Jaynes in the news
Jayne and Jon have been enjoying post-wedding-celebration rest and relaxation. Thanks to everyone for all the emails, voicemails, and all the kind thoughts and gifts! We had a blast at the wedding!
I knew I liked Jayne Battle the minute I started talking to her. It was over a year ago and I was chatting it up with her on the telephone about her Normal Heights bistro, Jaynes Gastropub.
Sadly, it took me more than a year to get out there to eat — I had been geographically challenged living in Carmel Valley. Making up for lost time, I’ve dined there three times recently. Lately I have been waking up in the middle of the night jonesin’ for the garlicky shrimp appetizer; it’s under my skin.
My fondness for Jayne deepened while perusing the bistro’s Website and discovering the “video clip of the week” was a circa 1980 James Taylor concert. I was at that concert and like all other females in the audience, deeply in love with Taylor. This unrequited kinship with Jayne was furthered upon reading that most of her favorite restaurants around the country are mine.
Jaynes is a gem; scarcely contained by it’s jewel box sized space. A zinc bar faces a mirrored back-bar display of wine bottles and glasses. The floor is made up of the tiny black and white tiles one would find in any Old World eatery and meets up with dark wood wainscoting and warm creamy walls flanking oversized mirrors.
An outdoor patio features about a dozen tables draped with white tablecloths and dotted with candles; the whole Spago thing — fits perfectly.
The one-page menu offers such a good selection of dishes that it’s easy to eat at Jaynes often and not get in a rut.
Whatever you do, make sure someone at the table starts with the “Gambas Al Aljillo” ($14.50). Jumbo shrimp is sautéed in white wine, fresh chilis and an abundance of slivered garlic. This is scampi at its finest. It is served with a sliced grilled baguette (which you will burn through quickly dipping in the sauce) from our favorite local baker, Bread and Cie.
Also to be loved is the “White Bean Crostini”($10). A sublime puree of white beans and roasted garlic with a hint of piquant peppers is served with grilled levain bread for spreading, scooping or dipping.
Another house specialty is the “Scallop Ceviche”(12.50). Poached bay scallops are lolled in smashed avocado (almost a guacamole) and served on top of freshly fried, lightly salted tortilla chips. The chips are made-to-order, so they arrive at the table still warm, which makes this dish wonderful.
Entrees are spot-on as well.
I have been on a burger binge for about the past year and the “Jayne Burger”($15.50) ranks up among the city’s best. Niman Ranch ground beef perfectly grilled with aged white cheddar, garlic aioli and house pickled onions is snuggled in a soft, buttery brioche bun and served with crispy frites.
Don’t miss the very pub-like “Sea Bass Fish and Chips” ($18.50). Tender, flaky sea bass is jacketed in a batter made with Newcastle Ale and served with sautéed snap peas and housemade French fries. The snap peas are a nice complement as it lends a little color and adds a hint of healthiness to the otherwise naughty-for-you fish-n-chips.
Desserts are housemade and stand up to the same quality as the rest of the menu. The lemon tart is a killer.
See you at Jaynes. You’ll recognize me. I’m the girl with the garlicky shrimp monkey on my back.
— Terryl Gavre