A sneak peek at the newly renovated J Bistro

J Bistro is reopening today after a short hiatus and Consulting Chef Barbara Mills and Chef Jesse Harris were gracious enough to let me in before they reopened to check it all out, including getting to taste some of their delicious food featured on the winter menu. I snapped some pictures, too.
Ariel Shuey
Jan 18, 2013

For the past few weeks the staff of J Bistro, 129 W. Market St. in downtown Sandusky, has been very busy. Busy cleaning, painting, rearranging and creating a new winter menu, all to impress those who walk through the doors. The downtown Sandusky restaurant is reopening tonight, but I got a sneak peek at what all that cleaning, painting, rearranging and creating produced.

I included a few of the photos I took while I was there, in this story, but to see all the pictures check out my photo gallery, HERE, which, in my opinion, doesn't do the restaurant, or food, justice.

Once I walked in, I literally forgot the world outside.

Between the delicious smells coming from the kitchen, the friendly smiles of the staff that greeted me and the tables, decorated with beautiful red, black and white decorations, I lost myself. The white tablecloths accented the lovely centerpieces of red carnations and white baby's breath flowers with matching red candles. It was exquisite.

“I want people to come here and feel like they are somewhere else. A lady called us once and said every time she comes in, she feels like she’s in Chicago, New York or another big city, not Sandusky” Chef Harris explained.

Well Chef Harris, mission accomplished.

J Bistro reopens tonight with a featured happy hour event beginning at 5 p.m. Live entertainment will be provided by Cleveland’s Evelyn Wright and local guitar player Bob Szmik beginning at 6 p.m.

If you miss Friday’s reopening, J Bistro is open all weekend for dinner, with Frank Fosco performing on Saturday, and Tuesday for lunch. “We try to always have the best live entertainment for our guests” explained Mills.

One of the foods I got to sample (after taking pictures of the beautiful dishes) was the candy striped beets, it was like heaven in my mouth. Beets aren’t my favorite vegetable but Mills explained my sudden love of the veggie perfectly, “our dishes make you like vegetables”.

The striped beets included blueberry caramel, spiced pistachio dirt, radishes and orange Julius whipped feta. Mmm! Mmm!

Besides a fabulous new winter menu that features more vegetables and more soups, a new signature cocktail “The Avery” will be served this weekend. Chef Harris and his wife, Sarah, welcomed a daughter last week, and the drink is made and named in her honor.

Rumor has it that Avery herself might even make an appearance this weekend.

I suggest you check out J Bistro yourself, the restaurant would be glad to have you, and now you can even make reservations using the Internet. “People can now book a reservation online through our website, or our mobile website using their smart phones” Chef Harris explained. Not a big internet user? Don’t worry, you can still make reservations the normal way, by simply calling in ahead of time, or just show up, “We still take walk-in’s,” said Harris.


Swamp Fox

Disappointed they removed the "small bites" portions from the menu. Guess I am going to The Crush instead.