Chez Jacques is open for business

Last July Jacques French Cafe closed its 2nd Street digs and began restoration of a building at 1022S. 1st Street.   Last week Chez Jacques opened to the public.  I visited the new restaurant last week.  When you walk in you can’t help but notice the stunning large wood bar and the tin ceilings.  Take note of the construction photos on the wall near the entrance and you will be amazed at the transformation.  There are two separate dining rooms and each of them is dimly lit and tastefully decorated.  I will not go into a full detailed review of the food because they should be allowed some time to get everything together.  However I would offer you this, the appetizers are great especially the goat cheese and tomato spread and the mushroom caps with spinach and feta.  The beef bourguignon needs some help.  The beef was not as tender as it should have been and there was nowhere near enough sauce.  I barely tasted a  any Burgundy in the sauce and I could have easily made a better version at home.  It wasn’t that it tasted bad, it just didn’t taste as good as it should have. I had the special which was mussels and clams with frites.  The broth was great, a nice creamy garlic and wine mixture.  The shellfish was fresh and tasty.  Overall the dish was a success.  However, the kitchen needs to learn to go through the clams and mussels before they serve them.  around 4-5 didn’t open (i.e, they are dead and should be avoided.  The frites were good but ordinary and were not double fried like they are at most French restaurants.   The prices are affordable with entrees are in the 15-25 dollar range.  Service was excellent, attentive, and friendly.   So my recommendation is to wait a couple of weeks and let the kitchen hit its stride before you visit, or stop by for some great wine and some appetizers in the meantime.

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