1.31.2008

Olympic James

It’s no secret we dig James. From the first time we checked it out for Philly STYLE, we knew this place was special—the sleek (but warm) décor, Kristina’s bubbly personality, Jim’s menu of local ingredients and interesting pairings, how we felt like we were in LA when we’ve never even been to LA. We hadn’t been back since the summer, so on a rare night off, we made a return visit to see how they’re doing after the 3 Bells, the Food & Wine love, the profile of bartender Theo Webb on Daily Candy, the #6 ranking on Philly Mag’s 50 Best list.

One year after opening, they still got it. The pasta with the melting duck ragu with dark chocolate and orange has been switched from pappardelle to tagliatelle, but the noodles are tender as ever. Oxtail braised in espresso becomes the sauce for squash agnolotti, and batons of apple flashed in Pernod slice right through buttery fillets of John Dory. Hanger steak is perfectly seared, and the insanely moist poularde is a study in poultry, a plate of winter comfort with apricot pan-sauce and braised spinach. Baked local apples with maple cream were more fall than winter, but they were nonetheless delicious, especially washed down with a glass of fizzy Moscato d’Asti. Nothing rocks our tastebuds, though, quite like the crisp olive oil-fried bread and lush dark chocolate terrine dusted with candied orange zest and fleur de sel.

We wish we could have had some pics for you, but the lighting is so low, and the iPhone’s one weakness is that its camera is flash-less. Just take a trip yourself. Photos really don’t do the food justice. And bonus, you can probably walk right in without a reservation, since the masses are all at Restaurant Week.

Photo: James

1 comment:

SUSIE said...

Adam , I read your review on Dockhoppers in C.P. , THOUGHT YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY A GREAT MEAL [STEAK , PRIME RIB CRAB CAKES ETC.]AT PRETTTY AMAZING PRICES-----O'MALLEYS ON RT. 130 IN GLOUCESTER CITY