July 11, 2008

Jack's Bistro

3123 Elliott St
Baltimore, MD 21224

I had heard a lot of good reviews from friend's about this fairly new Canton neighborhood restaurant. I was pretty excited when my friends agreed to meet up for dinner here.

It's a cute little corner bar/restaurant with lots of kitschy-ish and swanky-ish artwork/décor all around. I can't think of a good word to describe it so you're stuck with those words. While we were waiting on one person to arrive, 3 of us sat at the bar to enjoy their Happy Hour special:

2 happy hours every day- 5pm-7pm and 11pm-1am
$2 off apps, beer and glasses of wine

My friend was drinking beer from the cutest little glass featuring an owl on it and being the true beer connosieur that I am, I decided to give it a go. I hope you picked up on the sarcasm - I picked a beer based on its graphic. Come on! Hitachino Nest-White Ale ($6.50). It was a very light Japanese beer and it didn't disappoint this non-beer drinking gal. But I think the cute little glass helped.

My husband tried the Rogue Smoke House Beer and said it reminded him of a campfire. I don't know if that's good or bad but the other word used to describe it was "bacon" so I didn't try it.

Because we were starving, we split an appetizer of grilled cheese and tomatoes. I'm not sure what the cheese was (provolone, maybe?) but we were served 2 mini grilled cheese sandwiches that appeared to have been cut from the bread with a biscuit cutter on top of a layer of tomato soup. It was very creamy and very good.

When our friend arrived, we all sat down in one of the booths and continued drinking and eating. I was told that we had to try the Mac and Cheese and Chocolate ($8.50). It consists of: Shell pasta, 5 cheese sauce, And Belgian Milk Chocolate. Sounds gross, doesn't it? It was actually pretty good. Weird but good. I don't think I could have eaten an entire bowl of it but it was the perfect appetizer to split with another person.

My friend ordered a tomato and mozzarella tower app that was also delicious. I'm not sure what the official name of this appetizer was but it was tomatoes stacked on top of mozzarella cheese. You know what I'm talking about!

We were also served some rolls with a homemade horseradish/cheese spread. Delish.

For dinner, I ordered the Bohdi Dal ($14). It is the only vegetarian entrée the offer and it consists of mild Indian curry, lentils, squash, tomatoes, and pita bread. Very good! It wasn't too spicy but it wasn't bland at all. It was the perfect balance for my palate.

I also ordered a side of the battered eggplant fries ($6) because it sounded interesting. I love eggplant so I was curious was eggplant fries would taste like. Salty friend deliciousness. Order some!

My husband ordered hangar steak (I think) and enjoyed it very much.

My friends ordered the Bistro Crab Cake ($18.75) that contained Dijon horseradish sauce, salsify fritter, and purple Okinawa yams as well as the BBQ'd Short Rib ($17.50) with Merlot Dijon BBQ sauce, French coleslaw, jalapeno, bacon and smoked gouda grits.

Everyone was quite satisfied with their meals and I saved enough room for dessert. S'mores. Yes, you read that correctly - they have a s'mores dessert!

It's a marshallow coated in graham cracker crumbs and covered in chocolate sauce. Talk about amazing. It's also served with chocolate ice cream. I was in heavan!

As for the service…
The bar service was good. Our bartender was nice and mentioned that the cute little Japanese beer glasses were the only 2 they had. Perhaps she overheard me gushing over the glasses and said it as a warning to not take one home with me. Ha!

The beer my husband had ordered wasn't chilled yet so she said she'd put one on ice for him while she got him something else and I thought it was nice of her.

Our table service was good but the server was just a little strange. I can't complain too much though because he was quick and attentive.

Overall - I'd definitely recommend this place to anyone. Next time you're in Canton, you should drop by. Just note that they only accept reservations for parties of 6 or more people. However, we dined there on a Thursday night with no problem (there were only 4 of us).

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