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The Jimmy

It’s not often that we walk out of a restaurant remarking to each other that we just had one of the best meals in Charlotte. But we felt that way a couple of weeks ago when we and our foodie, friends Melissa & Paul, tried The Jimmy.

It’s no secret that we love any restaurant owned by Jim Noble. And you may remember that we reviewed Noble Smoke in last month’s newsletter. I spoke with Jim recently when I was at Smoke. I love giving him a hard time about never reopening his flagship restaurant, Nobles, after losing the space from where it operated in the SouthPark area. When I asked Jim about The Jimmy, he replied, “since you liked Nobles, you will love The Jimmy.” And oh, how right he was.

Located in the former Nolen Kitchen space next to Reid’s Fine Foods on Selwyn Ave, the interior is well-appointed with the tables properly spaced so that noise is not a real problem. They have a generously-sized outdoor area where you can dine as well if the weather permits. The food is billed as Italian fare with a French flair that you would get in some cafes along the Mediterranean coast in Italy & France. Currently, the restaurant is open for dinner as well as for coffee and Copain-made bakery items in the mornings. Once they can fill some staffing shortages, it will be open for lunch as well.

On our recent visit, we had a great table near the back which overlooked the Selwyn & Colony shops. The menu focuses on locally-sourced foods as well as items made in-house or by another Noble establishment. For example, all the pastas are handmade in-house and the breads come from Noble’s bakery, Copain. For our first course, we ordered the grilled octopus with marinated local butter beans and the burrata which was served with a basil pesto on Copain’s ciabatta bread. When we’ve eaten octopus in the past, it’s often been quite chewy. But this grilled octopus was really tender and absolutely delicious. We would highly recommend ordering it.

For entrees, Beth ordered the yellowtail snapper which was wood-smoked and served as the whole fish. The server then deboned the fish at the table. Melissa ordered the linguine with NC shrimp, Paul got the pappardelle with a brisket ragu which Beth said was highly recommended by several people online. The brisket is made at Noble Smoke. I ordered the orecchiette with a lamb ragu which had a delicious, light tomato sauce.

We passed around the entrees so that everyone could try them. Everything was delicious. The yellowtail was tender and had a great flavor accented by the wood smoking. All of the pastas were excellent and you could tell that they were freshly handmade. We all decided that Paul “out ordered” the rest of us. I’ll definitely be getting the pappardelle next time.

While we were quite comfortable after the entrees we decided to sample a couple of the desserts. Beth and I ordered the peach cobbler gelato while Paul and Melissa got the chocolate torte. Like the entrees, we passed around the desserts. Both were good, but my favorite was the gelato. One of my cherished summer memories as a child was of my parents making fresh peach ice cream. Peaches have a special significance in our family since both of my parents worked at my great grandfather’s peach packing business when they were in high school. While gelato is not technically an ice cream, this version tasted more like ice cream than gelato. And that taste took me down memory lane.

Would we go back? Absolutely. We not only plan to go back., but we plan to do so regularly! And we hope to see you there.

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