Sunday, August 11, 2013

Joinin' Up at the J

It was a Posse kind of weekend, so certain things could be guaranteed: we would laugh heartily, dine well, sip libations and enjoy a patented kind of camaraderie that we not only cherish, but crave. Yes, it was time for the monthly Posse dinner and August's pick was a Crossroads Art District hotspot called the Jacobson, or the "J" for short. 

The Jacobson is a stylish little spot near Lulu's on Central Avenue.  The patio is a true see-and-be seen scene and last night's pristine weather helped ensure that it was packed with a fashionable crowd sipping on the Jacobson's signature cocktails next to the bubbling fountain.  Bustling tables of shades-wearing diners noshed on the J's small plates in the shadow of a sleek sculpture called the Delta Rings that was created by local artist Stretch.  We were inside, however, in the chic, industrial dining room and lounge area that was adorned with lots of eclectic local art.  This restaurant was in the former site of a warehouse owned by A.D. Jacobson, whose brother Eddie was a close friend of Harry Truman.  The aforemantioned patio was the former loading dock and is largely constructed out of recycled material. 

Our group of ten primarily went for the multitude of small plate offerings but before the food came the creative cocktails and we ran the gamut of selection down the length of the table.  Cindy got the house version of the Maragrita which was called a Steigl-rita and consisted of tequila, fresh lime, simple syrup and Steigl- Radler
which is a grapefruit shandy.  Larry got a truly artistic elixir aptly called a Leap of Faith which had an intriguing mix of ingredients: rye whiskey, red and white wine, lavender syrup and blackberry and he loved it right down to the bed of crimson seeds left behind in the glass that we couldnn't identify - pomegranate seeds, maybe?  Charlotte sipped on a simple but stellar chocolate martini with vanilla vodka and Keith and I decided to go for the flask service.  You can get any of the J's signature cocktails served on ice in vintage flasks, so we split a flask of the sparkling lemon-blueberry martini with blueberry vodka and fresh lemon.

As for those small plates called "mingles", our group covered the
full palette of these offerings, as well.  There was succulent salt and pepper shrimp; bright with lemon and garlic and there were crunchy crab poppers, stuffed with creamy goat cheese, tarragon and jalapenos with sundried tomato remoulade.  There was macaroni gratin in a rich and creamy mornay
sauce dotted with smoked bacon and there was more bacony goodness in our Angels on Horseback which were fresh, fried oysters wrapped in bacon served with tangy chimichurri sauce and garlic aioli.  It was difficult to choose a favorite among them and when I finally did it was with something delicious and somewhat familiar as well as something delightfully new: it was a tie between the fabulous smoked salmon crostini with house-cured salmon, balsamic, arugula and scallion cream cheese on Farm-to-Market baguette and the zippy ahi tuna wontons with seared ahi tuna medallions on crisp wontons topped with pickled vegetable slaw and drizzled in a Sriracha aioli that I wanted to lap off the plate.

We finished up with a sampling of desserts including the flourless
chocolate cake and the angel food cake with peach preserves and pistachio ice cream.  The Jacobson was quite the delight all in all and we vowed to return to take advantage of their patio and what sounded like a fabulous happy hour.  Yes, while this picture-perfect weather holds out, I would highly recommend hangin' at the J...the people watching and killer cocktails alone are worth the trip.


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