That dark, dank, dulcet jazz joint just off the Plaza called Jardine‘s is no more…
After a fashion.
That’s because owner Beena Brandsgard spent the past three months spiffing the place up. Newly refinished hardwood floors ( they were painted black), a fresh paint all around, new window and signage treatments, new kitchen and Vegas-style, lighted, red carpet on the stairs I fell down three years back.
“We’re the only ones in the city that has those lights,” Brandsgard says of the stairs. “They’re from China and they’re LED lights so they save energy. But mostly they look cool – they’re more hip.”
A seven-foot wide ceiling panel lights up in blacklight blue above the bar. And Jardine’s logo in engraved on a black etched glass panel by the front entry. Net result; an overall transformation that transcends the individual parts.
“We painted everything, dude,” says general manager/chef Jim Dennis. “And it won’t rain on people anymore inside when it’s humid.”
Ah, dry but still classy-looking.
Which brings us to Jardine’s (almost all) new, easy on the paycheck menu, .
“With the new kitchen and stove everything works now, so we can make a lot of new desserts that we couldn’t before,” Dennis says. “And we have an all-new wine list.”
As to the specifics of Jardine’s more affordable menu, “OK dude, here’s what’s up,” Dennis says. “The menu has been a struggle to make a menu that appeals to every single person who walks into the club. And I’ve played with a lot of different things. I’ve tried entree salads. I’ve tried big, over-the-top entrees. So now, instead of trying to blend a 4-star restaurant menu with a bar/club menu and make everything seem gourmet, I’ve literally done both of those things.”
New items include a “bar food menu with my special twist,” Dennis says. “If I had a style, it’d be homestyle-comfort. So I’ve got hummus and spinach artichoke dip and a white queso dip – Gavacho dip. And I’ve got street tacos; I’m doing a Kobe beef burger – i’s nice – I’m a burger connoisseur. And I’ve got Black Angus burgers and smoked pulled pork and smoked brisket sliders.
“Then on weekends I run four to six market specials. The kind of stuff you would find at Michael Smith’s. Softshell crabs, swordfish. I was going to make a shark last week but I opted out of it.”
Jardine’s bottom line: “You’re going to be able to come to Jardine’s now and have a reasonable menu,” Dennis says. “if you come in here with $20 in your pocket you can get dinner and a drink. Or if you come in and want to spend $200, we’ve got that menu, too, because we’re keeping our signature salmon – but a better cut. And Jardine’s signature filet is bigger now.”
“This is the best it’s ever been at Jardine’s,” Brandsgard says. “And I can tell you that because I started at Jardine’s in 1994 and I bought it in 2003. This is the best it’s ever been.”