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Jay's Restaurant and Lounge, reviewed
Mixing things up: Jay's Restaurant and Lounge on Plank Road also offers a DJ and dance floor to its dining space.
MARIE SICOLA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 10/25/2012
Trying the $25-fixed-price, four-course brunch that features live jazz music at Jay's Restaurant & Lounge in Greenbrier Shopping Center off State Route 3 seemed a good way to sample the varied cuisine of one of the area's newest dining entries. Jay's menu, which it describes as "global fusion," offers new spins on dishes that wouldn't be out of place at a Jewish deli (blintzes, latkes, falafel and couscous), as well as samosas, tamales, banh mi, kebabs and many other items.
In reviewing Jay's, the intention wasn't to take things down to the "molecular" level, a scrutiny usually reserved for places that have been in business longer than just a few weeks. But that's exactly how things turned out.
What I had in mind instead was to write a lighthearted piece on the pluses and minuses of brunching, including the main reason my wife and I never (unless you count our forays to Krispy Kreme) venture out for brunch. It's not just that brunches are--according to famed food writer Mark Bittman--a huge fat-bomb, not to mention a dumping ground for leftovers, as well as punishment for a restaurant's B-team chefs, according to former chef/TV personality Anthony Bourdain.
No, it's because, as my wife has made abundantly clear, "We've got stuff to do!" (Including sleeping in till at least 10 in the morning, plus the errands we've put off all week or in some cases, all season long.)
For example, when we headed to Jay's, we had with us not only an overflowing crate of recyclables but a duvet cover we'd been meaning to dry clean since early June.
Then I was going to mention a couple of positives about going out to brunch, such as getting out of one's pajamas at a reasonable hour, and more important, having a valid excuse to begin drinking cocktails--like mimosas and Bellinis--first thing in the morning.
But once through Jay's doors, we were in for a surprise. The moody lighting and powerful sound system, the nightclub atmosphere and dress-to-impress expectation, and the jazz group that really cooked--made us feel like we weren't in the 'Burg anymore--not necessarily a bad thing!
What: Jay's Restaurant & Lounge Address: 2030 Plank Road (in Greenbrier Shopping Center off State Route 3) Info: 540/479-6000; jaysrestaurantlounge.com Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Sunday Prices:
Dinner entrees: $12-$28 (5 -8 p.m. daily)
Four-course fixed-price brunch: $25 (Sundays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., features live jazz music)
Also, lunch, tapas and late-night menus available. Beer and wine and mixed drinks are available.The Scoop: Somewhat pricey, varied menu, good food and service, nightclub atmosphere, parking Payment: Major credit cards are accepted