Review – Jackson + Rye – Richmond, London
1 Heron Square, Richmond, has seen many reincarnations over the years and the latest of these is Jackson + Rye. Already having an outlet in Chiswick the brand wanted to bring their take on American cuisine to a like-minded community and so No 1 has a new occupant. Overlooking the riverfront it is a beautiful spot for a restaurant and the buildings of Heron Square have featured heavily in many paintings of Richmond Bridge and its surrounds.
I went to check out the new addition to our local restaurant scene with a friend on a Thursday night. The décor reminds me of classic American movies with a long bar, barstools, leather banqueting and warm muted colours. We took a seat at the bar for a pre-dinner drink. With the vast array of rye whiskies on display behind the bar it dawned on me why it is called Jackson + RYE. The bartender’s knowledge on the available whiskies was evident and we did try a few recommendations. We also tried a couple of cocktails. I particularly liked the Red Snapper and Boulevardier.
We took a quick glance through the wine list whilst sitting at the bar too. Minimum for a bottle of wine is around £16 and works its way up to the rather more expensive end of the market. There is a wide range of whiskies to cover all budgets but for me the real value for money are the cocktails ranging from £4.50-8.
When we had finished our drinks we were escorted to our table. Many times a new restaurant opens and the staff are not overly confident with the menu but our server was very knowledgeable and answered our many questions with ease. There are lots of the usual suspects on the menu but I was disappointed not to see any ribs. I chose shrimp and grits to start and my companion had the truffled mac’n’cheese. Our starters arrived quickly and looked appetising. I was intrigued to try the grits, they look like wet polenta but the texture is different. Whilst polenta disappears on the tongue the grits have more bite to them. I would definitely try them again. As for the mac’n’cheese it’s not the most elegant dish but the taste more than made up for it, the truffle really coming through, another highly recommended dish.
Service was quick and after our plates were cleared our mains soon arrived. We both chose the Rueben Sandwich – salt beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese served on caraway bread with a pickle. Our sides were sweet potato fries and regular fries (the sweet potato were very good). The sandwich is huge with plenty of filling and the meat generously sliced but I did think there was too much bread. A big thumbs-up overall.
On to dessert and mine was the pecan pie with rye whiskey ice-cream. It was well-balanced with just the right amount of sweetness and crunch, again a good interpretation. Some of the other offerings on the dessert menu to try next time are the burnt vanilla marshmallows, potted cheesecake and the leaded shakes because there will be a next time for sure.
If you would like to ease yourself in gently to American cuisine then there is a set menu available for lunch and early evenings on weekdays between 12-7pm. This comes in at £11.95 for two courses and £14.95 for three courses. I do think that the main menu is excellent value for money however and you know that the portions are going to be generous so why not indulge.
We enjoyed our experience at Jackson + Rye and would recommend you go and try them for yourself. The service was friendly and efficient, the food was delicious and the whiskey and cocktail range is impressive. If you like authentic American cooking dished up in an inviting and stylish environment then this is the place for you. A taste of the good ol’ U.S in ye olde U.K – happy dining y’all!