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Jul 12, 2012 12:27 PM

Jonathan's Bar and Grille

Today I tried Jonathan’s Bar & Grill in Newton for lunch after having driven by the place many times while it was being built and the last two months it has been open.

The interior, is a 2012 take on Mid-Century Modern… minimalist, sleek, and contemporary; some exposed duct work; a very L.A. vibe. I ate at the bar. The bar tender was friendly and willing to engage.

I had the lobster roll, served with fries and coleslaw; described on their menu as:
“Jumbo Lobster Roll. Half-pound lobster meat, light mayo, shredded lettuce, lightly-buttered brioche roll, coleslaw, w/fries.”

The roll was certainly jumbo, they didn’t wimp out and just load up a standard hotdog bun; by comparison, it was more like a hotdog roll on steroids. The roll was solidly filled with enough lobster to ensure lobster in every bite, but it wasn’t overflowing. (I don’t know if the “Jumbo Lobster Roll” refers to the whole thing, just the roll, or the amount of lobster in it; it certainly wasn’t the amount of lobster therein. The roll was grilled, not over or under done, but it wasn’t a toasty golden color and it did have some black char marks; overall though, the roll wasn’t a turn off. My only criticism was that roll could have been more buttery.

I’m not a mayo fan, but they indicated on the menu that the mayo used was a light application, so I figured as along as it’s light I can deal. Fortunately, what they deem light is practically non-existent. Ditto on the coleslaw. Usually I steer away from ‘slaw because of the mayo factor, which isn’t helped by the fact that most coleslaw I’ve been served is drowning in it, but this wasn’t. I think you’d be hard-pressed to even find a trace amount of it.

The bartender even let me try a drink he was trying to recreate from L.A., a cocktail of rum, gin, and muddled cucumber and jalapenos. I’m not a hot food fan, so it wasn’t for me. I got the burn from the jalapeno immediately followed by the taste of cucumber. I think it was definitely a refreshing drink, but the burn factor ruined it for me.

For parking they use the lot directly behind the restaurant (where the entrance to a Filene’s Basement was) and a nearby parking garage.

Definitely worth checking out. Decent food. (and because it appeals to my aesthetic) Cool interior design. I’ll have to try a dinner service and their Sunday brunch.


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  1. Thanks for the report. I just noticed this place was open. It's the sort of menu my grandma would like. I will take her there and report back.


    3 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      any updates on this place yet? I had a drink last night @ closing time so I didnt sample the food. I like the decor throughout and it does have a large Bar with a couple Big screen Plasmas so it would be a good spot to eat at the bar and watch a game I guess.

      1. re: Northstar22

        I know Yelp reviews are to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt but boy are the Yelp reviews of this place horrific. http://www.yelp.com/biz/jonathans-bar...

        1. re: Northstar22

          I reviewed it (favorably) in the Openings/Closings thread in June

      2. Any other thoughts on this place?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Blumie

          I went for lunch a few weeks ago on a weekday, told them I was in a hurry because I was at work, and the food never came... not an ounce of haste, and I finally had to ask them to pack it up in a box for me. After nearly 40 minutes.

          "Sampler Sliders" (1 lobster salad, 1 beef burger, 1 something else unmemorable) were unmemorable indeed. Food was cold even though I walked back to my office across the street.