I walked in one very hot day in May of this year, uncertain about what my very near future held. Unlike most unopened restaurants in my past, this place looked fully built and ready to serve! The huge granite bar, the comfy booths, and all the wooden detail. beautiful! Then I saw the upstairs Open Air Terrace, semi-private Tiki Bar, Scotch room, and balcony overlooking the smaller pubs below, and I was convinced that this was going to be a cool place. Chef Michael showed me around and gave me a detailed plan of his menu for the downstairs Dining Saloon as if I was already hired and getting ready for service that night. It was basically a done deal; my new challenge would be to become a whisky expert. With well over a thousand whiskies lining the walls like books in a library, it was sure to become a destination for aficionados of the brown spirit. Someone would have to be able to talk about them.
Jack Rose has been an idea long in the making - to essentially become the largest whisky bar in the world. The bulk of the collection are single-malt Scotches, however there is a very large selection of American bourbons and ryes, even some white whiskeys and little-known selections from several US states outside of Kentucky and Tennessee. The Irish collection is nothing to scoff at either, rounding out the western end of the bar. The curious will also be delighted to find the award-winning Amrut from India, as well as single malts from Japan and Austria. A significant number of rums, gins, tequilas, vodkas, and cordials take up some space as well. However, anyone seeking their favorite Ardbeg, Caol Ila, or Talisker, or hoping to find a rare or special release of Macallan, Bruichladdich, or Springbank should be delighted at what they find.
Contrary to what my mentor, Harvey, says that "Who drinks whisky with food?", Chef Michael has put together a cozy and eclectic, non-traditional-yet-familiar menu to make Jack Rose also a food destination. Some favorites so far have been the Buttermilk Fried Frog's Legs, the grilled "New Caesar", and the Braised Local Pork Belly - for starters. The grilled ribeye Steak Diane is sumptuous and captivating, and the Pennsylvania ? Chicken with beet and goat cheese dressing will re-affirm your love for the often maligned poultry. New items for the fall include Boneless Bison Short Ribs, a Muscovy Duck Breast, and a Stuffed Saddle of Rabbit. I think we can get people to eat with their Scotch. In fact, I have already begun working on pairings. Dessert, anyone? Try it with a Willett rye. Ever try chocolate with a port-aged Bushmills? How about vanilla ice cream with Jack Daniel's Honey? Or Cabrales cheese with a sherried Scotch? I have. I think we can make it work.
I will look forward to your visit.