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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jackie's

Plaudits: Washingtonian 2010 #82, Washingtonian 2009 #78, Washingtonian 2008 #80
Neighborhood: Silver Spring

The Setup


Official Parent of DCWD DV was in town the day before Thanksgiving, and was staying up in Silver Spring. So I took him out to dinner to Jackie's.

The Vibe

Jackie's looks like an old warehouse, both on the inside and the outside, but in very different ways. The outside is faded brick and gives you the impression that you're walking into an abandoned tire factory, but for the bright neon lights that glow from the restaurants' facade. In fact, because of this the exterior belies in the inside decor, which recalls something out of an Andy Warhol workshop. An exposed ceiling with exposed brick, the room is lit by several hanging garage light bulbs and a slight pink glow from neon electric lights in the full booths that line the edge of the restaurant.

This gives the decor a decidedly funky feel, a fact emphasized by the hanging plastic dots in the lounge area/bar, 70s mod plastic furniture in the dining area, and a projection screen separating the two. Seating consists of a row of two-top half booths, some fours, and the aforementioned full booths.

The Food

DV wasn't feeling that hungry so he ordered two starter portions. First up: Thai marinated Laughing Bird shrimp skewers with herbed quinoa. The spice was good but I just felt the shrimp could have been cooked a little better; it was just a little too done and chewy. Still, the mix with the quinoa was inspired, and I generally liked it.

DV's second dish was piquillo peppers stuffed with hearts of palm and fennel salad, watercress, and garlic oil. I loved this flavor combination, the tart of the palm with a nice crisp off the fennel. It was a really refreshing dish, which was a welcome surprise.

For me, I ordered the hay roasted Meyer's strip loin with spaghetti squash and turnips in a date sauce. The hay was subtle, maybe a little too subtle for me; I was sold on the flavor and so when it didn't come, I was a little disappointed. The strip loin was also more tendon-y than I thought it was going to be which wasn't necessarily bad. The date sauce was actually the winner here, adding a sweetness to what smokiness there was from the hay to make for a nice bite once in a while. Not perfect, but definitely some good notes.

For dessert, we ordered a pumpkin creme brulee. It was okay, with a nice interesting taste to it. Just not something to write home about.

The Verdict


I think my opinion of this meal was that it was pretty standard high end dining if it were in DC, but for Silver Spring, it's definitely on the better side.

Food Rating: ***
(out of 5)
Date Rating: 3 Hearts (out of 5)
Dress Code:
Casual
Bar Rating:
Classy Crowd
Vibe:
Chatty
Cost:
$$$$
(out of 5) ($75-$100 for two)
Pairing
: Head to the AFI Silver Theater, home of the eponymous group and to some truly great screenings over the next few months, including A Muppet Christmas Carol, and an Alfred Hitchcock Retrospective.

Jackie's on Urbanspoon

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