Mark Hunker and Jeff McCracken's JAM Bistro continues to please! RB regulars will remember that the bright, amply windowed building that was once home to the storied Camel's Hump restaurant. The soup du jour on a past visit was Seafood Bisque. The crab/shrimp base was buttery, creamy and chock full of crabmeat and what appeared to be mussels. It was softly comforting. Our most recent visit in the fall of 2019 resulted in two appetizers that both made the grade: The tasty nachos (wait 'til you taste the cheese) and the pork shanks, aka Pork Drummettes. Though not as big as some others, they were perfectly sauced and tender. There is also a ceviche du jour that plan to get next time. It looked good.
Two entrees are tied for the award of Star of the Show: (1) The Braised Beef Shortribs. It had been a while since we had been there, and we were hoping they would still be on the menu. They are! Darkly crusty on the outside and fallin'-off-the-bone, it reminded me of slow-cooked Texas beef brisket that had been spared the obligatory mopping of sauce. It sidled up to brightly colored mac & cheese (hold the truffle oil, please!) and a stack of bright green broccolini, lightly blanched and firm. A gastrique of acid/sweet red wine topped it all off. The second entree that impressed us was the prosciutto and mozzarella-stuffed chicken. Though it looked rather simple on the plate, it was loaded with flavor.
I have to tell you about one of JAM's “Variations on the French Fry”: The Crispy Smashed Fingerlings continue to be wonderful. I'll spare you the hyperbolic superlatives and gently suggest, as politely as I can, that you ORDER THEM! NOW! The potatoes were indeed smashed, but not enough to break the crackly crisp skin. They are not available as a separate side, but I suspect you can sub them on an entree plate. That is not a guarantee– but a hopeful thought.
They are also available with Smoked Bacon and a Vermont Cheddar whiz (admit it, you love it), but we ordered it to share, and the Kosher proclivities of one of our good friends precluded the bacon. We WILL go back to enjoy the trayfe.
Jam's Shrimp & Grits with andouille sausage, parmesan grits, sautéed spinach, shrimp butter are quite good, and I also suggest you try the Steak Frites with dry aged ribeye, hand cut fries, mixed green salad w/broccolini, carrots, asiago, candied walnuts in a white balsamic vinaigrette.
JAM Bistro by Eden1/12 Chix & waffles. Hope it's on the menu!2/12 Chocolate turtle cheesecake. Yup, that's it.3/12 The ultimate chocolate brownie with caramel, of course.4/12 JAM's upbeat bar5/12 Just slightly East of Eden.6/12 Just in case you didn't know it was the bar…..7/12 JAM Bistro by Eden8/12 JAM Bistro by Eden9/12 JAM Bistro by Eden10/12 JAM Bistro by Eden11/12 JAM Bistro by Eden12/12
Another special (regrettably, because I'd order it every time) is the Fried Chicken & Waffles. It makes rare appearances on the menu, and I secretly pine away for that dish! It was delicious; the chicken crispy with a slightly syruped waffle. It includes two quarters (a half a chicken) that are perfectly fried. I am a fried chicken maniac, and I'm here to tell you that this version is very good. The waffles are darkly crisp, with a maple reduction drizzled thereon and atop the chicken. This one's a keeper!
A non-meat eater who joined us on our last visit ordered Jam’s Salmon & Salad with edamame guacamole, mixed greens, carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, orange mojo. She LOVED it. Not a carnivore, try this one. Speaking of meat, if you like hamburgers, DO GET THE ONE AT JAM. I use the burger as a barometer for how a restaurant does basic things, and I have to sat that this is one of the best around. Tender, cooked perfectly to temperature, with a ton of sides from which to choose. I got the blue cheese, bacon, jalapenos and fried onions.
I have replaced all the old photos (except for the chicken & waffles) with new ones from fall 2019. Most of the dishes mentioned here are in the gallery. Scroll. Enjoy. Again, the short ribs are the star of the show there on the ocean block of Baltimore Avenue. They continue to be delightful and are most certainly one of JAM's signature dishes.
New desserts include the Pecan Pie Bar nestled adjacent to vanilla ice cream with bourbon caramel and house made bacon bits. We ordered the Oreo + Dark Chocolate Truffle Bites and Eden’s Key Lime Pie resting on a graham cracker/sunflower seed crust and drizzled with fresh berry sauce, fresh whipped cream7
Our experiences and reader feedback all suggest that Jam continues to be one of the better eateries in town. Not pretentious, with friendly servers and a fun bar. so far, JAM Bistro is at 20 Baltimore Avenue on the ocean block, immediately east of their sister restaurant, Eden. Sidewalk dining is a must when weather permits. Give them a call for check on their off-season hours