Dinner at Jackson and Rye

The new Jackson and Rye, which recently opened along the waterfront, invited This is Our Town reviewers to sample some of the dishes on the American style menu. The restaurant has taken prime location in Richmond, and will have a lot to live up to, however from the indication we were given, they look to do just fine.

Jackson and Rye is a stylish and comfortable restaurant, serving an all-day, American-inspired menu, including breakfast, brunch, lunch and evening meals, plus classic desserts and an extensive selection of cocktails, beers, wine, alcoholic shakes and rye whiskeys.

The place really had the feel and appeal of a 50’s speakeasy; outfitted with dark oak varnished furnishings; myriad bottles of whisky and rye line inset shelves along the walls and bar; the staff dressed in sharp white shirts with dark overcoats.

Ordering a few things up for the table and to start, we went for Truffle and Polenta Hushpuppies, Popcorn Chicken, Crunchy Chorizo Prawns and Barbecue Wings.

These delightfully crisp little balls of polenta reveal a satisfyingly soft and chewy soft filling, infused with the truly definable and prominent flavour of truffle, bolstered by the tang of a light parmesan and truffle sauce.

Picking at the flavourful popcorn chicken, we couldn’t resist the flaky and crunchy yet not greasy coating, especially when combined with the spicy Comeback sauce, a southern classic – could’ve happily eaten a whole bowl of these.

With the same style of coating and preparation as the above, the barbecue wings were just as delicious but served with three different sauces; BBQ, peri peri and blue cheese.

Now here’s a combination we’d never seen before, crunchy chorizo prawns – the chorizo is packed in with the prawns (not quite sure how they do it, but we’re not complaining!), the flavours really complemented each other, the mango chilli mayo added a fresh, sweet zing to this utterly delectable starter.

Having the right condiment can often make a dish, and we were really impressed by the wide range of well considered sauces that were served with each dish – so much more interesting than a bottle of ketchup and mayo at the side of the table.

That said, it was time to move onto the mains – the menu focuses on steaks, barbecue, burgers and a variety of ‘entrées’. We opted for a 400g Rib Eye Steak, the J+R Barbecue Board and a 250g Pepper Steak.

Our prized cut of rib eye steak was cooked to medium-rare. We could immediately tell that they know what they’re doing as it had been well rested, meaning that the steak didn’t bleed when cut into – a clear sign of proper technique. The steak had just the right colour to it, inside and out, with lovely caramelisation on the surface. Simply put it was very tender, juicy and flavourful – what more can you ask for? The side of green slaw added a sharpness that really cut through the meaty flavour and we would really recommend the peppercorn sauce!

The J+R Barbecue Board had a little bit of everything; smoky rye glazed pork ribs, spicy peri peri chicken wings, sliced pepper steak with green slaw & fries. If you’re not sure what to get, then pick this – everything was delicious.

Like the rib eye, they exhibited the same level of skill with the peppercorn steak, a cracked pepper crusted loin of beef, which came pre-sliced with smokey rye sauce – recommended for those that love smokey, peppery flavours.

To top it all off we shared a Banana Split, the caramelised banana topped with vanilla, chocolate & strawberry ice cream, butterscotch sauce, mascarpone cream, pistachios & popping candy was a joy to eat, and went down very nicely with their Oreo and Rye Thick Shake – both avoided being cloyingly sweet.

We came away from this slice of the East Coast thoroughly impressed by their bold flavours, friendly and informed staff, and their venue itself – Jackson + Rye is here to stay.

If you’re thinking about going to Jackson + Rye, book your reservation through ChariTable and the restaurant will donate £1 per diner to your charity of choice at absolutely no cost to you!