Jimmy’s Fries to Caviar is a name to remember
Bit of everything isn’t too much at Boca restaurant.
I admit I was skeptical about Jimmy’s Fries to Caviar from the start simply because of the name. It seemed an odd choice, a blanket statement to incorporate everything under the sun with no focus. The nondescript strip-mall location only bolstered the case. Or so I thought. As it turns out, something for everyone is the concept.
You may have tasted chef and co-owner Jimmy Mills’ food at his cozy Delray Beach spot, Jimmy’s Bistro. Mills teamed up with longtime employees to open Fries to Caviar, a moniker he once saw in a magazine and “filed” for future use.
“We went back and forth on the name,” Mills says. “It’s like naming your child, so we gave it a lot of thought. I liked the idea of creating a menu with a little bit of everything.”
The concept of offering something for everyone is a tough model to convey, but they succeed with Mills’ eclectic, chef-driven menu and a tight front-of-thehouse staff to deliver it.
When we pulled into the last available spot in a tiny, packed parking lot on a Saturday night, everything shifted. As we made our way to the front door, two employees putting final touches on sidewalk tables greeted us with a friendly welcome. Just inside the door, smiling hostesses stood at ease and offered a choice of reserved seating. We were escorted through a dimly lit, narrow dining room. The modern space is a mix of tables and banquettes, dark wood floors, exposed industrial vents and local artwork adorning the walls. We walked toward the patio to enjoy the balmy night. Along the way, attentive servers greeted us with genu- ine warmth. The hospitality was so palpable that our table of four commented on it upon seating.
Given the name and the buzz swirling around the restaurant, it seemed appropriate to order something from the caviar menu. The limited, separate caviar menu changes periodically based on supply and demand. The Caviar Eggs on Eggs ($26), a flight of American osetra white sturgeon, hackleback sturgeon, salmon and smoked trout caviars is served on crème fraiche deviled eggs presented on a chilled plate beautifully garnished with chervil and shaved radish. The deviled eggs lacked the velvety quality I had expected the crème to impart. I found myself yearning for the crunch and butteriness of a toast point in between eggs. A rich fries and caviar ($21) tops potatoes with salmon and smoked trout caviars, dill beurre blanc and black-pepper crème fraiche. Beetroot gravlax and caviar toast ($28) also provides a tasting of four roes.
Off the main appetizer menu, moist, oversize, housemade meatballs ($12) with ricotta, fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan disappeared quickly. Negotiations ensued over the final mollusk in the bowl of clams and bacon ($14). The blast of smoky Nueske’s bacon was the perfect flavor explosion and richness for the
Jimmy’s Fries to Caviar
6299 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton 561-617-5965, FriesToCaviar.com Cuisine: Contemporary American Cost: Expensive Hours: Tuesday – Sunday Reservations: Highly recommended Credit cards: All major Bar: Full service Sound level: Noisy when full Outside smoking: Yes, separate For kids: Wheelchair accessible: Yes Parking: Limited parking lot, clams and white-wine broth. A cup of andouille sausage and duck gumbo ($10) served over basmati rice was perfectly seasoned, but was more rice than gumbo.
In the salad and soup section ($9-$10), a lobster bisque piqued my interest. Having my sights set on a rich entrée, the puff pastry topper deterred me. Maybe next visit. Other standards included mozzarella and tomato, a baby wedge and a garden bistro salad.
Shrimp po’boy ($14), with grilled onion, lettuce, tomato and chipotle mayo on a homemade roll, and Jimmy’s Cheeseburger ($15), served with hand-cut fries and a pickle, make up the sandwich offerings. The burger, draped in a square of melted American cheese, was just over the requested medium rare and the grilled onions were marked, yet pale and undercooked. The generous portion of beef made for a two-fisted, wide-mouth attack.
A predictable pan-seared Atlantic salmon ($24) with an Asian glaze arrived with a soup-bowlmolded mound of basmati rice, steamed asparagus spears and chopped chive garnish. The spe-
Caviar Eggs on Eggs at Jimmy’s Fries to Caviar in Boca Raton. patio area No specific menu but will accommodate street