the bartenders were terrific.
We have put this into semi-regular rotation. I've had a very decent burger here, the Maglettes are huge fans of the spaghetti with meatballs and the chicken parm sandwich. What really keeps us coming back is the white pizza topped with fresh arugula. It is the bomb, really nice crispy crust without being cracker like, just enough garlic and lovely greens. Great, now I'm hungry again.
Oh, and we have found the waitstaff to be very pleasant and attentive, and quite nice about accomodating our kid's needs.