I believe that Brasserie Jo is an unsung gem of the Boston restaurant scene. As long as I have lived in Boston, I have been going back to Brasserie Jo for brunch, dinner, birthdays, a glass of wine and just dessert. When I lived in the South End with Lauren, we would often treat ourselves to the fabulous fare that this restaurant offers.
Las week a small group of us decided to go for my Birthday dinner at Brasserie Jo. Another one of the nice things about this restaurant is that it caters to large dinner groups at big round tables. The restaurant itself is huge and has a number of private rooms. It has high cavernous ceilings, white-washed tiled floors and dark wood furniture that separate out different sections of the restaurant and large murals of 1920s people having fun on the walls. The bar area has a large clock right in the center that overlooks the whole restaurant. The feel is of a large, bustling, French bistro. The waitstaff all wear black vests with white shirts that have shirt braces to hold up the sleeves – I love that touch. The service is prompt, professional and polite.
Our waiter came over to our table of seven to get our cocktail orders. We started with a deliciously clean, crisp bottle of White Bordeaux – there was definitely more on order for later. He then left us with some crusty French bread and sliced carrots smothered with horseradish, champagne vinaigrette and parsley. They are so good, it is like eating a bag of chips you cannot put down.
For our appetizers we started with a couple of things to share. Both Lauren and I already knew we were going with one of our favorites, the Chicken Liver Mousse… creamy, buttery and absolutely decadent without being overpowering, although it sometimes can be with the amount of French grainy mustard I like to add. We also shared a couple of the “Tartes Flambées”… the Classic with Fromage Blanc, Onion & Bacon and the Brie, Apple and Walnut. I only tried the Onion and Bacon and it was fantastic, soft tasty onions with salty bacon on crisp flatbread.
For my main I opted for the Coq au Vin. I was actually dreaming about it for days beforehand. Served in its own little pot, the chicken is fall off the bone tender with a rich, creamy red wine sauce and a side of spaetzel. It was everything I wanted. I was a very happy person. My friends were all equally happy with their dishes. I did taste Lauren’s Sautéed Skate Wing over pureed potatoes and it was wonderful, especially the potatoes.
To end our evening we knew we could not leave without the Chocolate Mousse. The mousse is served at your table by the waiter warming a spoon and scooping large egg-shaped mounds of chocolate, which is then smothered in Cream Anglaise and sprinkled with shaved bitter chocolate. Can I just say “send me to heaven!” This dessert is so heavenly, there are really no words… let’s just say amazing. We also ordered the Floating Island, which was a little too eggy for me and the Chocolate Profiteroles with Vanilla Ice-Cream and Chocolate Sauce. Incredibly good but I only had eyes for the Chocolate Mousse.
My evening was fun, delicious, heavenly and absolutely lovely. I love Brasserie Jo and of course my friends who helped me enjoy my birthday in a way that I enjoy most… eating and drinking wine J