It was a deal owner Patrick Gleber (also of Tobacco Road) couldn't refuse.
Baruch Pletner, an Israeli entrepreneur, strolled into Jake's last Tuesday and expressed interest in purchasing the newly renovated Jake's. Fast forward to today, and Pletner is already making the place his own, in more ways than one.
He's brought in two chefs from the Ritz Carlton in Naples to take
over in the kitchen. Corn bread has been replaced with naan (one of the
chefs is Indian,) although not baked in a tandoor. We found out the hard way that by grilling it instead, they will need to be extra vigilant for doneness. It arrives to the
table with a sweet, spiced butter oddly matched with the traditional
cilantro chutney. But boy is that butter good, we want to smear it all over everything within reach.
According to Pletner, Jake's was inconsistent but
he's tightening things up. For example, he says, there are revisions to the mezze platter
like making the baba ghanoush more true to what you'd find in his
native Israel. We didn't realize watermelon and feta triangles are en
vogue there, too, but they sure tasted good. Although for the most part
the menu seems very familiar to pre-July 28, there's a new hand-carved
Kobe beef with basmati rice and a "dayboat" cod with chanterelle
mushrooms, asparagus and mashed potatoes in a brandy cream sauce.
Desserts are completely revamped. After the meal we had there last
night, despite some bright spots, they're going to need a few weeks to get acquainted if
consistency is the goal.
Times are a changin'
Executive Chef Richard
Plasencia will remain on board, but he'll be in charge of the kitchen at Pletner's upcoming
"Cherry on Top" at 3413 Main Highway. Contrary to its name, this three
level concept will not solely involve ice cream sundaes, but rather a deli on
the ground level, restaurant on floor two, and a wine bar on floor
three. Does this sound familiar? You may have heard of another
recent trifecta, Chicago's Bakery & Deli and now Steakhouse, that settled
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into Commodore Plaza this summer to much neighborhood word of mouth. How successful these two will be, only time will tell. Management from Jake's will also be
part of the team at Cherry, scheduled to open at the end of the month.
Around the corner, in the strip mall where Mischa's Cupcakes and the Subway that was recently burgled reside, Gables Riviera Pizza has sprinkled its last mozzarella shred. It's been closed for a few weeks now, paper on windows and lights out. It was only a matter of time, with Five Guys and Pizza Rustica coming soon to the neighborhood.