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Reviews from nymag.com
Posted by hoodie on 10/19/2008
Starters, closers delicious, great ale on draught. Service fine noise level not so fine (like a pleasant din of conversation, but this was more of a clamor that had us shouting and "what?"-ing each other). As a veggie, I was glad to see one entree for me (only one, but one more than Al di La offers), yet Frank Bruni's verdict still stands, alas: "the fettuccine with shiitake and Manchego was a dry, bland heap of pasta crying out for . . . something more." (My wife's sea bass special was scrumptious, but miniscule looking stranded & lonely in a wide sea of white plate.) I've noticed reviews that refer to "affordability," but these must be folks who didn't get the memo about the recession/tanking market. Too pricey for us to return, and too bad 'cause we'd love to see this local restaurant thrive (and maybe it will anyway: still booming, but they're going to need "regulars")
Posted by Anonymous on 08/17/2008
I went here with two others on a Sunday night. Perfect service: cordial, informed, and not aggressive about asking "how is everything" before you've taken a bite. We tried a couple of the house coctails: the Saint Anne (I think, it's the one with gin as the base) was excellent. Wine was a good value while I wasn't blown away with our selection, it was priced around $40, which is rare for a fine dining restaurant, and was definitely drinkable. The food was excellent, on the whole, though not all dishes wowed me equally. The best thing I tried (other than the desserts, which were uniformly wonderful) was the scallop dish. The pickled kumquats were a wonderful tangy counterpart to the sweet scallops. We also tried the heirloom tomato dish. Also good, though the yellow tomatoes were a touch industrial tasting (you know, not tasting like much). The french fries are a must-order. And we had the skate. The sauce had an unusualyet satisfyingcombination of capers and a red-wine beurre. A tip to the wise: save room for dessert. The two we tried (beignets and a lemon curd tartlette) were excellent. Decor is minimalist, but not cold. On the whole, an excellent restaurant that won't disappoint.
Posted by Jason on 08/15/2008
Went here the other night with some friends after reading some mixed reviews. While the decor and service are nice (especially for this neighborhood), we found the food and portions to be a bit lacking. For Manhattan prices in Brooklyn, you'd expect more. Typical "new American" overpriced, overhyped cuisine. Not sure that this type of place fits into the neighborhood, but having lived here 20+ years, I can say that it's changing. If this is the direction it's going, maybe it's time for a move somewhere else. I can see why the last place that occupied this spot didn't last. I'll predict the same for this place after some initial success to due to the novelty.
Posted by Nancy P on 08/09/2008
Tried James for the first time last night, and loved it. My appetizer was good (heirloom tomato salad), and for an entree I asked them to double the scallop appetizer. Glad I did, because the scallops were amazing (and only $20 for 4, a bargain). Really nice servers too. I'm definitely going back.
Posted by mks on 07/28/2008
I love a place with little art on the wall making the meal the focus rather than distracting the customer with an over done atmosphere. The food was divine and we got in with no trouble. The owner and chef were both in great spirits and willing to talk to the customers. Be sure to check out the bathroom. Great details are what make James a Brooklyn gem.
Posted by bklyn foodie on 07/20/2008
great food, great atmosphere, and finally, a place that understands customer service!!
Posted by Carlton Ave on 07/07/2008
I have been waiting for James to open since the previous place in this location closed its doors. I am very pleased to say that Sorrel's replacement has a more palatable, attractive atmosphere. The bar offers old fashioned cocktails, tempting even with the fine wine list. The food is delectablethe flavors inventive, and the portions more than satisfying. Give James a go. I'm hoping it sticks around.