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Jimmy's #43 East Village, NYC

post #1 of 2
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We ate at Jimmy's restaurant last night and rang up a $300+ tab to celebrate the birthday of a mutual friend.

We don't even know where to begin as to what'all was wrong about this experience. The heat was the first and ultimately the last thing that comes to mind. It was hot in there. With no a/c, the temperature inside must have been 88 degrees. The fact that there was no ice in the water or drinks made the experience that much worse.

Then came the cheese assortment with 2 types of cheese (and Triscuits?) in minute proportions and a charcuterie assortment with 2 meats--one which mimmicked the already existing "beer sausage" item. When do 2 items constitute an "assortment"? The goat cheese appetizer was paltry as well, served in an empty-looking coffee cup.

The service was poor. Our waitress wasn't knowledgable about menu changes or menu items.

It was hotter when the entrees finally arrived. That is to say, when every entree except that of our birthday guest arrived. Unfortunately, by the time our birthday guest received his meal, the majority of our party of 7 had already finished their dishes. A few courteous guests waited to begin eating so they could join the guest of honor. They waited 15 minutes. It was explained to us that there was a "hot plate problem" in the kitchen.

I am a professional chef. What IS a "hot plate problem"?

My entree of asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash and mesclun with polenta was half the size of an app received by another guest. The portion was pathetic. I had four leaves of lettuce, 2 pieces each of squash, and what amounted to 2 tablespoons of polenta. How cheap is corn meal? Cheap. The scallop entree was no different. Three scallops arrived with an insulting amount of greens.

My experience at Jimmy's was the worst dining experience I have ever had at a restaurant. The taste of the food was good. It's obvious the chef knows how to cook. It's obvious too -- that I will never return nor recommend your place to anyone. Why would I? Besides an impressive array of beer, there's little to be commended for the establishment.

I do with Jimmy the best. I am aware of how difficult it is to run a sucessful restaurant here in food-savvy NYC. I hope he is able to work things out. Dissatisfied guests are more vocal than those who leave sated and pleased. Unfortunately, we are of the former.
post #2 of 2
I finally made it there, so now I can offer a response. I can sympathize with some of your complaints, but believe me, I've had much worse experiences and spent a lot more money on them. :mad: On the whole my experience at Jimmy's made me want to return.

Yes, the place is overheated in winter, and not very well ventilated, so I can imagine that in summer it can get really bad, even though it is below street level. We were a large, talkative group in a separate room, which was only saved by the fact that there was a door to the outside that that could be propped open. Now that I know that problem, I'll be able to deal with it in the future.

We were there to talk :talk: and drink :beer: -- and not so much to eat. The beer selection was outstanding; I tried three of them, all excellent and all served at proper temperatures. And on some Thursdays they serve cask-conditioned ales -- definitely a reason to go back. By the time we arrived, the initial orders of food had been finished, so I don't know what they were like other than the sausages, which were very tasty. My husband spent a lot of time talking with the waitress about the different entree options and specials, and she was very knowledgeable and able to describe all the dishes in detail. The one he finally ordered (beef stew) was delicious, although, yes, maybe a little expensive for the portion size. (You said you spent $300+, but for how many people ordering how much food and drink?) Still, he liked it a lot and I liked my taste. And since I hate huge portions, it would have been just fine for me.

If you're a professional chef, you know that restaurants have off nights when it seems like everything that can go wrong, does. (I certainly know it as a former line cook and pastry chef.) So maybe you can cut them a little slack, given that the food and drink are pretty tasty? You don't have to go back, but to say it was the worst experience ever seems a bit strong. :( Maybe in the "heat" of the moment ;) it seemed that way, but was it really?

Anyway: I'd sooner go back there than McSorley's down the block! :look:
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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