For this year’s birthday dinner, I wanted something lowkey. I simply wanted a good meal in a place I could enjoy with my boys. After consulting with The Wine Consultor and talking tables with Table Hopping’s Steve Barnes, Clarksville’s Jake Moon came out ahead as the crowd favorite. I made a reservation.
On Saturday evening I assigned the middle child the task of getting his brothers appropriately dressed for dinner. Oldest son was disappointed that his navy blazer, or as he called it, “Newport casual,” was overkill, but he graciously took it off. We headed south on Delaware Avenue and in less than 20 minutes, we arrived at our destination.
If you haven’t been to Jake Moon, be prepared to be underwhelmed by the physical space. It is decidedly country diner-ish, which happens to be one of my favorite types of joints. We were greeted warmly and shown to our comfortable reserved table. Menus were perused, my bottle of 2006 Martinelli Pinot noir (it was my birthday!) was opened and we feasted on a beautiful basket of house made bread and butter.
I opened with a golden beet salad with goat cheese and candied nuts. The beets were firm and sweet and balanced beautifully by the ever-so-slightly funkiness of the cheese. Two of the guys went with the Clarksville Fish Fry, a generous piece of battered and fried whitefish served with tasty fries and coleslaw.
Middle son selected the bar-b-q plate, to maximize his chances of trying everything, after determining that I would be having the sirloin strip steak. His portion of tender ribs, beautifully charred chicken and mound of pulled pork, was seriously enough protein for three servings. Accompanied by coleslaw and corn bread it was a formidable plate and he brought more than half of it home.
My steak was perfectly cooked and flavorful with a chewy bite or two. Again, the fries were perfect, the green beans super fresh and the red chimichurri, served on the side, added a nice dimension.
The service was refreshingly friendly and efficiently competent. We indulged in a couple of deserts including a slice of chocolate “birthday” cake and their house speciality coffee toffee pie, which frankly was a tad too sweet for my tastes. No worries. We left with substantial leftovers and overall with a very good taste in our mouths. Can’t wait to give them a try for breakfast!