Stopped in last night - have not been in a good long while -
We shared a bunch of veggie dishes:
From the bar bites:
Two of the current menu:
Fried polenta, parmesan, pickled fennel
Crispy shiitake mushrooms, spicy soy sauce
Two of the work-in-progress not-on-the-menu:
Fried cauliflower with shards of manchego cheese
Cheesy potato croquettes, tomato sauce, green onions
The croquettes with tomato were a little like arancini, but creamier - the green onions added a bright note that is missing from typical arancini - steaming hot, good fry job - consensus favorite of the four.
The fried shiitake mushrooms with spicy soy were also a great nibble.
The polenta sticks I thought were a close third - the crispy corn-meal-ish breading gave a good contrast with the inner creaminess - a slaw of julienned radish and pickled fennel rounded it out.
The cauliflower was also good, but an element was missing, to contrast with the sharp manchego - I dipped in the soy, which was ok, but thinking this morning about how it could be a good vehicle for a romesco, or something along those lines. Was offered as a work-in-progress, so see what happens if you read this and come along next time.
We also split the shrimp/scallop cakes with chipotle aioli and the warm salad of Peruvian lima bean, parsnip, sunchoke, feta, lemon vinaigrette.
Who does not like an aioli? The cakes had a surprisingly glutenous texture - it was ok - was outshone by the warm "salad" - a small baking dish with these components roasted and sitting a sauce that was wiped clean with extra bread - herbal, earthy, warming - just about perfect with this last gasp of winter.
Chocolate cake for dessert was...chocolatey.
Beverage highlight was a glass of Liquid Sunshine mead - you could get totally addicted to that stuff. Love me some honey beer.
re: Bob Dobalina
Thanks for the review. It's our neighborhood place that we OD'ed on but nice to see they have some new items. I always liked their shrimp/scallop cakes and the pairing with the Peruvian salad sounds nice. I've generally been happier with their beer selections compared to their wines, but this may reflect my relative ignorance of beers and happy to try something new that has been thoughtfully selected.
re: Bob Dobalina
Definitely worth a visit, esp if you're in the area - sweet and very neighborhoody vibe, and the food is consistently good. They do well with fish, which isn't true everywhere. The wine list looks cool but the actual wines haven't knocked me out; huge props to the beer list though -- I feel like I've been introduced to a lot of really interesting craft beers at the VV bar.
Summed it up in a recent Stuff review, but: small, charming, unfussy, neighborhood-oriented JP indie. Excellent short beer and wine lists. Thoughtful, mid-priced, seasonal New American that tilts toward seafood and vegetarian dishes, but still does meat and poultry. Lovely owners who are always working there. Survived a chef transition (original chef went to The Gallows) without a hitch. Takes reservations via Urban Spoon (Rezbook). I wish it were in my neighborhood, or that there were simply more like it. Overlooked, underpraised.
re: MC Slim JB
Definitely agree. We make it down there once every 4 months or so, and its worth the trip to J.P. for. Always something vegetarian for me to eat. The beers are rather well curated -- Dan (one of the owners) knows his stuff. Don't think I've had a bad meal there yet.
Hi OC. agree with MCSlim. Well worth your visit. Owners are lovely and knowledgable. They do interesting things with local seasonal ingredients. Beer list is better than the wine list but both have a few different things. We used to be regulars but the menu is small and doesn't change frequently. We still use it to bring friends that haven't tried it.