Monday, January 30, 2012

jam

brunch/lunch seems to be xy's preferred meal of choice when it comes to trying out restaurants. mostly because there is better lighting for pictures and it is cheaper than dinner lol. there are a few restaurants i've tried late summer/fall last year that i have yet to write about. and this is one of them: jam located in ukranian village, owned by chef jeffrey mauro who has worked at the renowned charlie trotter's and north pond.

i wouldn't have been able to find the restaurant if it weren't for xy standing outside, i could have probably walked past the restaurant. when i checked out the restaurant's website - the decor of the restaurant looks more finished. then, i realized jam has moved its address to logan square. (i apologize on my delays in entries that even the restaurant has changed address since my last visit there >.<)

 
however, they kept the decor and concept the same (at least from what i've seen in pictures). even though it was a narrow dining space, the mirrors that lined along the wall gave an impression of a bigger room. i loved that they took a minimalist approach in terms of decor with white and grey being the main colors with some burst of lime green. and how can i be opposed to an open kitchen (just as long as i don't smell like food after the meal) which allows patrons to watch the chefs hard at work.


although it was pretty busy, there were still a couple of tables available so no wait time (yay!) while i already figured out what i wanted to order, xy didn't have much luck with his choices. his first choice was the amish chicken under lunch option to which he was given a disappointing "we're all out of those, i'm sorry i forgot to mention it earlier" then he had to come up with plan b. after a couple of minutes, he opted the quiche, only to be told that they just sold the last slice >.< lol.  he finally decided on steak and eggs (which i am sure he was bracing for another no) which thank goodness they had! third time's a charm, eh?


they started us out with an amuse-bouche of zucchini cake with cream cheese creme which i thought was an excellent introduction of their food. it was reminiscent of carrot cake but slightly different -  it was moist and delicious. 



breakfast :: eggs benedict | english muffin . poached eggs . crisped pork belly . fennel hollandaise ($10)


the presentation of this dish was quite the show stopper. i've never quite expected such a beautiful presentation for brunch, i would even go as far as calling it 'a work of art'. i am not sure what is my obsession with pork belly lately - i used to always avoid pork belly because it's fatty but boy, oh boy how my mind has changed about this delicious hunk of meat. 


the pork belly took the cake - actually the whole cake and some more.. yes, it was THAT good.  there was a good sear to give it a crispy exterior while it also kinda melted in your mouth with the savory satisfaction you would get from bacon but better. mmm... xy had a small piece and agreed on its greatness. haha. the eggs were poached beautifully with a runny yolk enriching the dish further with slight sweetness of the roasted fennel. 


a couple aspects that brought down the dish was the fennel hollandaise which was too herbaceous that i ended eating around it.  and i would have preferred something better than a regular english muffin to elevate the awesomeness of this dish.


breakfast :: steak&eggs | pan roasted skirt steak . poached eggs . risotto . smoked tomato sauce . truffled pecorino ($12)


although the presentation as beautiful as my dish, it looked rather delicious. however i was surprised they didn't ask xy on how he wanted the doneness of its steak though. he was nice to offer a bite to me and the steak was simply seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked to medium . he seemed to like it and mentioned that it was okay but admits about having the dish envy since he thought my pork belly dish was superior. he is still pretty adamant about coming back to get that elusive amish chicken dish though. lol

oh, one important thing to remember is to have some cash in hand because it's a cash ONLY place. how the system work at this place is you receive the check at the table and you pay at the counter.

there are a mix bag of reviews on both yelp and urbanspoon about jam and i think our brunch experience was just that. there were a couple of highs and a few lows but with a few tweaks, jam is heading in a promising delicious direction.

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.

Jam on Urbanspoon

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