After much anticipation, Scott Crawford’s French restaurant, Jolie, opened on Person Street. Here are our first impressions.
By Ayn-Monique Klahre & Catherine Currin
We’re in, we’re in! Lucky for us, we were both on Scott Crawford’s mailing list, because the second that newsletter came out with the OpenTable link inside, we hopped on it and secured reservations for Jolie. We’re both big fans of Scott’s, and also of French food, and had seen enough teaser photos of the interiors (and that roof!) that we were excited to give it a try. Despite working together, we went on two different nights for the true dining experience. Here’s what we thought.
Jolie: First Impressions
AMK: We arrived just after a rainstorm, and about 45 minutes early for our reservation (our sitter had a firm expiration date), but the host was accommodating. Evening light streamed through the window and made beautiful shadows on the marble tabletops. I spent several minutes trying to capture how that light flowed through the glassware just so, with middling results (below) before my husband started rolling his eyes. My cocktail, called “Isn’t it Nice?,” was the perfect shade of millennial pink and tasted, well, super nice, not too sweet.
CC: We arrived with another couple after a pre-dinner drink around the corner at Pelagic. After sitting down at a four-top near the front door, I was gazing intently into the kitchen area, with Scott and Madison hard at work in plain sight. There’s just something about watching a chef do their thing. For drinks, our table was split between white wine (Picpoul for me) and the Brewery Bhavana collab beer, aptly named Jolie. You can even make the beer un tango, by adding a housemade simple syrup. The space is quite intimate, but the volume is perfect and there’s just enough hustle-and-bustle.
AMK: We ordered the ricotta quenelles and the escargot. Both amazing. The escargot was not the traditional garlic-butter style, but in a creamy marigold sauce, with butter-drenched sourdough for sopping. Around this time, the four-top to my right turned over, and we started chatting with our new neighbors. The tables are quite cozy, and it was amazing how many people in the place knew each other as they walked in. I recognized a few foodie people and some people who live down the street from us—a nice community feel.
CC: Our appetizers were perfect for sharing with the table: escargot and gougères, and both were delicious! The escargot is not in its shell for easy access, and is swimming in a mixture of chives, onion and bite-sized tomatoes that I can only dream of replicating in my own kitchen. Hot tip: when you run out of bread, dip your gougères into that lovely Marseille Blue Le Creuset pot for a buttery addition to your cheesy pastry.
AMK: I ordered the trout almondine and my husband ordered the chicken fricassée. Neither of us spoke for several minutes after they arrived. They were just delicious. Buttery. Light, but decadent. Yum. We shared our impressions with our neighbors; they shared some of the wine they brought with us. We found some mutual friends and exchanged info.
CC: We all ordered something different, so we could taste almost every entrée on the menu: chicken fricassée with perfect swiss chard, summer vegetable tart (topped with a light and bright herb salad), stick-to-your-ribs veal bourguignon and the classic steak frites. I want the herb salad with every meal, and the seasoning on those fries are truly to die for.
AMK: No dessert for us, we were stuffed and also on the clock with the sitter. But we have our eye on a few for next time! I took a trip to the roof deck just to check it out—can’t wait to dine up there another day! It’s a special place.
CC: The group shared bites of the chocolate tart (we couldn’t leave without a dessert) and washed it down with our last sips of wine. Jolie, we will be back—I already have my next reservation!