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Restaurants, American Midtown West
3 out of 5 stars
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczBurger at Jams
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczRed pepper pancakes at Jams
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczChicken with tarragon butter at Jams
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczRed snapper with sauteed bok choi, black vinegar sesame at Jams
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczRigatoni with squid ink, crab, garlic and chili at Jams
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczJams
 (Paul Wagtouicz)
Paul WagtouiczJams

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Long before farm-to-table was more rule than exception—before cauliflower and kale became gastro fetishes, before dining rooms were fixed with reclaimed-wood slabs scattered with heirloom beets and petite brussels sprouts—, Jonathan Waxman was leading the produce-driven way. From 1984 to 1989, Waxman, with wine-expert partner Melvyn Master, introduced his then-exotic brand of California cuisine —nurtured under the great Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and at Michael’s in Santa Monica—to the Upper East Side via Jams, a cabernet-fueled clubhouse with easy elegance and a killer roast chicken.

After nearly three decades—and a successful foray into rustic Italian (11-year-old Barbuto)—, Jams is back, and so is that famed chicken ($25). The beautifully browned bird’s simple adornments belie its lusciousness, with tarragon- infused compound butter dripping shamelessly from its crisp skin. It’s like worn-in denim: those comforts deepen with time.

Not all Jams holdovers are as welcome. Flaccid red-pepper pancakes nestled in corn puree and draped with smoked salmon, crème fraîche and caviar pearls ($25) can’t shake their ’80s cocktail-party quality. Better are newer offerings, like an eight-ounce “bar snack” burger fitted with farmhouse cheddar and thick-cut bacon ($21), or a summer’s-end plate of pan-seared gnocchi pillows, fresh and bright with slips of Maine lobster, wedges of yellow squash and bursting cherry tomatoes ($25).

You won’t find shockingly innovative or grandiose cooking at Jams. But what you will find is a good chef, back to his old ways.

By: Christina Izzo



Address: 1414 Sixth Ave
New York
Cross street: at 58th St
Transport: Subway: F to 57th St (Sixth Ave)
Price: Average main course: $25. AmEx, MC, V
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 5-11pm; Fri, Sat 5pm-midnight
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