Dinner at Jo's in Nolita, NYC (Closed)
Jo’s is not a stranger to me, as I’ve eaten and written about this restaurant almost three years ago. Thinking back what I ate then and compared to what I had a few nights ago, the interior didn’t change much – still has this rustic look with exposed brick walls and a bar and lounge at the front and the dining room is filled with a mix of leather banquettes and four-tops that are dimly lit. They did change most of their menu from what was read as Mediterranean to now mostly Asian/Malaysian influenced dishes and it did change for the better, as the food is a lot more flavorful.
Their cocktails and wine by glass didn’t change, which was a good thing as their drinks were pretty fantastic. My dining companion and I started off with light, elegant glasses of Anne Pinchon Rosé 2011 ($11) with a subtle spiciness as the end note. The Narcissist is made of gin, lime, ginger beer, crème de violette, and shiso leaf making it a potent yet refreshing, not too sweet cocktail that could start off the meal on the right note.
We started with curried PEI mussels with Thai curry and cilantro ($12). This dish I am familiar with as I did have it back then. Still fun to share with and the curry broth is very flavorful that it’s great to dip both the mussels and toasted baguette slices.
The braised & fried lamb ribs with green curry and scallions ($16) was a special for the evening and I hope it would manage to be a regular on the menu. The lamb ribs weren’t gamy at all and it’s crisp on the outside and insanely tender when you bite into it. The green curry was a wonderful spicy element. We had a wonderful wine pairing the ribs with a La Merika Pinot Noir ($11); aromas of cloves, vanilla and red berries that are united by well-balanced flavors of cherries and jam and nice tannins to balance the meat.
Galangal fried chicken ($18) topped with sambal goreng, a side of fluffy coconut rice and spice roasted butternut squash was arguably one of our favorite dishes of the night. The chicken was super crispy that shards of the crisp, spicy coating was flew all over our table and it revealed a moist meaty chicken. The roasted butternut squash was a nice side but we focused on the delectable bird.
The beef rendang ($19) made of dry curried brisket, coconut rice, charred long beans, Thai chili, kaffir lime zest, coconut was pretty damn amazing. The beef was stewed to fork tender perfection and the Thai chili sauce was so delicious that I can’t stop eating it with rice. It vaguely reminds me of my mom’s home cooking whenever I eat her meat stews.
Even though we’re pretty darn full by then, we must have dessert. The peanut butter s’mores bar ($7.50) was an elegant remake of the beloved s’more. A thin graham cracker crust, lined with a creamy dark chocolate ganache, smooth, salted peanut butter and blowtorched stars of meringue. It was a successful dessert and had what I anticipate for a s’more.
The trio of ice cream scoops ($7.50) of salted caramel toffee, chocolate, and banana were delicious, especially the salted caramel toffee that I can’t have enough of. That particular ice cream flavor was the perfect balance of sweet and salty and the crunchy toffee bits made it. The chocolate was fine and the banana ice cream was close to being the most natural banana flavored ice cream I had beyond making it myself.
It’s kind of a shame that this place doesn’t have enough people dining here. The food is delicious, it’s priced fairly, and the drinks are fantastic.
To view more photos of this event, please view the slideshow below (or CLICK HERE for my photo set):
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