June/July 2016 Let’s Do Lunch: Jimmy’s on the James

What to Expect:
A welcoming bistro atmosphere featuring fresh Southern cuisine

What to Try:
“Food goes hand in hand with entertainment,” owner Bob Rygielski explains. “But food comes first. I want to see eyebrows go up with someone’s first bite.”

And in the interest of full disclosure, that’s exactly what happened when our photographer first bit into the Six-Ten Sirloin Burger, a 100% ground New York Strip burger. His expression said it all. Paired with hand-cut garlic truffle fries and coming in at only $9, this plate is hard to beat for a lunch out. Rygielski also served their wild caught Blackened Salmon topped with a flavor-packed, house-made chimichurri.

The core lunch menu is filled with variety—from lamb and veal meatloaf to seared tuna—and will beckon you to return before long.

The Experience:
If you have yet to visit this speakeasy-inspired eatery, be sure to look for the colorful caricatures of famous entertainers decorating the walls and see how many you can name.

And don’t assume that great food equates to longer wait times. Rygielski recounts with a smile the day they served a table of seven customers within 12 minutes of their order.

A quick lunch is even more enjoyable in the al fresco dining room. With an open view of the street, you’ll have the benefit of an interior restaurant with the sights and sounds of an outdoor café.

For those returning during the dinner hour, you’ll be entranced by the live jazz music on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The Extras:
Private parties can enjoy a personally crafted menu that Rygielski will design with you to suit preferences and cost.
“We have very flexible pricing and menu options,” he says.

After work, stop by between 5 and 7 p.m. for happy hour when full-size appetizers are 25% off. On “Winesday,” Rygielski offers free wine tastings; after trying four, you can have your choice for $5 a glass.

Monthly Wine Dinners allow for a longer and unique experience at the restaurant, but reservations are required. “We strive for authenticity and creativity,” Rygielski says of the menus, which have been inspired by Lebanese, game (think elk, quail eggs, and even rattlesnake), and most recently, Moldovan.

“I love being hands-on and having interactions with our guests,” Rygielski says. So look for a Bourbon and Barbecue Fest in late summer 2016.

Visit them online at www.JimmysOntheJames.com.

By Jennifer Redmond