Wednesday, September 24, 2008
James the restaurant opened on lovely Carlton Avenue in the same spot as the former and underpopulated Sorrel food spot. Shabby chic decorations like a worn mirror over the bar with wood tables and brown wood banguettes give James a subdued feel. Service is friendly though non-attentive and clueless when asked for their recommendations. The food here does shine, with lots of greenmarket, seasonal options creatively prepared. My starter of heirloom tomato salad with globe basil and warm chevre fondue for $11 was quite good. The goat cheese fondue was a yummy counterpoint to the fresh tomatoes. Bread came upon request. I ordered a main dish of homemade black pepper fettucine with shitake mushrooms and manchego cheese. Fresh, with a nice broth at the bottom, this dish comes in a smaller size for $12 and a larger size for $18. My side of creamed swiss chard for $6 was insanely good, perhaps one of the best sides around. Creamy swiss chard, fresh and naughtily delish. Dessert was the only dissapointment, my dessert of strawberry salad in raspberry cream was ordinary and simple with some of the strawberries not ripe and for $8, I could have skipped it. The bathroom is pretty, with fresh flowers an antique feel and Molton Brown products.