Jackson & Rye is the latest Richard Caring backed restaurant and it’s the creation of the guys behind Grill Shack – which I loved. This too is an all day dining affair – it’s open 7 days a week from breakfast to late night dinner offering American comfort food. As that sounds right up my street I was super excited to be invited along for brunch.
The inside was far bigger than I expected with two main areas to sit; the front by the bar which seemed really buzzy and the more subdued dining area out the back which is where we were seated. It had a touch of the Balthazar about it – just without that orange glow. It was an attractive place with the perfect atmosphere for a spot of relaxed weekend brunching.
From the appetisers section I started with the shrimps and grits (Â£8.50). Grits are a South American staple – a ground corn porridge concoction. Here they could have done with a touch more seasoning but a generous dribble of chilli oil added a good and necessary kick. The plump and juicy shrimp were cooked perfectly.
My gentleman companion liked his truffled mac and cheese (Â£6.95). It was unlike your normal mac and cheese however; there was no golden crust and it was topped with rocket leaves. I didn’t think I’d like it but it was actually really lovely and the aroma of truffle filled the air as it was placed before us.
My 10oz grain fed rib eye (Â£18.95) was really tasty – it reminded me of the one I had recently at Ape and Bird; juicy and moist. It was cooked medium rare as requested and it was brilliantly tender. The bearnaise sauce (Â£1.95 extra – I think they could have included it for free) was a tangy little number and cut through the meat perfectly.
My gentleman companion opted for the buttermilk fried chicken (Â£11.95) which was gargantuan in size. The chicken was impressively moist and covered in a greaseless and crisp batter which was delicious. The accompanying fries were seasoned perfectly and a good portion size too.
The white chocolate and raspberry frozen soufflÃ© (Â£6.25) was less a soufflÃ© and more a simple ice cream – a delicious one at that but it could have done with a lighter and more moussey texture. I really enjoyed the peanut butter cookies with milk ice cream (Â£4.75). There was a bitter-sweet chocolate sauce which helped bring all the flavours together – I wolfed the lot down in a matter of seconds.
I have no doubt that Jackson & Rye will do thoroughly well especially with it’s location on busy Wardour Street. There was nothing not to like – lovely staff and tasty comforting food all in attractive and comfortable surroundings. I’m looking forward to going back already.