Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jolly At Jolie

Last Sunday my brother-in-law Jim stopped by and after trying out my new Bass Ale Bolly (more on that next time) we went out to have brunch at Jolie before going to the Cask Ale Festival at The Brazen Head (and more on that later too).

Okay, that was the longest sentence in this blog. Jolie is a French restaurant on Atlantic Avenue not far from the oh so chic Smith Street. Atlantic Avenue, at least this stretch, is starting to catch up. Right across the street from Jolie is a dynamite Vietnamese sandwich shop.


I have eaten here before on several occasions and have never been disappointed. It is a bit more upscale than Bar Tabac and the food is, perhaps, a bit fancier, but it still has that friendly bistro feel to it. Interestingly, Bar Tabac's signage features a motor scooter and Jolie has something similar in their window.

Riding In Style

When I was a kid they used to advertise something like this. Actually, what they advertised was a small gasoline engine that you attached to your bicycle. My mother, for some reason, never thought buying one of these was a very good idea.

The interior of the restaurant has an interesting decor, but I can't quite put my finger on the style. I do like the pictures on the wall though, and the lamp at the end of the bar is one I would like to have.

My Lamp

Motorcycles are a recurring theme along with movie icons from the 60's and 70's, often both in the same picture.

And, of course, I really like this blow-up of a mug shot of Frank Sinatra

Smile Frank

Frank Sinatra was arrested by the Bergen County sheriff (that's in New Jersey) in 1938 and charged with carrying on with a married woman. The charge was later changed to adultery and eventually dropped.

Whereas Bar Tabac has a bunch of small wooden tables packed in pretty tight, Jolie has fancier settings, white tablecloths and China, and the tables give you a lot more room. They are also larger. We opted to sit inside but they have a very nice outdoor area for when the weather finally gets better. This has been one of the grayest, wettest, and chilly Springs that I can remember. Well, except for when I used to live in Minnesota.

Peeks At The Garden

We had an excellent brunch, although I didn't order off the brunch menu. The Mysterious Chinese Woman had salmon tartare and it was excellently done. Nicely chopped salmon, not at all mushy, and very flavorful. I have had the steak tartare here in the past and it too is very good. In fact I can say it is some of the best I have ever had. Too many places grind the meat instead of chopping it and that just ruins the texture.

Jim had corned-beef hash and eggs and a side of French toast. Well, he is a growing boy. I prefer canned corned-beef hash (Mary's Kitchen is my favorite) so I only order this if I am at a diner where I know they serve it. That wouldn't be right in a place like Jolie though and, true to form, they made their own and it looked great. Although I didn't try it, the French toast was declared to be delicious as well.

I opted for a hanger-steak sandwich and it was fantastic. The steak itself was done just the way I asked, medium rare, and the lightly toasted bread that it was served on was delicious too.

This is a great place to go for anything from an informal brunch such as we had to a dress-up date. I am going to make a point of going some Sunday evening when they have a three-cheese fondue.

Jolie on Urbanspoon

As you can imagine, Jim shows up the day tends to be eventful. It will take at least another few postings to cover his whole visit. In addition to the Bass Ale Brolly testing and the stop at The Brazen Head we also hit Pete's Waterfront Ale House, the Atlantic ChipShop, and, finally, Montero's Bar & Grill.

I am getting too old for this...NOT!!!